That's how Eric Darnell, a co-founder of Baobab and its chief creative officer, explains the new interactive format: It combines the participation of actual reality and gaming, the bigger-than-life stories of games and cinema, and the empathy of film and real life. "You can take those three things — film and games and real life — and make a little Venn diagram," Darnell tells me. "Right in the middle, I think, is VR."Darnell, who in 1998 directed DreamWorks' first CG film, "Antz," knows how to tell a story. Seeing him spin a yarn feels like witnessing a proto-form of virtual reality as he reels you into the imaginary world of "Asteroids," the company's second release after "Invasion," about two aliens named Mac and Cheez. Darnell opens his hazel eyes wide and his soft voice speeds up as he relives Mac's increasing desperation for you to wake up Cheez, his unconscious spaceship co-pilot. And when Mac rejoices at Cheez's revival, I watch Darnell's eyes crinkle up behind his wire-rimmed glasses and see him smile and exhale an almost inaudible laugh.
"You feel like [Chloe's] so real, you actually really love her," says Baobab CEO Maureen Fan, So how does VR do its magic? It boils down to three things, says Tony Parisi, co-creator of Virtual Reality Modeling Language, the first tool for representing 3D interactive graphics on the web, First is immersion, with the visuals and sounds surrounding you, When I'm inside "Legend of Crow," I don't see a rectangle of images iphone case 05763 unspooling in front of me, The trees in that twilight woodland encircle me, Their branches create a golden canopy as I look up, When Crow flies, singing around the woods, his voice spins around me, too..
Second is presence — the sense that you're actually standing someplace else. Hearing the soft rustle of a lovelorn skunk sliding down a grassy knoll makes me want to lie down on the cushy, green ground next to her. In VR, presence is most often noticeable when it's shattered: If you've ever watched a 360-degree video with a visible "stitch line" where one camera's shot doesn't quite transition into another, the break reminds you that what you're watching isn't real. And third is agency, or the level of control you have over events. This can be as simple as directing your gaze or as complex as manipulating the environment you're in, as when "Legend of Crow" morphs into a wintry playground that lets me conduct a symphony of flurries with my hands.
Baobab's pieces iphone case 05763 hit all three facets, says Parisi, "It was kind of an 'aha' moment when I saw it at Sundance," Parisi says, referring to the premiere of "Asteroids" at the international film festival in Park City, Utah, in February, "It felt like I was in a Pixar movie."Darnell tells me he's seen lots of people suspend disbelief — essentially accepting fiction as reality — when viewing Baobab's work, When a bunny hopped up and looked viewers in the eye in "Invasion," for instance, "people were doing stuff they'd never do in a movie theater," Darnell says while showing me the hand waves and head pats the audience gave his computer-generated rabbit..
We may look silly with a clunky black box cinched to our faces, mouths agape while we're in VR land. But when your brain has been hacked by VR's mind games, you probably don't care. "I never really believe in 'House of Cards' that Kevin Spacey, when he turns and looks at the camera, is looking at me," he says. "But with VR, there's a part of our brain that just buys into that 100 percent."The idea of duping audiences isn't unique to VR. Samuel Coleridge described the phenomenon in 1817 when he coined the phrase "suspension of disbelief," suggesting that readers and theater-goers could accept even the most fantastic tales. And the story goes that early audiences panicked when Louis and Auguste Lumiere first screened their 1895 short "The Arrival of a Train at la Ciotat."But VR has the potential to make you react in new and different ways, even at this early, clunky stage of the technology.