By ED OCHS
Framestore VR Studio designed 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them VR experience for the Google Daydream to make the user feel like a wizard with a wand, able to interact with the exotic objects in Newt Scamander’s magical shed – and J.K. Rowling’s fantastical Graphorn, Erumpent and Thunderbird. It marked the first time a handheld controller was used in mobile VR.
“Interaction is key for VR,” writes Framestore Global VR Technical Director Michael Cable in an email response to VFX Voice, “now more than ever with the proliferation of hand controllers available. It would have been very easy to ignore the Daydream’s controller, but that wouldn’t have played to the core of the device’s function. We’re long past the early days of VR where 360-video was good enough.”
It also marked the first time Framestore combined real-time interactive elements with high-quality prerendered environments. New, homegrown techniques allowed embedded real-time game-engine assets inside an environment rendered using an offline renderer. The enhanced interactivity, environments and visuals combined to create a fresh sense of “being there” for the user.