Digital Domain has been making a lot of headlines lately. Last year, they acquired the Emmy Award-winning VR content production studio, Immersive Media, and then they recently partnered with DreamWorks to produce 360-videos for both Shrek and Kung Fu Panda animation properties. Today, we’ve received word that Digital Domain is partnering with Syfy to create a unique and immersive VR experience around the Syfy channel’s new, upcoming TV show, Incorporated.
Fittingly, Incorporated is a show set in the not-too-distant future where oppressive corporations are in control. It’s being Executive Produced by both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Here’s the brief teaser trailer to get an idea for the tone and setting:
The VR experience on display at San Diego Comic Con is known as “Welcome to the Quiet Room” and will be running on HTC Vive’s during the convention at the Incorporated Cafe at Maryjane’s, inside the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. It’s planned as an immersive use of both 360-degree VR video, as well as spatial audio to provide deep immersion into the world.
“Science fiction entertainment like this is perfect for the VR treatment, offering viewers the chance to get up close and personal with characters from ‘Incorporated’ before its debut,” said Rich Flier, Managing Director, Business Development, Digital Domain Holdings Limited in a press release. “We’re proud to partner with Syfy once again, after unveiling ‘The Expanse’ VR experience at Comic-Con last year.”
Given the show’s setting, it seems like a perfect marriage of modern technology and television. Unlike most 360-degree videos, this experience is using impressive new technology to bring the world to live in roomscale, not just static video.
“Breaking new ground, this piece is the most realistic live action POV VR experience we’ve ever produced,” said Aruna Inversin, VR Supervisor, Digital Domain in the same press release. “Moving beyond mere 360° video, ‘Incorporated’ allows viewers to feel like they’re physically present in the room with the actors thanks to a combination of user head tracking, interactive avatar movement and advanced spatial reconstruction.”
According to the press release, “the live action set and actors were digitally reconstructed using a new combination of techniques, including real-time laser scanning, stereo spatial mesh solving, and Digital Domain’s proprietary 3D tracking software, TRACK, which allowed live action stereo plates to be incorporated in real time, over 3D geometry within a game engine.”
No footage or stills of the experience are available at this time, but it sounds like an innovative use of the technology that should provide for one of the more impressive VR experiences at SDCC this year. Online and app-based versions of the experience will release for the rest of the public later in 2016, likely near the show’s air date this fall.