This week, on my route to check out a little ride debuting at Disneyland in California, I stopped by Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank to check out” Myth: A Frozen Tale .” “Myth” is a brand-new VR experience created by a team working at the studio that debuted with the movie but has not yet launched for the public.
It abuses” Frozen 2″ as a leap off point, but is not a continuing of the narration. Instead, it constructs off the story of the movie and uses the tech to settle the spectator into the world to experience the “spirits” of the film up close.
It’s improbably effective, and an example of what can be done with VR when you have both expansive available resources and full academic buy-in from an animation master-foundry like WDAS.
I tried out “Myth” in the same building where” Frozen 2″ was made. The structure itself is a living pipeline, with story development on the top floor and departments working on animation and aftermaths replenishing out the building in a cascade. The VR studio exactly off the central conclude opening is right in the center of this activity, and the team says they used as much of the living grapevine that was preparing” Frozen 2″ as was possible or effective.
Despite the” Frozen 2″ contact, “Myth” is not just a marketing stunt for the film, it’s a real animation title from a unit that are currently induced the lovely and touching “Cycles” VR short — a crew backed by the most effective animation studio on countries around the world and with access and integration to that apparatus.
“Myth” is an introduction to and encounter with the elemental spirits that play important roles in” Frozen 2.” We’re brought into the world through a family gathering around the fire for story go and thrust rapidly into another age, where we identify the forces alive and active.
The project is presented as a sort of inverse theater in the round, with little campaign required on the part of the audience. “There arent” interactive factors, but witness will probably react to the scenes anyway, as they’re fairly effective. The intents of ardor, earth, air and liquid make an appearance, and the sense of presence that is such a big part of VR’s innate appeal is put to real been working — specially when it comes to earth and water.
Artist Brittney Lee served as the make decorator for “Myth” and was the impetus behind its 2D-in-3D aesthetic. If you’re familiar with Lee’s design work, then you know the general look and feel of the fantasy terrain. But the surprise is exactly how well they nailed carrying a sort of 2D multi-media look into three-dimensional space.
If living sketches in the vein of Mary Blair elicits you, “Myth” is going to blow your shit.
The effectiveness of ” Myth ” has a lot to do with the situate of affordances the team has built in. Audio, as ever in VR, is an effective tool to guide the viewer’s attention around the space and through an progressing narrative. But “Myth” exerts a few additional gimmicks that I consider would be well advised for other creators to study.
As you watch, the focus gently and naturally moves around you in a clique( never quite compiling you turn a full circumference, which is important to avoid distraction for wired setups ). There is also, quite deliberately , no aggressive changes in attention that would require a viewer to do a 180 -degree turn. Even the surprising and impactful moments are carefully cabled to avoid VR whiplash.
” We talked about how much interactivity we wanted against how cinematic we needed it to be ,” says farmer Nicholas Russel.” And, we construct cinema, we reach movies and we wanted to make sure it felt like that .”
As that focus alterations, the incident gradually desaturates in areas that are not currently in play, and eventually will dim and shade. A sort of organic-feeling” hot or coldnes” activity that it frolics with your eyes. This leads to the viewer coming the site pretty quickly that the action is taking place over there not over here.
And the potency of the short also has a lot to do with the music-driven narrative. Composer Joe Trapanese roughed out the score early for the project and was able to come to the studio as well, which meant that, extremely unlike most Disney pieces, the team was able to animate to the music itself. Director Jeff Gipson says that this leads a lot of people to make a comparison to ” Fantasia” or” Peter and the Wolf ,” which I clearly think is valid.
I mentioned before that the team was able to use the animation pipeline of” Frozen 2″ to help them realize the flavour reputations. One of “the worlds largest” visceral of these is the Nokk, the sea horse that features heavily in the film.
As an integrated part of site visits I got to talk to Svetla Radivoeva, living manager and Marc Bryant, aftermath lead on the Nokk for” Frozen 2.” They worked for seven months together with the 38 a number of members of the Technical Animation( Tech Anim) team to prepare the Nokk happen. There were eight technical masters labouring full occasion on the ocean Nokk and seven on the sparkler Nokk alone.
Bryant says that robust communication, is currently in the same building together and continuous sharing of tools and strong simulation riggings allowed them to pull off such a complex character.
That acutely developed persona was then brought into the world of “Myth,” changing its scheme to one of living and moving illustration using Epic’s Unreal engine. Though the concentration and elegance of the pony is one of the more technically impressive and emotive moments in the movie, actually is currently in its proximity wasn’t something a “Frozen” love could expect to happen.
“Myth” does that, and it’s a testament to the interlinked space that the living and VR teams worked on this project that it actually represents. It’s damn good, and so was Gipson’s previous deed “Cycles.” Disney is doing some enormous filmmaking occupation that precisely happens to be in VR.
” What does it mean to have Disney animation in VR versus we have to make it for this reason or this purpose ,” Gipson says,” instead, it’s how do we continue to innovate[ in filmmaking ].”
” It wasn’t a marketing study ,” indicates VR Technology Supervisor Jose Luis Gomez Diaz,” because we’d say’ oh, let’s use Olaf ,’ who everybody cherishes. We could have done something with those attributes, but this is more the floor that Jeff wanted to tell and it’s a good companion to the movie .”
The short is designed, they say, to transmit that feeling of what it’s like to be Elsa in front of the Nokk. And it labours. You feel that intense sense of presence.
After ” Cycles” and” A Kite’s Tale ,” “Myth” is a strong brand-new entry into Disney’s canon of VR yields, and it’s a clear bright recognize in the landscape of virtual filmmaking. Cycles will debut on Disney+ on January 24 th after premiering in the U.S. at NYFF 2018, but the VR version isn’t out there more. It’s a real feelings nerve punch of a short and I hope it smacks in VR soon.
The eventual witness of “Myth” will not have to intellectually appreciate the exertion and cleverness with which this project was tackled, but they will feel it emotionally. It’s quite simply one of the best VR lectures like this I’ve ever seen performed and it should be studied by anyone trying to execute a non-interactive cinematic narrative in VR.
” Myth: A Frozen Tale” is showing in VR at Sundance next week, but Disney says is still exploring different ways to bring it to audiences.
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