Computer Graphics World

September / October 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 35

28 cgw s e p t e m b e r . o c t o b e r 2 0 1 7 cross a 25-year career, CG veteran Remington Scott has worked on many projects that undoubtedly redefined what was possible within the realm of performance capture. He super- vised the team that brought Gollum to life in the Academy Award-winning film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; directed performance capture for the groundbreak- ing sci-fi film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within; and delivered mocap pipelines for films such as Spider-Man 3, Superman Returns, and Beowulf. It was Scott's experiences on the perfor- mance-capture set of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, however, that opened his mind to the potential of virtual reality. "I was just a few feet from actors like Kevin Spacey, watching them deliver these amazing performances," Scott explains. "I got to thinking, wouldn't it be great if people could experience this like I'm expe- riencing it?' " Scott started to explore the potential of immersive narrative experiences powered by the latest in virtual reality. "I wanted to trans- port audiences into another world, and more importantly, into another character," he says. "I wanted them to relate with the experience on a deeper, more emotional level. VR was the gateway to that." Scott teamed up with Advanced Warfare's writer, John MacInnes, to form MacInnes Scott, a new studio dedicated to achieving this very goal. "Grace" formed one of the new studio's first VR experiences. Designed as both an R&D project and a proof of concept, it explores the potential of VR music videos, featuring a beautiful performance from a photoreal android dancing around a beam of light. A CREATIVE SPARK "Grace" was initially built as an ongo- ing, self-funded technology test for the MacInnes Scott team, enabling them to evaluate the latest in virtual and augment- ed reality, while developing something new and exciting in the process. Designed to be viewable on 2D screens at 4k resolution, as well as through augmented- reality devices, "Grace" is primarily built to be experienced within the immersive confines of the HTC Vive VR headset. Set in a frigid forest environment, "Grace" begins with a glowing ball of light dancing through the trees, which the viewer can fol- low freely by looking in all directions. As the light source glides closer, it suddenly darts into the ground below. When the viewer looks down, there is Grace, the titular robotic heroine lying lifeless before the person. Once enveloped by the light, Grace activates, stirring to consciousness with a glitchy rhythm as her systems power up. She struggles to reach toward the hovering orb, when it transforms into a vertical beam of light she grasps before dancing around it, singing "Until We Go Down" by electro-pop artist Ruelle. Watching this woman spring to life has proven to be a strongly emotional experi- ence: Scott reveals that some VR viewers of "Grace" have removed the headset to reveal tears in their eyes. REVEALING EMOTION According to Scott, Faceware Technolo- gies' motion-capture tech helped bring the music video's facial performances to life, enabling the studio to go from initial capture to immersive VR experience in very little time at all. Although Grace has a robotic body, it's her human face that establishes the emotion- A LET'S DANCE "Grace" offers a tantalizing glimpse into music videos of the future

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - September / October 2017