FX Networks wanted to leave its mark on San Diego Comic Con 2015. In a convention environment where entertainment networks are fighting for attention, FX chose Digital Kitchen, who to create a truly immersive virtual reality experience. Exhibited at Comic Con in a custom built "VR Warehouse" The VR short film was paired with an array of haptic features. Air Cannons and Vibration Motors sent physical impulses to the viewers based on events in the film. Lines for the experience were over an hour long, and a whole time of FX ambassadors were recruited to usher guests in and out of the experience. VIPs came through, including cast members of The Strain, and legendary director Guillermo Del Toro, who had nothing but excitement for the end product.
A handful of systems, both hardware and software, work together to make the experience. The film itself was shot by Mirada, using a custom spherical cinema camera rig. That footage was stitched together, and developed to play on Samsung Gear VR (powered by Oculus). Since the Gear VR is powered by an Android mobile device, we rigged 6 of these VR systems to play in sync from one central command center. The command center was powered by Max MSP and Vezér. Vezér, which is a customizable timeline composer, allowed us to sync events to the film. We could send these commands to a multitude of endpoints, including bluetooth modules to trigger the phones, Arduino to control our air cannons, and the ButtKickers to control seat vibration.
R&D / Software Development
Camm Rowland, creative director
Corey Paganucci, creative tech
Blake Nickle, producer