Disney paves the way for VR in filmmaking

Disney paves the way for VR in filmmaking

For some time now, Disney has been at the forefront of VR gaming experiences, with their most recent addition being the Kingdom Hearts VR experience on PlayStation. VR gaming is still relatively new, but there’s a new VR kid on the block! Disney’s latest hit, Cycles, is the first animation film to utilise VR technology.

Cycles: A virtual reality Disney animation

Disney took the reigns of VR within the film industry back in 2018, with the release of the short animation Cycles. The short film was first shown at film festivals throughout the US, but you too should be able to watch it soon, at the hands of your VR headset.

The film follows three characters (Bert, Rae and their daughter, Rachel) on their lifecycle, touching on the trials and tribulations of family life. The film was inspired by director, Jeff Gipson’s childhood, and his experiences living in his grandparents’ home.

What you can expect from Cycles

You can expect to see a lot of things during the short animation. The house will fill with furniture, transitioning from an empty home to a fully furnished one. You’ll also be able to move throughout the house, exploring every room and what it has to offer – you can even take a dip in the swimming pool!

You’re free to look around in any direction during the film, which is a truly unique experience within the film industry, but the film’s animation guides you to focus on certain areas with greyscale visuals. If you break eye contact with the visual focus, other areas of the film will then fade to grey. This is to help you focus your attention on the key areas of the film and to get the full VR experience.

There’s another ‘top secret’ Disney VR animation on the way

After the hype surrounding their first VR film, Disney is said to be working on a brand new (top secret) VR film. The project is also being directed by Jeff Gipson and will be another short animation lasting between three to five minutes.

Although this is just the beginning for VR within the film industry, Disney is very much paving the way for how we might view films in the future – and how other filmmakers could get involved with VR.

How to watch Disney VR videos

If, like us, you’re excited by the idea of a Disney VR film experience, you’ll need to wait just a little longer to get involved. Disney hasn’t released the film for home viewing just yet, but Cycles is set to come to a VR device near you in 2019.

With a second Disney VR film on the way soon (and who knows what could follow), now is a great time to get invested in VR technology if you haven’t already. If you’re not sure where to get started, explore our guides to two of the most popular VR headsets, the Oculus Rift and the DJI Mavic 2.

Should you take the leap into VR filmmaking?

If you’re a budding filmmaker, now could be a great time to get into VR filmmaking. VR is a relatively new technology that has been explored in other industries, such as the sports industry, but the VR filmmaking industry is still in its early stages. With Disney being the only big players in the market, there is plenty of room for other filmmakers and their ideas.
If you’re already a proud owner of a VR headset, take a look at our range of sturdy VR cases for your VR accessories and system. Our range of cases, including this HTC Vive storage solution, are completely waterproof and dustproof. They’ll keep your device safe from harm, whether you’re a filmmaker or a viewer.

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