Walt Disney Animation Studios, the group behind animated classics like The Little Mermaid (1989), The Lion King (1994), and newer blockbusters like Moana (2016), is set to debut its first VR short film next month at the SIGGRAPH 2018 conference in Vancouver.

The VR short film, titled Cycles, will be centered around a singular family home and the stories that happen therein, reports Variety. While Disney, a sprawling corporation, has experimented with VR across several divisions—Pixar’s Coco VR experience and Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, to name a few—this will be the first VR short film to come from Walt Disney Animation Studios itself.

Image courtesy Disney

The film will be directed by Jeff Gibson, who has worked as a lightning artist at Disney Animation Studios since 2013. Variety reports that the studio took an experimental storyboarding approach, using motion capture and VR artwork tools like Quill to pre-visualize the film before starting into production proper.

New Procedural Speech Animation From Disney Research Could Make for More Realistic VR Avatars

The film will debut at SIGGRAPH 2018 next month, but there’s no word yet on when it might see a public release.

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  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    My daughter will love this. She has watched the few VR kid animated movies we have dozens of times.

    • Gato Satanista

      Can you recommend some VR shorts?

      • Zachary Scott Dickerson

        Henry (free) on oculus, use Revive. Goblins and Gnomes. The Blu. Coco (sort of). Disney Jungle Book (real short). A bunch of little crappy ones we’ve tried but those are the one she likes the most, all free.

        • Gato Satanista

          Thanks . I got a Rift, so me and my daughter already have watched Henry. Coco too. But the other ones are new for me. If you havent tried yet’, search for Google Spotlight in Steam. They have launched some animated shorts too.

  • Get Schwifty!

    VR films to me are possibly the single best use case for general audience VR… its not games, nor real applications which are too specialized, but the feeling of “being there” in a film brings an intimacy that flat 2-D films lack. Movie theater sized presentations help bring this absorption level out, but VR will deliver it in spades. If you are “in the room” while a conversation between 2 characters takes place it’s so much more engaging. I think over time the inclusion of VR versions of films, even if it’s just the 3d aspect will be the thing to propel VR well into the mainstream and make it a common technology. Sports and other entertainment events are key in this as well, and I am amazed this has taken this long to take off.

    • Gato Satanista

      I think you are right. In some demos with non-gamers, the first question that they asked are: “Can I watch movies with this?” Bur for that, we need better resolution for live action movies. For 3D real-time animation,. I think that the actual generation is ok. But no studio will invest millions of dollars in a full 3D VR movie for now.

  • Mark

    Did it use carmack 5k tech?

  • dk

    this might deserve an article

    • JJ

      OHHHH YEAHHHHHHH i want that 6DOF asap

  • Lucidfeuer

    Well Disney is disappointingly late to the party. It’s only now that they started to publish regular VR shorts?

  • impurekind

    The potential here is just utterly astounding. Dear Angelica was awesome. And then I just recently saw these too: