Virtual Sunday

Over the course of the Irish VFX + Animation Summit we’ll learn how this year’s best VFX and animation productions were created. We think it’s also important to study and assess how content will be created in time to come and through what medium we can expect to consume it.

There’s been a great deal of excitement and hype about virtual reality’s second coming. Oculus’ debut as a Kickstarter sweetheart led to its $2billion acquisition by Facebook in 2014 and since we’ve seen Sony’s Project Morpheus become Sony VR and Valve partner with hardware manufacturer HTC to create the Vive. In the mobile corner, Samsung and Oculus have collaborated on the Samsung Gear while Google offer the low-tech but thoroughly satisfying Cardboard. Will mobile solutions prove more accessible and enjoyable? Or will the potential of such high quality immersive experiences be worthy of a big investment in VR hardware and the pre-requisite computing power?

The extent of the adoption of virtual reality still remains an unknown. VFX studios like Framestore, Weta, The Mill, Digital Domain and Oculus’ own Story Studio have all created high end content on various VR platforms while Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic announced ILMxLAB earlier this year. It’s clear that all parties want a piece of of the VR pie, but without an officially released consumer headset, what’s really in store?

This year at the Irish VFX + Animation Summit, we’ll host a series of presentations from those who are defining our virtual reality and new media experiences. We’ll have Mill+ director Aidan Gibbons, Rewind VR founder Solomon Rogers, The Foundry’s Head of Research Jonathan Starck and also Google’s Science and Engineering Academy Award winner Anil Kokaram, who’ll discuss the technology behind Youtube’s streaming capabilities as we can expect 3D, 4k, high framerate and 360 content distribution on the platform.

Sunday will conclude with a panel discussion, chaired by Eoghan Cunneen, with Aidan, Solomon, Jonathan along with Irish cinema startup Showtime Analytics as we discuss how we think stories will be told over the coming years and whether we’ll enjoy the cinema experience itself from within virtual reality at home.

We can’t promise that we’ll get to the bottom of it. But it will certainly be worth checking out.