VRBlog

By Irena Cronin, Editorial Director of VR Society

Advanced Imaging Society and VR Society Bestows 28 Lumiere Awards Monday Night at Warner Bros. Studios

February 14, 2017 12:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

HOLLYWOOD–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Advanced Imaging Society and The VR Society bestowed 28 honors for “distinguished achievement” at The Lumiere Awards, presented by AMD and Stereo D, on Monday night at Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood.

Filmmaker and VR Creator, Jon Favreau, was honored with the Society’s Harold Lloyd Award, presented last year to Marvel’s Victoria Alonso.

Cher Wang of HTC Vive was honored with the Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for exemplifying exceptional forward movement in the VR Sciences. Her award was presented by AIS-VR Society President Jim Chabin and actress Maria Bello.

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” (Sony Pictures Entertainment) was honored with a Lumiere statuette for Best 3D Live Action Feature. “Zootopia” (Walt Disney Studios) won for Best 3D Animation. “Dr. Strange” (Marvel Studios) won best 3D Stereography, Live Action and also 3D Scene of the Year for its journey of surreal astral projection.

Google Earth VR was presented the Century Award by Ed Begley Jr. for VR in service of environmental enrichment.

Two-time Academy-award winner, director Robert Stromberg presented Google with the award for Best VR Experience for Tilt Brush.

“Ghostbusters VR Experience” was awarded the Lumiere for Best VR Film Experience (Sony Pictures Entertainment/The Void). And besides Best 3D Live Action Feature, Sony PlayStation and Sony PCL Inc./Vicom Inc. were also honored with Best VR Music Experience for “Joshua Bell VR” and Best UHD for “Miyako Island’s Therapeutic Beaches,” respectively.

Best 3D Animated Stereography went to for “Kubo and the Two Strings” (Focus Features) and Best 3D Animated Short went to “Inner Workings” (Walt Disney Studios). Stereo D was honored with the Lumiere for Best Use of 2D to 3D Conversion for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

“Zootopia” (Walt Disney Studios) won for Best 3D Animation Feature, “Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D” (Atlantic Prods./Colossus Prods.) won Best 3D Documentary. The archeological experience, “Mysteries of China,” was honored with Best 3D Documentary Short (Giant Screen Films/Top Production/Expanded Eye Entertainment). For Best 3D Live Action Short, War of Gaul (Cow Prod) won the award.

The Lumiere for Best VR Animation Experience was given to “Dear Angelica” (Oculus Story Studio) and Best VR Game went to “Job Simulator” by Owlchemy Labs.

Best 360 Series for “Invisible” went to Doug Liman, 30 Ninjas, Condé Nast, Jaunt VR and Samsung, and “Nomads: Sea Gypsies” was honored for Best 360 Live Action (Felix & Paul Studios).

“The Click Effect” (Annapurna Pictures/Here Be Dragons) and “Take Flight” (New York Times) won for Best VR Documentary and Best Journalism Experience, respectively.

“The 360 Tour of the Shinola Factory with Luke Wilson” won for Best VR Branded Experience (Reel FX).

In the HDR categories, “Live By Night” (Warner Bros.) took home the Lumiere for Best HDR Live Action and “Finding Dory” (Pixar) won for Best HDR Animation.

AWARD WINNERS INCLUDE:

