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Baobab Studios looks to bring Pixar-style animation to VRSenior editor Lexy Savvides visits a Silicon Valley startup for a behind-the-scenes look at how it made its first animated virtual reality film, "Invasion."
Imagine watching the next Pixar film in virtual reality. You can get a taste of what that might be like with Invasion, a short VR animation by Baobab Studios. It's available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or the Samsung Gear VR. I sat down with CEO Maureen Fan and Eric Darnell, director of animated movies like Ants and the Madagascar series to see what it takes to make a virtual reality shorts. Instead of looking at a rectangular screen in a dark theatre, you're now actually in that world. So what is it like to be Under water in Finding Nemo you're actually there. And you're participating in the story in the case of invasion because you are a character. Eric, can you show me anything specifically that you used visually in order to direct the viewers attention one way or another.>>Absolutely. So here you see this bunny is coming out of the rocks Well first, she has to escape from this hawk that's gone looking for lunch. But once the hawk takes off, the bunny comes down and we hear her sound. That pulls your eye over there hopefully. And the bunny spots you and looks you right in the eye. Now, she looks off screen. And that invites us to see what she's seeing. What is she looking at? And So everybody wants to see what the bunny sees. And the sound too of the little ships breaking the sound barrier. Also gives it this cue. And beyond spacileze. So you know that that sound of the ship is coming from right over there behind those trees. In [UNKNOWN] computer graphics. Animators look at character movements then they put on a VR headset and watch the animation in real time to see what it looks like in 3D. And so once we sort of have that as we like that, we sort of pass. Pass it over to the lighting team, who begins putting all the finishing touches on everything. Google Spotlight Stories and the Ocular Story studio from Facebook are also working on animated films for VR headsets. For us, especially for real time devices, like the more advanced headsets. We can change things on the fly so we can react to what a viewer does and have a character move in space in a way that is different for the next viewer. What's the most exciting or the most thrilling part about working in VOFF There was one guy who said I looked back and I saw the bunny hiding behind me and I wanted to then see what the aliens were doing so I turned to look at the aliens and I know I was just standing in your office but. I could still feel the bunny's presence behind me almost like I could feel her breath on the back of my neck. It as probably the air conditioning blowing or something. I don't know. But that's some of the reptile brain stuff that VR can really dig deep and get to those places of your brain that I think other mediums can't. Because it does feel So much like you're really there. [MUSIC] [SOUND]