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My Neighbor Totoro In Virtual Reality 45

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-viewmaster dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nick Pitton, the developer behind the Spirited Away Boiler Room VR experience, has released his second project: the bus stop scene from Studio Ghibli's famous movie My Neighbor Totoro, once again in virtual reality for the Oculus Rift. Pittom 'hand-painted' the textures in Photoshop to recreated the painted-background feel of the movie. For the characters (Totoro and the Catbus) he used a cel-shaded approached to approximate the animated look from the movie. For his next project, he plans to recreate the ship and characters from the acclaimed anime Cowboy Bebop."
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My Neighbor Totoro In Virtual Reality

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  • I don't have a OR, I don't think he's put the files out for you to play it on your OR.

    And facebook owns OR now, so that sort of puts a damper on potential buying.

    Still, stuff like this seems pretty damn cool.

    • It does suck that FB bought OR. In principle I have nothing against buying a VR headset from them, same as buying a mouse from "evil" Microsoft, as long as it's just hardware. Problem is: FB, unlike MS, is a company founded on a business model of gathering and whoring out our personal data, and serving us ads. Not a big fan of that. FB may be trying to diversify their business a bit with projects like the OR, which is good, but they may also see it as something to augment their existing business model.
      • by Immerman (2627577)

        After wrestling with some angst I'm inclined to agree. Hopefully Facebook sees a way to create VR social spaces or something, and just want to make sure the hardware is ready to hit the ground running - network effects benefit dramatically from the capability for mass adoption if something "goes viral", and FB is all about network effects. It seems like a social focus might add some other interesting features as well - for example if they stick with the head-tracking camera I could easily see adding limit

    • by Ultra64 (318705)

      "I don't think he's put the files out for you to play it on your OR."

      You're joking right? The download links are right there in the summary.

  • by Dan Askme (2895283) on Monday June 02, 2014 @03:20AM (#47145229)

    I couldn't help but notice:
    - Input delay for head tracking (most probably due to Unity)
    - Head tracking doesnt seem to match where he wants to look
    - He's having to "flick" his head many times to "fix" the headtracking.

    Back to basics and coding is whats needed here.

    • by fuzzywig (208937)
      The new version is supposed to be much better at head tracking, as it's also using an external camera to track the position and orientation of the head-set. Plus, watching that video, I'm not sure if the video of his face is properly synced to the 3D view.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The lag is to blame on the video recording.

      The demo itself, just as the earlier Spirited Away VR demo, is very responsive.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      This is how OR works. They have not solved any of the major problems with head tracking or lag. I was lucky and sold my OR for only a little less than what I paid for it on ebay.

      It's the dirty secret of the OR.. it is not much better than the stuff from a decade ago. If you ever played Dactyl the first VR video game, that is exactly how OR works, sluggish, slow, and not accurate. Sadly they try like hell to hide the fact from everyone that it's really 10 years off before it will be ready for consumer

      • by Ultra64 (318705)

        >They have not solved any of the major problems with head tracking or lag.

        Yes, they have. You can preorder the new version now.

        >that is exactly how OR works, sluggish, slow, and not accurate

        I have the first devkit and this is complete bullshit.

  • OR IP is more than likely being stripped apart by patent lawyers to ensure that none of the other up and coming VR competitors make it off of the starting block, Its a damn shame but that sort of thing could ultimately be the end of VR or at least set it back by years (we have already waited far too long). I really hope Facebook don't get in the way of what could be a long sought after technology in favour of a fast lame advertising return on a half baked product but I wont hold my breath.
  • by Brulath (2765381) on Monday June 02, 2014 @05:33AM (#47145445)

    So it seems the Rift movies are in phase one still, where they experiment with replicating 2D movies in a 3D environment, and the result is about as boring as you'd expect. A bit like movie -> game (or vice-versa) conversions, you've really got to transform the work to fit the medium copying the scene verbatim with directionless self-insertion into the scene is pretty dull.

    Based on my few minutes of thinking about it, I'm inclined to believe that the only way Rift "movies" will work is either as games or as replications of a play, where the user is stationary but can look around a scene in front of them from their vantage point. If you can't control at least part of the user's vision you're going to have a difficult time making a good movie – they could be looking in completely the wrong direction when something interesting happens, even with audio cues indicating where to look. A play allows the audience member to look around, but only in one major direction, which seems like it would fit the Rift pretty well. I guess this could include virtual concerts too; might even be able to do them in real-time with a good camera setup.

    • VR could be great for movies with a lot of nice scenery, to increase immersion. Even if you create the movie in such a way that all the action happens in front of the viewer (perhaps with cues prompting the viewer to look forward when something happens), while still allowing him to look everywhere else and take in the scenery. For movies where most scenery is computer-generated, it shouldn't even be too expensive to produce such a VR version of the movie along with the regular release.
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Have you ever watched a movie on a dome screen? Where the screen is a half-sphere (or more) allowing you to look around the scene? They tend to be more of an "experience driven" theme than "plot driven" (ever stood on the wing of an aircraft flying through the grand canyon? flown along with a flock of geese? swum through a prehistoric ocean?), but there's still a strong tendency to look forward, it's jut the most comfortable position for your head. The main benefits are the ability to occasionally follo

  • by Jordan1519 (3667517) on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:26AM (#47146991)
    These scenes are pretty awesome, especially for anime fans. My girlfriend was a little apprehensive about trying out the rift, til I showed her the Boiler Room scene. I intend to let her see this one too, but I may wait for my dk2 to come in. The drift from the dk1 caused a fair bit of motion sickness for her after only a few minutes, and I don’t want to turn her off from VR completely. I know she’s a huge fan of Cowboy Bebop, so I suspect she’ll enjoy seeing that too.
  • A VR Faye Valentine, looks like there's an OR purchase in my future!

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