In June, Pixar and Bungie alum Tom Sanocki launched a new virtual reality (VR) platform called Limitless, allowing content developers to create interactive VR characters that respond to voice, gestures and gaze. Today Limitless Ltd has now announced a real-time animation and editing toolset as part of the Limitless Creative VR Environment, whilst opening the platform to select film and game studios this month.
The toolset allows rapid prototyping of animated VR content inside VR worlds, intuitively enabling character animation in real-time. Sanocki saw the need to reduce the countless hours VR directors and animators spent going back and forth between computer software and the VR environment.
“We are all animators at heart – we learned the concept at an early age by playing with toys,” said Sanocki. “We just need to remove the barrier formed by software so we can all create stories using the inspiration that we already have inside of us.
“Right now the biggest need in VR is good content and that is largely driven by characters. Forming a deep emotional connection with the characters we care about hits the core of mainstream entertainment. Our platform solves the tricky task of creating interactive characters in VR, and now makes it easy for anyone to animate those characters in real time.”
The Limitless animation tools can be used with any VR environment and character that has been imported into this part of the Limitless Creative VR Environment platform. It enables rapid prototyping for newcomers plus there’s a tutorial character within the VR environment to help walk anyone through the animation process.
Professional animator Jon Collins, who has previously worked at Pixar, ILM, Blue Sky, Blizzard, and ToyTalk, currently leads UX and animation as the Creative Director at Limitless said: “As a layout tool, this dramatically increases the rate at which sequences can be assembled and iterated on in CG. What would have normally taken me an entire day to do, I can now accomplish in less than an hour.”
“It has always frustrated me that although I can visualize motion and timing quickly and easily, the process of replicating these movements in CG with traditional animation software is time consuming and non-intuitive,” Collins added. “With the Limitless Creative VR Environment, both of these restrictions can be overcome in a matter of hours by anyone. By connecting a person’s innate ability to move their own body in beautifully rhythmic ways directly to VR characters in real time, the process of animation becomes much more intuitive and enjoyable.”
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Limitless, reporting back with any further updates.