Computer Graphics World

September / October 2017

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30 cgw s e p t e m b e r . o c t o b e r 2 0 1 7 V I E W P O I N T I t's no secret that virtual reality has made its way beyond gaming and consumer consumption – breaking into numerous industries, such as media and entertainment, health care, oil and gas, and architecture, to name but a few. As one of the most talked-about technologies today, VR provides users with a virtual space to collaborate and take their content creation to the next level. Specifically in the M&E space, professionals from film and television to game development are discovering the real and tangible benefits of integrating VR into their workflow. For these customers, solutions for everything from precision design to pho- torealistic rendering are a mission-critical requirement. On top of this, these professionals require technology and hardware that will allow for the development of a more accurate simulation and detailed VR experience for consumers. As the M&E space continues to incorporate numerous produc- tion techniques into its workflow, consumers are becoming sav- vier and expect each experience to be better than the previous one. This expectation requires production facilities to produce increasingly complex visual effects – typically in a shorter amount of time and sometimes with a smaller budget. So where does VR come in? Speed. The use of VR in produc- tion allows for shorter development time, lower design costs, and faster time to market. The technology even helps speed up the review and approval process, benefiting both the production company and studio by allowing them to release more visually compelling experiences faster. Studios also find themselves having to continually meet and exceed audience expectations. In order to fill consumers' insatia- ble appetites, M&E professionals are leveraging VR workflows to create more elaborate VR experiences. For example, professionals can utilize VR to showcase, test, and fine-tune their experiences, games, and/or scenes, and load large amounts of project data into their VR environments to deliver best-in-class experiences to the consumer. In addition, professionals incorporate VR into their workflow for visual production to help bring their visual effects ideas to life through the creation of lifelike animals, monsters, characters, and more – offering consumers the most visually-compelling expe- rience possible. And, they can leverage the technology to create more compelling VR experiences by shooting 360-degree videos, further immersing their consumers into the content. As VR continues to become a natural extension of the work- flow, professionals need hardware that will meet their de- mands. Of course, the configuration and specific system required to meet those demands can vary depending on the project, application requirements, and workflow. The good news is that as consumers continue to demand more VR content and higher levels of visual fidelity in their experienc- es, the hardware selection in the VR space is evolving to meet these demands. For years, professionals haven't had accessible VR options, as the technology was extremely expensive, required large amounts of space, strictly operated from a CAVE, and only operated through companies that could afford it. Now, virtual reality is more widely available and affordable than ever, and so are the VR-ready certified workstations that can take this work to the professional level. For those looking to take their first steps into the VR space, BY SCOTT RUPPERT THE NEW REALITY FOR HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS IN THE AGE OF VR

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