Digital Domain Is Bringing ‘Shrek’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’ To VR, Announces 360-Degree Camera

by Ian Hamilton • July 19th, 2016

Visual effects company Digital Domain is producing VR content for some of DreamWorks’ most famous franchises, including Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

The announcement today, while not very detailed, solidifies a relationship between one of the world’s biggest visual effects companies and a major Hollywood movie-maker to embrace VR with some very recognizable characters. Other franchises may be added in the coming months.

Digital Domain also announced Zeus, a 360-degree camera “boasting the ability to record footage at a greater than 8k resolution at 10 bit, shooting 75 frames per second. The camera is also capable of seamless 360° livestreaming at levels up to 4k resolution.” It’ll be deployed “immediately,” according to Digital Domain. While those specs sound impressive, we’d love to see what footage looks like in a headset compared with Nokia Ozo or Facebook’s new camera system.

“With Zeus, we’re confident that Digital Domain has the best camera on the market for shooting VR and livestreaming 360° footage,” said Digital Domain chairman Peter Chou in a press announcement. 

Digital Domain recently bought a majority stake in Immersive Media Ventures, seeking to establish a lead in production equipment, facilities and artists ready to produce VR experiences.

Overall, the moves mean more world famous properties are coming to VR. Unfortunately, it’s not clear to what extent these worlds will be adapted to the new medium. A number of movies, from Paranormal Activity to The Avengers, have used VR to promote films, but those experiences haven’t been very deep — never persisting as more than passing promotions. Even Trials on Tatooine, which is a Star Wars experience that’s free, available to Vive owners at home, and gives people a virtual lightsaber, has been criticized because it’s extraordinarily short. We hope that as DreamWorks and Digital Domain start looking to bring these iconic characters to VR they do so in a way that really makes use of the medium.

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