Motor oil firm Castrol have become the latest to company from the automobile industry to include virtual reality (VR) as part of their promotions.
Castrol have created Virtual Drift, one of the Titanium Trials series of challenges to promote its premium Castrol EDGE line. Using an Oculus Rift DK2 head-mounted display (HMD) and a modified car that tracked everything from the throttle movements, steering angle and wheel spin. With this Castrol and its ‘creative technologists’ Adam Amaral and Glenn Snyder created a fusion of virtual and augmented reality allowing race car driver Matt Powers to drive at full speed through an ever changing virtual landscape that responded to both driver and car in real-time.
The visual result is quite extraordinary, although there certainly more than a little in the way of post production to bring us the version presented in the main video.
There is however another version which may bring you closer to what was being represented at recording and this can be found on the Titanium Trials web portal. In this 360 degree version the action dips in and out of reality and in a much lower visual quality. We would certainly recommend you look at this version in comparison.
It is perhaps unfortunate that in creating something astounding in a real-time moving VR experience only to then put it through post-prodcution, Castrol have made the unbelievable far less believable.
As for the driver himself, Matt Powers was enthused about both the technology and its potential.
“Virtual Drift was exhilarating and challenging like nothing I’ve ever done before. It’s been awesome not only being involved and testing this next generation of gaming technology but the possibilities this opens up for motor sport in general are mind blowing.”
You can find out more about Catrol’s Edge Line and the making of the above video at http://edgetitaniumtrials.castrol.com.
VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest on both the development VR and its increasing role in promotions and marketing.
UPDATE: It has now been confirmed to us that Ben Conrad and his creative company LOGAN are those responsible for all of the filming and special effects. Conrad has been involved in the previous Castrol series entitled “Gymkhana”.