Felix & Paul Studios can be revealed as the creators of the Introduction to VR 3D 360° virtual reality cinematic experience commissioned by Samsung and Oculus to come bundled with the Samsung Gear VR.

Users of the Samsung Note 4 powered device Gear VR will be transported high above the clouds and land on the summit of Haleakala; join a nomadic Mongolian family in their yurt and take in a satellite’s view of Earth from outer space. All of this as part of a new 360 3D VR production entitled “Introduction to VR” created by pioneering film-makers Felix & Paul. The 2 minute experience aims to provide a taste of what Gear VR owners can expect from virtual reality cinema, which is being heavily targeted by Samsung and Oculus in terms initial content.

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The team used their propriety stereoscopic 360 capture technology on location with some of the CG sequences supplied by Gravity SFX Wizards Framestore. This experience is one of three stereoscopic 360 productions produced by Felix & Paul Studios that will bundled with Gear VR – Strangers with Patrick Watson and Zarkana (the Cirque du Soleil experience).

Strangers with Patrick Watson is a conversion of the short 360 degree movie I saw at the Oculus Loft event during South by Southwest 2014, which was being used to showcase the new (at the time) DK2.

For Zarkana, Felix & Paul Studios directed a special aerial strap performance specially designed for Virtual Reality where the viewer is on stage within the world of Zarkana, created by Cirque du Soleil. The entire production process took three weeks and the title also makes use of positional audio to guide the viewer where to look at key moments.

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Felix and Paul have always been guarded about how their stereoscopic 360 camera recording technology works. All Felix can reveal is:

“Our overall approach (hardware and software) is very different to that of the other players currently in the field. Everything on our camera system was custom designed and built and we do not use existing off-the-shelf cameras like GoPros or RED cameras. Our post-production process was elaborated in harmony with our camera technology and goes totally hand-in-hand with it.”

Felix & Paul Studios are now working on a production with a Hollywood film studio as well as a branded content project. Felix tells me “Both projects allow us to explore live-action VR in a more storytelling-driven perspective than our last projects.” Paul spoke at the Film and Storytelling in VR panel the recent Oculus Connect event where he was joined by John Gaeta (Creative Director, New Media and Experiences @ Lucasfilm) and Kim Libreri (CTO @ Epic Games).

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded RiftVR.com to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • John Pillow

    Really excited about this, Felix & Paul Studios productions look amazing, this could really be the future of cinema (or one of the possible futures). Can you imagine something akin Rabbits by David Lynch in VR? :-) BTW, is there a video of their Panel at Oculus Connect? I haven’t found it yet.

  • Alkapwn

    Have they released any public demos yet? I’m so excited to see their stuff!