Today it’s been announced that Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, and OTOY are collaborating to recreate the iconic Batcave from Batman: The Animated Series in virtual reality for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. OTOY is providing what they call “holographic video” technology to render the scene in a way that’s true to the Batcave of the classic 90’s show.
Batman: The Animated Series is a multiple Emmy Award winning show that aired from 1992 to 1995 and has been praised for defining the look and feel of Batman throughout the 90s.
The VR Batcave, which is due out this winter, will be an “interactive narrative experience [which] will give fans the opportunity to explore Batman’s world like never before, allowing them to feel what it is like to be inside the show’s stylized universe…” wrote the companies in a press release today. Sadly, it doesn’t sound as though fans will actually be able to watch the show within the VR Batcave experience.
On a positive note, Bruce Timm, producer of Batman: The Animated Series, is involved in the project. Timm is “guiding the meticulous adaptation of the original 1992 designs into a fully realized universe with volume and depth,” according to the release.
OTOY is a visual effects company known for their Octane Render software which they claim is “the world’s fastest unbiased photorealistic renderer.” They’re bring the scene to life using what they call “holographic video” technology which enables light-field rendering of a volume of space. The data contained within that volume can be viewed from any angle, with accurate lightning that’s claimed to be as accurate as ray-tracing. Normally such lightning (in real-time) requires massive rendering power, far beyond that of even a high-powered gaming rig, but OTOY’s approach can be run on commodity hardware, allowing the VR Batcave experience to run on the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
And while a stylized scene like this doesn’t quite benefit from ray-tracing-like lightning as much as a realistic scene would, early screenshots released from the experience do show a rather gorgeous take on the Batcave: