Industrial Light and Magic is up to its old tricks in a very new way with a brand new showcase showing off a virtual reality Star Wars world.
The VR push is part of the new ILMxLab, a division that ILM is creating for doing, well, really cool stuff with VR tech. In their preview video, ILM showed off their team working on art, motion capture, and 3D environments that were used to explore worlds through VR goggles.
In the Star Wars universe we were treated to personal interactions with droids, seeing things from C-3PO’s perspective, zooming into a cockpit, and more. In the Jurassic Park world, we were shown people reacting with Velociraptors in a very Chris Pratt way. ILM is mostly showing images and scenes without the full level of resolution and animation, but once the later layers of effects are added, the results promise to be astounding.
ILM is planning to use this VR content in two different ways. First, for those without pricey goggles there will be a tablet computer version, shown with iPads, that allows people to explore a fiction world just by grabbing the screen and moving it around, peering through like a portable window and examining the surroundings. For people who want the full experience, the Oculus Rif will allow you to do cool stuff like jump into an X-Wing cockpit and pilot it around.
So, no VR lightsaber battles, at least not yet. But ILM is keeping quiet on just how this tech will be used. Right now the expectation is for accompanying apps and immersive software for the new Star Wars movie, but it would be a pity if ILM wasn’t planning on a game or two as well. We’ll see this Christmas, when the results of the new studio are expected to appear.