HAROLD LLOYD AWARD: JON FAVREAU
SIR CHARLES WHEATSTONE: CHER WANG (HTC) and HTC Vive
CENTURY AWARD: GOOGLE EARTH VR
BEST 3D LIVE ACTION FEATURE:
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK
(SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT)
BEST 3D ANIMATED FEATURE: ZOOTOPIA
(WALT DISNEY PICTURES)
BEST STEREOGRAPHY LIVE ACTION: DOCTOR STRANGE
(MARVEL STUDIOS)
BEST STEREOGRAPHY ANIMATED: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
(FOCUS FEATURES)
BEST 3D SHORT ANIMATED: INNER WORKINGS
(WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS)
BEST 3D SHORT LIVE ACTION: WAR OF GAUL
(COW PROD)
BEST USE OF 2D TO 3D CONVERSION: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (STEREO D)
BEST 3D SCENE OF THE YEAR: DR. STRANGE
(MARVEL STUDIOS)
BEST VR EXPERIENCE: TILT BRUSH (GOOGLE)
BEST VR FILM EXPERIENCE: GHOSTBUSTERS VR EXPERIENCE
(SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT/THE VOID)
BEST VR ANIMATION EXPERIENCE: DEAR ANGELICA
(OCULUS STORY STUDIO)
BEST VR MUSIC EXPERIENCE: JOSHUA BELL VR
(SONY PLAYSTATION)
BEST VR GAME: JOB SIMULATOR (OWLCHEMY LABS)
BEST 360 SERIES: INVISIBLE
(DOUG LIMAN/30 NINJAS/CONDE NAST/JAUNT VR/SAMSUNG)
BEST 360 LIVE ACTION: NOMADS: SEA GYPSIES
(FELIX & PAUL STUDIOS)
BEST VR SPORTS EXPERIENCE: FOLLOW MY LEAD: THE STORY OF THE 2016 NBA FINALS (OCULUS & M SS NG P ECES)
BEST VR DOCUMENTARY: THE CLICK EFFECT
(ANNAPURNA PICTURES/HERE BE DRAGONS)
BEST VR JOURNALISM EXPERIENCE: TAKE FLIGHT
(NEW YORK TIMES)
VR BRANDED EXPERIENCE: 360 TOUR OF THE SHINOLA FACTORY WITH LUKE WILSON (REEL FX)
BEST HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE: LIVE BY NIGHT (WARNER BROS.)
BEST HDR ANIMATION: FINDING DORY (PIXAR)
BEST 3D DOCUMENTARY: AMAZING MIGHTY MICRO MONSTERS 3D (ATLANTIC PRODS./COLOSSUS PRODS.)
BEST 3D DOCUMENTARY SHORT: MYSTERIES OF CHINA (GIANT SCREEN FILMS/TOP PROD./EXPANDED EYE ENTERTAINMENT)

BEST UHD: MIYAKO ISLAND’S THERAPEUTIC BEACHES

(SONY PCL INC./VICOM INC.)

BEST 3D FEATURE JURY PRIZE: MOJIN – THE LOST LEGEND
(WANDA MEDIA)

Contacts

The Prenner Group
Amy Prenner / Sheri Goldberg
310-709-1101 / 818-742-7776

Report on the USC ETC Augmented Reality Salon

Excellent report put together by Phil Lelyveld on the USC ETC Augmented Reality Salon that happened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts on Nov. 11.

“The Entertainment Technology Center at USC hosted an Augmented Reality Salon on the afternoon of November 11, 2016 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Eightly-nine people with hands-on involvement in AR from 56 different organizations participated. ETC executive director/chief executive officer, Ken Williams, opened the event to welcome attendees, followed by Philip Lelyveld, ETC’s VR/AR Initiative program lead, who described the salon’s purpose and schedule. According to Lelyveld, until PokemonGo burst onto the scene last summer, AR was developing quietly in the shadow of VR. With our spike of awareness around the success of PokemonGo, we are rapidly redefining and evolving our ideas of what an AR experience can be. ‘We’re here to explore the possibilities of AR as a foundation for new types of storytelling, new types of human interaction, new approaches to revenue generation and business models, new combinations of technologies, new social, legal, and ethical challenges,’ said Lelyveld.”

ikea

“The afternoon schedule started with six 10-minute presentations, each followed by five minutes of Q&A. Three of the presentations focused on the Business of AR and three on the Art and Technology of AR. These presentations set the stage for the most valuable part of the afternoon: discussion groups. Everyone in attendance was assigned to one of four classrooms where moderators led a 90-minute discussion. Each group was curated to include business people, technologists, and creatives. Some were experts in AR and others were new to it. Some represented major media companies and others were from start-ups. The goals were to share ideas and build community among peers. That evening, participants were sent an email to elicit what in the presentation they thought was important, interesting, hadn’t thought of before, and disagreed with. This report summarizes the entire event and the participants’ responses to the questions posed by email. By participating, attendees helped to support the ETC’s mandate, which is to accelerate the understanding and facilitate the adoption of promising new entertainment technologies within the entertainment community.”

