Marvel/Samsung 'Battle for Avengers Tower'
Framestore’s VR Studio once again teamed up with 72andSunny, Samsung and Marvel for another groundbreaking Virtual Reality experience.
How do you use a VR headset to become an Avenger? How can you find yourself in the centre of an intense battle, involving some of the most iconic characters of all time? And how do you make a truly immersive filmic experience come to life on a smartphone?
Framestore was presented with the challenge of providing a unique movie tie-in for The Avengers: Age of Ultron with the launch of the Samsung S6 (with corresponding GearVR).
Framestore is used to dealing with cinema quality rendering, but trying to combine that and a VR experience on a phone presented some unique challenges. How could we combine the feeling of being Iron Man with the experience of being in Avenger’s Tower during an Ultron attack?
The solution was to play them sequentially – the first part being the interactive experience of being Iron Man – you’re able to *be* Iron Man (or at least appear to be wearing the suit) and get to watch out of the HUD as you can scan the area around you, look at the HUD react to your movements, actually glimpse a reflection of yourself in the window, and use the HUD to scan objects in the surrounding area.
Then all hell breaks loose as Ultron and his Sub-Ultrons attack. The experience switches to a ride on rails as your viewpoint is transported through the ensuing battle scene, all in glorious slow motion.
"It was important to give each character enough screen time and action for us to inhabit their world, but then use something else to make the viewer change their gaze to a different hero" explained director Andrew Daffy. "We found flying weapons and rocket trails really helped with this."
You are slowly taken down through the battle, through explosions and attacking Sub-Ultrons as you fly by Thor throwing his hammer, Captain America battling three Sub-Ultrons (as Thor’s hammer eliminates another), and past the Hulk as he simultaneously breaks Tony Stark’s pool table and rips an assailant in half. You travel along as the smoke clears, the missiles tracking in, and finally some covering Sub-Ultrons are cleared away to reveal Ultron himself.
Working closely with the great creative team at 72andSunny, and Samsung and Marvel respectively, we were able to unleash the full Framestore beast on this project to create a fully immersive, interactive, feature film-quality VR experience with true binaural sound. "We wanted to create something that felt exciting, intimate, funny and awe-inspiring. The experience enables people to truly feel part of an Avengers scale event, and for me it takes 'immersive' to a completely new level" Daffy summed up.
Check it out now on the GearVR Store and YouTube, and take a look at the media coverage on AdAge and Wired.