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Masters of Pie Reveals VR Digital Puppet Tool Geppetto

Virtual reality (VR) has seemingly endless applications. While many of these are immediately obvious, some ideas are entirely unique. Geppetto from digital studio Masters of Pie is one such idea. This week has seen the company reveal this digital puppet tool, which uses the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) and the Razer Hydra motion controller to create a new, intuitive user interface (UI) for CG animators. A video of the software being shown off for the first time can currently be seen below.

As detailed in a blog on the company’s website, Geppetto uses the Razer Hydra to give animators direct control of character models that appear in front of them. The company uses Unity to showcase the model in 3D without breaking its rig structure or IK systems. The motion controller acts as a sort of laser pointer that grants animators pinpoint accuracy as they move certain parts of the body. In the video below, this is shown off using Syd the Spider, a character from one of Masters of Pie’s secret upcoming projects.

The company seems to have seen success with its prototyping of Geppetto. So, what’s next? “Validation means we can move on to our next assumption, that we can make this a practical alternative to traditional CG animation practices,” Masters of Pie’s Karl Maddix notes in the blog. “As mentioned, we plan to continue with this experiment, adding in more useful features such as curve editing, full keyframe tools, timeline and playback options and much more. We even have our sights on making this a Maya compatible plug-in so that you can fire up Geppetto from within Maya.  VR itself is poised to explode over the coming years, meaning that more and more content will be created especially for the new medium, it makes sense to us that it would be beneficial to create that content from within VR itself.”

VRFocus will continue to follow any and all applications of VR, reporting back with the latest on them.