The full report can be found here:

http://www.etcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/ETC-AR-Salon-Report.pdf

 

8th Annual Lumiere Awards: Submission Entries for Nominations

The deadline for the submission entries for nominations in The Advanced Imaging Society and VR Society’s 8th Annual Lumiere Awards is quickly approaching! The competition is open to content creators around the world.

All entries must be received by:
DECEMBER 16, 2016

Submission entries for nominations will be accepted into this year’s awards categories, including:

  • Virtual Reality
  • High Dynamic Range
  • High Frame Rate
  • 3D Feature – Live Action
  • 3D Feature – Animated
  • 3D Documentary
  • 3D Short
  • 3DTV
    (Entertainment, Sports, Live Event, Documentary)

Award winners will be recognized at the 8th Annual Lumiere Awards celebration on February 13th, 2017 at the Steven J. Ross Theater on the Warner Bros. studio lot.

The Submission Entry Form is here: 

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/cbb0f6dcbd57f8e9573257a90/files/AIS_Lumieres_Entry.pdf

AIS Japan Lumiere Ceremony

From Jim Chabin, President of VR Society/AIS:

“Our AIS Japan Lumiere Winners at today’s ceremony in Tokyo. Special shout out to Sony PlayStation VR team for their Award and to NHK TV for their development of 8K TV. The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will likely be a Japan technology showcase of VR, HDR,8K and High Frame Rate Technology. Congrats to all for a great day.”

 

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ETC Augmented Reality Salon at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, 11/11/2016

Fast video cuts of the ETC Augmented Reality Salon at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, 11/11/2016 (click on the picture below of Gene Muster of Piper Jaffray to access the video):

 

1genemusterpiperjaffray2

 

In the video: Gene Muster, Tom Emrich, Aaron Pulkka, Ryan Anderson Bell, Bryce Paul, Phil Lelyveld, John Canning, Flint Dille, and Michael Lewis.

Other participants included (not a complete list): Greg Gewicky, Scot Barbour, Guillaume Raffi, Howard Hsieh, David McIntyre, Michael Wise, Andre Fonseca, Randal Kleiser, Ben Elliott, Chris deFaria, Bill Baggelaar, Travis Jakel, Lori H. Schwartz, Chris Edwards, Mark Turner, Spencer Stephens, Todd Richmond, Ted Schilowitz, Marcie Jastrow, Marc Johnson, Keith Boesky, Jay Ong, John Platten, Eien Hyett, William Kendall, and John Haddick.

This is Useful: VRDC’s VR/AR Innovation Report

VRDC’s VR/AR Innovation Report from August 2016 is now available as a free download. “500 professionals involved in the development of augmented or virtual reality games and experiences” were surveyed.
I’ve downloaded the report. Here is the url were the report is:

http://images.reg.techweb.com/Web/UBMTechweb/%7B3c8dda91-da35-488f-af13-f315cbf563cd%7D_VR_AR_Innovation_Report_August_2016.pdf

 

Here is an exhibit from the report:

piece

How to Invest in the Longterm for VR

Excellent panel on “How to Invest in the Longterm” for VR at the Greenlight Insights’ Virtual Reality Strategy conference, Nov. 2, 2016. Panelists included Toby Zhang of Youku Global Media Fund, Marco DeMiroz of the Virtual Reality Fund and Michael Yang of Comcast Ventures, with Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat moderating.

A video of the first 11 minutes of the panel is here:

https://www.facebook.com/irena.cronin/videos/10154318217742912/

 

photo

 

From Sheridan Tatsuno’s wonderful post regarding the conference (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vr-business-strategy-2017-outlook-sheridan-tatsuno), here is his section recounting what was said on this panel:

“Moderator Dean Takahashi said $500 million was invested into VR/AR during 2Q 2016, of which VCs invested 65% and strategic investors 20%. Michael Yang said Comcast Ventures leads in VR/AR/MR investments. So far, it has invested into seven VR/AR ventures with Virtual Reality Fund: led in three, two Series A, and Series C.  His advice to investors: “Jump in with both feet or sit on the side.” Marco DeMiroz said Virtual Reality Fund has invested $50 million into fourteen VR/AR ventures now, with plans for six more eventually.  Since there are few VR funds, they work with traditional VC funds for Series B/C.  Toby Zhang of Youku Global Media Fund, a new Frontier Tech Fund for VR/AR/MR. with Youku and Alibaba, said: “The hip phase is over. Valuations are coming down. the bar has risen. We are seeking more than good tech and business models. Rather, how can startups survive slow uptake with a stable business model?

