Get Ready for the VR Revolution- Virtual Reality Movies
Do you know what the next big thing in gaming and simulation is? Its ofcourse virtual reality! But did you ever come across that even the movie industry is putting a lot of their efforts into improving the quality of motion picture in order to keep you engaged in their virtually created world. Yes you heard it right! With advancing technology, virtual reality or rather VR (in short) is taking over the world. Developers are exploring newer dimensions in regards to the world of entertainment.
VR - The new way of the world of entertainment
Developments in computing power, interface devices and graphics with Microsoft Kinect and Oculus VR have opened doors for another level of virtual reality. It might have been a recent addition to the world of movies, but already there are several directors who are trying out VR only to enhance their storytelling. In comparison VR gaming hardwares stand in a better ground than what consoles and PCs can offer.
Predictions from experts
As experts predict, in a few years from now VR might be ruling the world of entertainment. In Morton Heilig's essay titled The Cinema of the Future (1955), the cinematographer predicted that making of films would advance to the point where it would be able to reveal "the new scientific world to man in the full sensual vividness and dynamic vitality of his consciousness." However, his outlined something closely to what VR corresponds now but never used the word (as it was unknown yet). If you refer to today's, films, we are going through the early stages of what he predicted.
As per BBC Culture, even Chris Milk (VR guru and artist) feels that future films would offer customized immersive experience. The films would have to display a story crafted in real time. It would be unique for each viewer, keeping in mind their likes and dislikes. As a viewer you would get to "feel as natural and as real as a day in your life, but have the amazing characteristics of the kind of exciting stories that we are used to being told." The cinematic experiences might also transform you into a character of the story where you can hold the Sun with your hands, pick a tree and move around feely in the virtual kingdom.
Following are the little steps through which VR (the one we find today) came into being:
Polarized 3-D – In the 1930s polarized glasses were used to create a 3-D illusionary vision. The glasses were lower in cost and the viewer had to wear it on their eyes to enjoy the life-like experience.
Circle vision 360 - These got popular around the 1950s when 9 cameras were used to capture a single scene from all the directions. Even the movie was projected on nine different screens that are arranged in a circle so that the viewers give them an all-round view.
View master - In 1939, View Master was created by making use of stereoscopic cameras and View Master reels. They were mainly popular for the scenic reels that depicted tourist attractions. VR headset - As the name suggests, VR headsets are a kind of a headset which first came out in the early-mid of 1990s that requires the users or viewers need to put in their smartphones having downloaded a VR app.
Cave automatic virtual environment ¬- Also known as CAVE is known to offer an immersive virtual display environment with projectors set from three to six sides of a cube shaped room. Contrary to head-mounted displays, this one gives users a wide field of view and the freedom to move around within the system without having to be tethered to a computer. However, users will have to wear a pair of funky glasses much like 3-D.
Talking about the future
The right movie to mention in this respect is the much acclaimed The Lion King. If you have watched the movie you might be on the same page with me that there was hardly any difference one could point out between the real and virtual. Ofcourse the film was a gift of VR but it was not the pone we did come across in the earlier days. Even Avengers: Endgame was a successful parade of what the new generation of VR is about.
It shows that the VFX industry has gone far from what it had been. The directors try to create something that they cannot see. Standing in the real world set and they will have to give their imaginations life (digitally). You may call Virtual Production the attempt to unite them in real time. VR makes use of gaming engines like Unreal and Unity alongwith AR, advanced camera tracking, high-power graphic cards to weave scenes of digital and real worlds together. However, there is no denying the fact that VR is expensive than traditional film making. Conversely, the length of the movie is short though being charging to audiences.
Frankly, VR might be the one for short filmmakers giving them the chance to explore the narrative form and art of storytelling. The future might give a chance to participate in the virtual world as a creator and as a participant. There might be dialogue exchange between the participants and the virtual characters in the digitally overlayed environment.
Critically speaking, the VR disrupts the traditional filmmaking and filmmakers lose their narrative control over the film as the viewers are able to change the temporal flow of the film. As technologies are making progress (like AI and AR) we are heading towards an era where the motion pictures are going to be more thrilling, life-like with detailed digital worlds. Filmmakers will have to blur the line of art between VR gaming and filmmaking and stress more on the computer based algorithms to ensure engaging "story-living" experience for their audiences.