The award-winning virtual reality (VR) tale of a hedgehog called Henry first premiered back in 2015 for the Oculus Rift. The short film, narrated by actor Elijah Wood, was given a lot of praise following its release and following an earlier announcement that the film would be re-released for Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR, it is now available and in stunning 5K resolution.
It was first revealed back in late May by Oculus VR CTO John Carmack that the company was planning to re-release the film using a new video playback technology developed by Carmack. This new technology would allow for a higher quality version of the film to be downloaded and enjoyed by viewers at an stunning 5K by 5K video resolution running at a stable 60 frames-per second (FPS). Now, as revealed by Carmack, this new version of Henry can be downloaded from the Oculus Store.
“This is encoded at CRF 22 to keep the size down to 1.3 GB for reasonable download size.” Carmack explains: “If you were building for location based use, I would use a good bit more bitrate.”
Henry was of course created by the now defunct Oculus Story Studio and tells a tale of a hedgehog who wishes to have friends, but his sharp quills always end up driving them away whenever he tries to hug them. On his birthday however, Henry makes a wish for some friends, only to find the balloon animals he made come to life which, as you might of guessed, ends with less than ideal results. Henry does end on a high note though and is worth watching for yourself, more so now that it is available in this new quality.
The short film ended up wining a prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, which Henry‘s director Ramiro Lopez Dau responded: “When we set out to make Henry, it was a step into the unknown world of making an emotional VR movie. While we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, we were excited about the possibilities. We never anticipated that one of our first projects would be given such a distinction and this recognition is not only a testament to our team’s creative and technical achievements, but also a validation for the VR storytelling community as a whole.”
The re-release of Henry in 5k resolution is available to download and watch now on Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on the new encoded technology in the future, so stay tuned for more.