What are the platform prospects? Comcast: Titans are engaged in an investment battle, which will stomp startups.  Middleware OEMs are not promising.  The best place for startups is at the bottom or top of the stack.  Apps and content are popular investments now. Virtual Reality Fund is monitoring Steam, which has a 100 million app download run rate, but mobile app store uptake is not a good forecast.  Multi-platform, agnostic content and shorter development cycles are better strategies. Youku and VR Fund believe that a mobile VR strategy is key.  VR Fund just invested in Web VR and is actively looking for startups focused on content delivery and multi-mode use in browsers.  Youku is also interested.

What are the next content platforms or next Magic Leap? Youku is seek enabling technologies, such as streaming to LED devices, multiple platforms, content tooling, etc., that help creators get to market, and IP management which leverages and licenses content into other markets. VR Fund has a sub portfolio in mobile gaming. Rectangular content experiences need to be reconsidered since they may not translate to spherical experience. VR Fund will invest in 12 ventures at the bottom and top of stack. Recent investments include Sliver, Visionary, Mindshow, Spaces content for theme parks, almost OS, which show immediate monetization. Comcast wants seasoned VR teams and a compelling story for next funding round. He advises startups to get funded now in preparation for the coming market shakeout.

What about valuation? VR Fund thinks multi-round and avoid early over-valuation; startups must deliver on their milestones.  Youku worries that runaway valuations lead to down rounds and advises that startups think long term (5-10 years) in fundraising. What about VR/AR content businesses? Youku sees San Francisco and LA as huge content exporting centers, but costs are rising. Tencent content has doubled in last few years, but it is important to find the right partners in the right markets. Comcast is focused on healthcare content in fitness, diabetes, pregnancy, etc. for behavioral change via healthcare providers.

What is the future of mobile platforms and content? Youku believes all-in-one devices will be big in Asia. Content creators should look at multiple platforms since mobile-high end lines will blur. Mobile will become richer and easier to create.  Truly creative talent is rare in China, so they are seeking ex-Hollywood film/TV/CGI people moving into VR.  In China, Youku is seeking directors going into VR, but they are rare.

How can companies succeed in VR/AR? Comcast says to ask: What is your true north?  Focus on your POV and IP that should be targeted.  VR Fund says amazing experiences and multi-platform strategies are key, such as Alchemy which put Requiem on all platforms over time. Avoid big, long-term epic content. VR is like mobile; move fast, iterate and learn.  Comcast believes startups need a balanced team of tech, creative, and business founders like Felix and Paul.  Full-stack studios could be a third-party business, but need to be kept proprietary.

How do investors see VR vs. AR adoption curves and investments?   VR Fund sees SDK (software developer kits) use bigger in VR than recent AR.  In the future, VR/AR multimode will be big. The AR market is potentially large, but there are few AR SDKs.

What missing in VR platforms?  What is coming?  Youku wants to see volumetric capture and streaming for VR, AR, and MR.  The Holy Grail is watching basketball live during game.  VR Fund believes volumetric and light field are important to create feeling of presence.  They are only investing in enabling technologies, such as tracking, etc. and believe Daydream and Samsung will see big 2017 growth; Best Buy plans Xmas VR sales at average under $50.  Youku believes that smartphone is 2D and 3D capture, not just display; they see music VR/AR video for teams.”

Keynote Conversation with Kim Cooper of Prologue Universal and Jim Chabin of VR Society/AIS

 

jim

Jim Chabin of VR Society/AIS

Jim Chabin of VR Society/AIS conversed with Kim Cooper of Prologue Immersive on November 1, 2016 at Greenlight Insights’ Virtual Reality Strategy Conference in San Francisco. Topics ranged from the highly practical such as VR project costs (“around $40,000/day”) and employees/contractors needed to fulfill a project (typically from 8-15) to what VR experience was felt to be a catalyst (Google Tilt Brush) and the cutting edge length of a VR experience (“from 15-30 minutes”). Notably, Kim mentioned how she persevered to produce her first VR projects in light of at least five business people close to her telling her that she should rethink venturing into VR.

