GDC 2018: Disney Is Converting Movie Scripts Into VR In Real-Time With Cardinal

by Jamie Feltham • March 21st, 2018

Disney Research’s latest experiments with VR can turn a written script into a VR experience with the help of its new Cardinal system.

Revealed at this week’s GDC event in a session attended by Variety, Cardinal is able to take natural language scripts and turn them into pre-visualizations in VR. The software can detect actions and characters and turn them into animations in scenes that filmmakers can enter with VR, as if attending a virtual rehearsal on set. This gives them a feel for the mechanics of a scene before anyone has walked in front of a camera or started production on animated movies. They can even add their own voice recordings for live readings.

Story Image Credit: Janko Roettgers

The aim with Cardinal is to drastically reduce the amount of time pre-visualization takes when in pre-production of a movie. According to Digital Platforms Group Lead Sasha Schriber the system is able to take “script to storyboard to animation in real-time.”

We weren’t in the session ourselves to hear about the workings behind the system, but Disney says there’s still lots of work to be done on it. Eventually, though, Disney Research sees the platform being used in the wider industry. Schriber also sees the system being used outside of filmmaking, asking attendees at the GDC session: “They asked us: what about us?”

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