Volumetric capture is a cutting edge immersive technology enabling more believable avatars and environments in VR. Unlike a 360 degree video, with volumetric capture you can walk around a practically photorealistic scene or, in theory, talk to a more believable avatar.
8i is one of the companies focused on volumetric human capture and, in an announcement today, revealed it signed an intriguing first customer. 8i will produce a a VR experience for cosmetics company L’Oreal using its in-house technology. 8i’s website includes a variety of examples of the technology and you can check them in VR or on a traditional monitor.
L’Oreal is an intriguing customer for 8i because the cosmetics brand is so reliant on accentuating the detail of the human face. Using purely computer generated techniques, the face is one of the hardest things in the universe to make look believable to humans. Maybe you’ve heard of the uncanny valley? It’s still a problem. So I’m really curious to see how L’Oreal and 8i are able to use volumetric capture in a professional setting, and what that might look like in VR.
The company is also partnering on content with VR journalism-focused Emblematic Group and River Studios. A new studio called REALTRA will also be using 8i technology “to provide volumetric studio services” as a step toward opening up the capture technology to more creators.
8i also announced the hire of Steve Raymond as President of Studios to help grow the business and that, in addition to offices in Los Angeles and Wellington, New Zealand, the company is opening a San Francisco presence at the Upload Collective.