jim-kim-cooper

Jim Chabin of VR Society/AIS talks with Kim Cooper of Prologue Immersive

Jessica Brillhart’s Visions on VR Production

I’ve been asked several times in the last few weeks to provide some links to articles/media about or by Jessica Brillhart, Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google. Jessica has a great reputation for writing and speaking well on both abstract and practical notions of VR creativity.

brillhart

 

Here are the links I recommend, starting with her recent talk on a panel at VR On the Lot:

https://www.facebook.com/irena.cronin/videos/10154251663132912/

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602696/making-vr-movies-youd-actually-want-to-watch

 

The search for the Spielberg of VR

 

https://medium.com/the-language-of-vr/in-the-blink-of-a-mind-engagement-part-1-eda16ee3c0d8#.rdac51tqj

https://medium.com/the-language-of-vr/in-the-blink-of-a-mind-attention-1fdff60fa045#.8qydhyjfl

https://medium.com/the-language-of-vr/in-the-blink-of-a-mind-prologue-7864c0474a29#.bjnlkdglb

https://medium.com/the-language-of-vr/how-to-greet-a-rebel-unlocking-the-storyteller-in-vr-d40b2cc05f55#.nxhf7wvee

https://medium.com/the-language-of-vr/virtual-reality-s-fundamental-question-ee94763a917d#.g6v1rxqu6

 

 

http://voicesofvr.com/291-the-language-of-cinematic-vr-with-googles-jessica-brillhart/

Look Into the Cut: Jessica Brillhart on Editing VR

🎨 🎯 🎭

 

*Two Questions on Hollywood and VR Content

itwild-the-experience

A Scene from Wild: The Experience

 

I was recently asked two questions which I thought would be good to post the answers to:

What can Hollywood learn from the Silicon Valley?

Hollywood provides the VR content and Silicon Valley provides the technology that enables the VR content to become a reality. However, it is not as simple as that. The learning goes both ways. Producers of VR content have a way of pushing technology companies to create new ways of doing things. This is the case since those who create have a vision of their creation and many times, that vision tends to include more than what is currently available on a technical level. On the other hand, many of those that work on VR technology have their own ideas of what would be useful for VR creation and self-initiate the innovation of that technology. When this happens, producers of VR content can examine the new technology to see how it can enlarge their toolset for creation. In this way, an ecosystem of VR content producers and VR technology makers grows and learning is accomplished in both directions.

What are the three potential problems facing Hollywood when making VR content and how can the industry solve those problems?

One is the current technical limitations for VR creation. There are many thousands of apps and technical improvements that could be made to support stitching, power, resolution and other issues. The industry is still in a nascent stage where even new problems are being discovered every day. However, many people and companies are working on solving these issues. It is just a matter of time before standards become developed, but this cannot happen before a good period of tinkering and risk-taking occurs to see where potential problems exist that need to be addressed.

A second problem has to do with capital. In order to do all this tinkering and risk-taking, there needs to be a good supply of capital to rely on. I am not sure, though, that this will be an issue for very long. Many of the studios are jumping in and funding VR projects and traditional Silicon Valley venture capitalists are now starting to fund VR content companies.

A third problem has to do with unknown consumer preferences towards VR content. There are a few companies that have sprung up to address this issue and I predict that this area, counting VR analytics and VR tech that enables VR analytics, will grow significantly within the next year.

AR Integration into VR Experiences

The scenario I am thinking of will maybe take place a few years from now. It is an integration of AR into VR Experiences, so that in effect the “reality” that is augmented is actually the VR Experience a person is in. For example, there might be a Cinematic VR Experience that allows for user generated objects that in turn change the narrative. Then if this is played socially, the number of user-generated objects potentially grows, allowing for a number of different narrative scenario possibilities.

wolfman

The difference from 2D films is astounding, but this is a good thing. It shows how really distinct VR and AR are from traditional film. Traditional film might still have its own place years from now, as VR and AR become commonplace and we have the capability of self-generating monsters that run after us in a VR Experience.

This particular news story sparked my thoughts here: http://uploadvr.com/pantomime-shared-ar/

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