The Possibilities of Virtual Reality in Kung Fu Panda Animated Movie
Virtual reality is already set to change the movie and music industry and the entertainment industry in general. So much potential has been seen in this technology and the ramifications are quite significant. With animated movies however, the thought of virtual reality seems all the more appealing and DreamWorks is one of the few studios who is taking steps to adopting the technology.
Kung Fu Panda Meets Virtual Reality
The popular title, Kung Fu Panda is one of many animated movies that is set to get a virtual reality upgrade and expectations are high. According to Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director of Kung Fu Panda “There is no legacy of expectations,” This is what she believes about the potential of virtual reality at the FMX animation confab in Stuttgart. She is looking at virtual reality as the extra push in the creativity of animation and visual effects that will usher in new experiences.
According to Nelson, DreamWorks animation have been test running virtual reality with various titles including Kung Fu Panda. “People talk about spending more time with [the characters]. What better way than to interact with them [in VR]?” she said. “The great thing about computer animation is that all of those environments exist as three-dimensional worlds, so these VR worlds already exist.”
In addition to virtual reality, various other film making tools were talked about during the panel and in attendance were Steve Martino, director of The Peanuts Movie and Kevin Margo, director that works with Blur Studio. “Technology is our paintbrush,” Martino said. “I don’t know the details at the coding level, but I’m paying attention to if there’s another paintbrush that I bring to my next film. I think what’s exciting in animation is that we are looking stylistically at different ways to create a movie.”
The Panel and The Experts in Attendance
Others in attendance also concurred with Martino saying “The palette has become broader, which I love….and understanding the technology also makes you more efficient.” The evolution of making movies is continuous and dynamic and only those who can move with the flow will continue to reap from all of the advancements that technology brings to the process.
Nelson was applauded during the session when she answered a question about gender issues and what it was like being a woman director. She simply said “I don’t know because I’ve never been a man.”
“I walk into a room and people see me as a director, not a woman,” she added. “If the environment is such, then you are there because you can do the job. Everyone brings something unique to the table. The more it becomes not a ‘thing,’ the better.”
“I’m a hard-core geek, I like action. It’s not typical but it’s a passion,” she added, telling the women in the audience, “Just forget about [gender]. Do what you want to do. Just be useful [in making successful movies] and you’ll be fine.”
Fingers crossed and we wait patiently for what virtual reality can do to the already amazing animated movies and we see how much more it can be enjoyed.