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VR Digest: Disney artist’s inspiring video;
Morpheus becomes PlayStation VR

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 33 – September 16, 2015

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Disney artist’s inspiring video

Former Disney artist Glen Keane animated characters like Ariel and Beast for the company’s iconic films. A must-watch 5-minute video about Keane explores the meaning of creativity as he paints the characters in 3D space using Google’s Tilt Brush on the HTC Vive.

Coincidentally, NVIDIA sponsored a contest for artwork made with Tilt Brush at Pax Prime 2015 and are asking Facebook users to vote for the winner. There are short videos depicting several of the creations, including Psychedelic Beasty, Space Dragon and Parakeets. Voters will be entered into a drawing for a GTX 980ti.
 

Project Morpheus becomes PlayStation VR

Forget the ancient Greek god of dreams and Laurence Fishburne’s character from The Matrix, because “Playstation VR” is the official name of Sony’s PS4-powered VR headset. A press release from Sony confirms the headset will feature a 5.7 inch OLED display with 1920x1080 resolution (960x1080 per eye), with a field of view of “approximately 100 degrees”. Also announced was Final Fantasy XIV for the Playstation VR.
 

Bits

After sharing a virtual space with someone else in an Oculus Touch demo, the co-founder of Tested.com, Will Smith (not to be confused with the actor), is leaving the popular technology site to start a VR company.

“I can’t stop thinking about the potential of VR as a communication medium. To that end, I’m starting a company to test out some different ways to communicate in VR,” Smith wrote.

An app for next week’s Oculus Connect 2 conference has been released and can be downloaded here.

Epic released for free thousands of art and audio assets from its Infinity Blade mobile series for use with the Unreal engine. Since the assets are optimized for mobile, they should work well for resource-constrained VR projects. Epic says it cost $3 million to develop them.

You can now refer to a couple VR apps as “Emmy award-winning”, with a promotional experience for the “Sleepy Hollow” television show on Fox and an experience built for a Taylor Swift music video winning trophies.

Research published in Scientific Reports gave people avatars either resembling themselves or Sigmund Freud. A participant was asked to describe a personal problem in VR to Freud and then switch sides to give counseling to themselves.  

“When the counsellor resembles Freud participants improve their mood, compared to the counsellor being a self-representation.”

One of the researchers, Mel Slater, talks in depth about the research on his blog and there’s also a 2-minute video outlining the experiment.

Brad Herman of Dreamworks went hands-on with an ultra-high resolution head-mounted display from Canon, though it had no positional tracking. Alan Yates, creator of Valve’s Lighthouse laser tracking, tweeted to Canon “we need to talk.”

Flickr is testing out adding support for headsets for viewing panoramic photos.

AMD is forming a new Radeon Technologies Group in an attempt to take a leading position in virtual reality and augmented reality.

Marriott is experimenting with a service at a couple of its properties that will deliver a Gear VR headset to your hotel room for up to 24 hours.

Social VR platform Altspace will support both the Vive and Gear VR. With support for traditional 2D monitors already included, even if you don’t have a head-mounted display you can try socializing with others using the software on a PC right now.

Experimental VR movie ManSlaughter is available in MilkVR on the Gear VR, though you should make sure you have the latest 1.36 version of the app installed. The film features unique staging that breaks the action into four quadrants surrounding you, each representing a different part of the story, but all playing simultaneously. Head tracking is used to bring up the relevant audio when you look at a particular quadrant.

Released on Oculus Share on Sept. 11, six developers “working on a school project” made a stomach-churning VR simulation that puts a user in the shoes of a doomed office worker in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. As you can see from the comments, the re-creation has generated quite a bit of controversy.
 

Virtual Reality Digest is a VR Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Wednesdays.
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