First virtual reality short film ‘Cycles’ to debut next month

CyclesWalt Disney Animation is debuting its first VR short film called as Cycles in August at the SIGGARPH 2018, a conference dedicated to VR, augmented reality, and mixed reality, held in Vancouver. Walt Disney Animation has released some extraordinary content through short films such as The Blue Umbrella, La Luna, and John Henry. Cycles will be directed by Walt Disney Animation lighting artist Jeff Gipson and will employ VR technology in the studio’s first experiment with the tech. The inspiration for Cycles comes from Gipson’s personal memories of his grandparent’s home where he spent his time and created some lasting memories before moving them to an assisted living. The short film speaks about the true meaning of creating a home and the life it contains. Gipson had joined Walt Disney Animation’s animation team in 2013 and have worked on films such as Zootopia, Frozen, and Moana as a lighting artist. When working on the VR film, Gipson and his team have used a mix of Quill VR painting techniques and motion capture to pre-visualize the film instead of storyboarding followed by painters and artists generating the 3D models of characters and draw scenes. Cycles was completed in four months in association with 50 other collaborators. Gipson adds in a statement, “VR is an amazing technology and a lot of times the technology is what is really celebrated. We hope more and more people begin to see the emotional weight of VR films, and with Cycles in particular, we hope they will feel the emotions we aimed to convey with our story.”