At yesterday’s keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017, Apple revealed the new iMac Pro and updated 27” Retina iMac, both of which are VR-ready, along with a slew of other VR related product updates. John Knoll, chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic, presented a mixed reality Star Wars themed live demo of VR content created on Mac and played on the Vive.
Lauren Ridge, programmer at Epic Games, was backstage to operate the demo (which you can watch in the video heading this article). Standing in a green screen setup to facilitate a mixed reality presentation, Lauren used HTC Vive hardware connected to a new 27-inch Retina iMac to illustrate the performance of Apple’s VR-capable hardware and native VR support in High Sierra, the next major version of macOS.
Using Unreal Engine’s VR Editor, which has allowed developers to create within a VR environment on Windows PC since June 2016, Lauren manipulated some of ILMxLAB’s Star Wars assets around a virtual ‘Planet Mustafar’ environment in real-time using the Vive motion controllers. Thanks to higher-performance Intel Kaby Lake CPUs and AMD Radeon Pro 570, 575 and 580 GPUs, combined with a VR-optimised display pipeline in the Metal 2 graphics API, Apple users can now enjoy this creative technology natively on the Mac.