A "Star Wars" virtual-reality experience? Shut up and take my credits!
While most "Star Wars" fans out there are anxiously awaiting the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the folks at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) are working on something even more awesome. The company announced on Friday the creation of the ILM Experience Lab, or ILMxLab for short, which is a partnership between ILM, Skywalker Sound and Lucasfilm that will work on virtual- and augmented-reality content for major movie franchises.
"What we're aiming for is to open the two-dimensional world of the movies and allow fans to walk into those worlds with the same visual fidelity," ILMxLab's creative director told USA Today.
The purpose of ILMxLab is to create immersive experiences that allow fans to more meaningfully interact with their favorite movie worlds, and the company's first project is all about "Star Wars." The company released a video on Friday showing off some of its work on the "Star Wars" experience thus far, and it has me all kinds of excited for what's to come.
In the clip, we see a sensor-equipped iPad being used to navigate a few scenes on Tatooine with R2-D2, C-3PO and a Stormtrooper, with the users manipulating lighting and other effects of the scene in real time. Several people in the clip are also wearing Oculus Rift-type VR headsets, with footage of how we might use virtual reality to explore the "Star Wars" universe.
Like, you know, flying an X-wing through the skies using nothing but head movement to maneuver around with your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset. If that isn't awesome, I don't know what is.
The first immersive "Star Wars" experiences are planned for release later this year, likely alongside the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which is set to land in theaters in Australia on December 17, followed by the US and the UK on December 18.
Be sure to stay tuned to the ILM YouTube channel for more information on what's to come with the ILMxLab in the coming months.