Disney to Debut First Virtual Reality Short Film, Cycles

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Disney to Debut First Virtual Reality Short Film, Cycles

Next month, Disney will debut its first foray into virtual reality filmmaking with Cycles, a short film directed by Disney Animation lighting designer Jeff Gipson.

As reported by Variety, Walt Disney Animation Studios will be the first major filmmaking company to use VR to supplement its projects. The film combines Quill VR painting and motion capture techniques to imagine the films early on before painters and artists create 3D character models for the VR landscape.

Gibson has worked on a number of hyper-successful projects for Disney, including Frozen,Moana and Zootopia. He describes the use of VR in the short film as an effort to help audiences deeply connect with the themes conveyed in Cycles. Inspired by Gibson’s upbringing in his grandparents’ home—and his subsequent responsibility to help them move into an assisted living home— the film explores ideas of how we define where we call “home.”

“We wanted to create a story in this single place and be able to have the viewer witness life happening around them,” explained Gipson in a statement. “It is an emotionally driven film, expressing the real ups and downs, the happy and sad moments in life.”

Cycles will premiere at the VR and augmented reality-dedicated SIGGRAPH 2018 conference, which runs from Aug. 12-16 in Vancouver.