Turning Linear Content into Interactive Experiences at the SIGGRAPH 2017 VR Film Jam

New for SIGGRAPH 2017 was the VR Film Jam, where teams were invited to submit finished linear animated shorts, along with one-page treatments detailing how they would turn their work into an interactive VR experience. The goal was to demonstrate how traditionally crafted linear content can be turned into engaging, interactive VR worlds with the final projects being experienced by SIGGRAPH attendees in VR Village on Wednesday, August 2, and Thursday, August 3.

From the pool of entries, three teams were selected to realize their shorts into VR experiences in Unreal Engine 4 with the help of the team at Epic Games. In the end, two of those teams were able to make it to SIGGRAPH in person.  The participating teams and projects are detailed below.

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH17_VRFilmJam_TheMoonIsEssentiallyGray-770x433-ba16c02772250ce8f26a02dbd5a872498f1d71fe

From the School of Visual Arts New York, Hannah Roman brought “The Moon Is Essentially Gray,” a CG-animated short about a young child, her makeshift rocket, and her fantastic flight to the moon.

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH17_VRFilmJam_TroubleBrewing-770x416-87564cc7058507ca3fef949a11cfeedc31935856

From Cogswell College, Peter Mo, Scott Stewart, Jordan Boone, and Kimberly Wong brought “Trouble Brewing,” their short film featuring an adventurous young goat that encounters an angry troll in its old, run-down house.

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic9-770x452-079c2fe5fa5131029e7c5a34bb6ebc3f7fb14450

A few of us from Epic consulted with teams to help bring the experiences to life in VR:

  • Animation and Rigging – Chris Evans
  • Blueprint and VR mechanics – Wes Bunn
  • Lookdev and art pipeline – Luis Cataldi

The VR Film Jam took place over three days. Wes and I kicked off the event on Sunday morning with a two-hour workshop to help participants get up to speed in Unreal Engine. We had also been in touch in the weeks leading up to SIGGRAPH to help prepare some of the content and VR interaction mechanics in order to ensure the they could hit the ground running.  

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic12-770x504-82ba798fdd04bf7cea862626be6eae14e4840ed8

Hannah Roman’s short film, “The Moon is Essentially Gray,” is a touching story about a young girl who builds a rocket ship out of her bed and old pizza boxes only to find herself radioing home from the surface of the moon.

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic6-770x515-753909df16fb8b105aac4de14ff71d20433fce7a

The VR experience that Hannah built during Siggraph in Unreal Engine had the player helping the little girl assemble the “bed” rocket ship while she talks you through the process over the TV screen with strong audio cues. It was a clever solution for VR and the quick turnaround needed for this project. You can download a build here.  

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic7-770x559-d76b024ba55df0967c08d3fb05900873a88c5164

The team from Cogswell College came to the VR Film Jam with a humorous short about a couple of goats and a troll. “Trouble Brewing” is a lot of fun with a small goat wreaking destruction and havoc in the home of a troll who loves his fancy plates and china sets. With that in mind, the team choose to build an experience that lets users break all sorts of of things in the troll’s house while in VR. The project and mini-game turned out to be a blast and can be downloaded here.  

To provide a bit more background, our team loaded all of the original assets from the linear projects into Unreal Engine so that the participants could spend their energy iterating on lighting, animations, audio, and gameplay mechanics. From there, time went into refining art assets, textures, materials, animations, audio samples, lighting passes, design timings, Blueprint tweaks, you name it.

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic5-770x457-10de66a2db8404f20a620f32c144793418ecda38

The teams worked tirelessly over the course of the jam to ensure that their animated shorts would be represented in UE4 in the best light possible, and both teams caught onto the tools with ease. Hannah seemed excited to be able to light the little girl’s room so quickly and interactively, and Scott from the Cogswell team took to the UE4 material system like a pro.  

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic1-770x516-1692c514a721d158b8c2daa7c7fd550cdde77d76

SIGGRAPH attendees streamed in and out of the room, often stopping by to check in on the progress and play test builds while offering valuable feedback to the teams. Playthroughs of the projects began as soon as possible and continued well into the installations of the projects at the VR Village.  

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic2-770x452-cfc0a463cb5fe1df60ba82cfc5707b4ada28e135

It took a bit of time to refine the experiences, but finally the games were ready for the toughest of audiences.  

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic3-770x891-4a0ba4fda2ba43363ef8cbbedf1b12394b0e9a7a

blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic4-770x762-3f772e8c80768c930a258e601b41c6f521d274b0
blogAssets%2F2017%2FAUGUST+2017%2FVR+Film+Jam+SIGGRAPH+2017%2FSIGGRAPH_VRFilmJam2017_Pic11-770x462-b8f45cbaf79116899972971b00d000510302f318

The VR Film Jam provided an excellent opportunity for these talented teams to transform their linear works into interactive experiences. With the recent arrival of Unreal Engine 4.17, all developers can take advantage of the latest tools and enhancements to bring their creative concepts to life.

Download Unreal Engine for free here.

 

Добавить комментарий

Ваш e-mail не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *