For the past few months Industrial Light & Magic has been teasing what’s possible with its new technology division, the Industrial Light & Magic Experience Lab (ILMxLAB). The group is taking celebrated franchises such as Star Wars and mixing them with new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) to make entirely new types of experiences. The company has only shown glimpses of these projects so far but, today at the Oculus Connect 2 developer conference in Hollywood, California, it did shed some light on one promising experience.
Rob Bredow, VP of New Media, Lucasfilm, & Head of ILMxLab detailed the project during his ‘The Force of Virtual Reality at Lucasfilm’ session at the event. Described as a shot film, it started on iPad, showing visuals that were being rendered in the cloud. It followed a pack of Stormtroopers on a desert planet, possibly the iconic Tatooine, through a town setting. Viewers are giving a high degree of control over the scene as other characters such as R2-D2 and C-3PO, Boba Fett and other characters also appear.
The viewer was able to adjust camera perspectives, even following specific characters and heading inside a stormtrooper’s helmet. After some time showing these features, Bredow confirmed that users would also be able to bring the scene into VR, taking full advantage of the 360 degree video the technology provides. He later went on to showcase the VR speeder bike experience that has been seen in previous videos from the company. It wasn’t confirmed if or when the group would be releasing these experiences for everyone to try.
VRFocus will continue to follow ILMxLAB’s work in VR, reporting back with the latest from the team.