More life-like sea creatures are emerging from the depths of Dr. Llyrd ap Cenydd’s Ocean Rift, the underwater VR experience that’s soon to appear on Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
Dr. Llyr ap Cenydd, developer of Ocean Rift, generated the uncanny sea life within the underwater environment by using a real-time animation technique called procedural animation, which uses a combination of biomimetic skeleton, giving the animals a ‘virtual backbone’ as well as a number of supporting structures like flippers and realistic eyes—a move to avoid the more clunky pre-rendered animations that could potentially break the spell of immersion.
Ocean Rift also incorporates an AI behavioral system that allows for “the virtual creatures [to] essentially animate by moving their own muscles.” By giving the VR animals self-determined movement and a hierarchy of goals, like where to find food (in the shark’s case, that means you!) Ocean Rift really ups the ante on realism.
And what exactly lurks beneath the deep? Besides sea snakes, orcas, and blood-thirsty sharks, the updated experience also showcases a variety of prehistoric reptiles like pliosaurs and mosasaurs, that are more than happy to disembowel you just the same.
Ocean Rift for Gear VR will soon be available via the Oculus Store. If you’ve never heard of Ocean Rift and don’t have a Gear VR yet, you can always dip your pinky toes in first with the DK1/DK2 version via Oculus Share.