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Google Nominates Top AR/VR Apps for 2017 Play Awards

This year’s 2017 Google Play Awards include new categories for top VR and AR apps, to which Google has nominated five apps each. The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 18th at 6:30PM PT during Google I/O, the company’s annual developer festival. Ever since the reveal of Google Daydream at last year’s I/O event, and the launch of the first Daydream phone and headset late last year, Google has been making a big push for VR on Android. Among 12 categories, the company had added two new ‘Best Experience’ categories for AR and VR to the Google Play Awards 2017. Nominees were selected much like last year by cross-functional teams throughout Google who work hand-in-hand with the relevant…

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Shot on Lytro’s Light-field Camera, ‘Hallelujah’ Is a Stunning Mix of Volumetric Film and Audio

Hallelujah is a new experience by VR film studio Within that’s captured using Lytro’s latest Immerge light-field camera which captures volumetric footage that makes for a much more immersive experience than traditional 360 video. Hallelujah is a performance of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song of the same name, and mixes the latest in VR film capture technology with superb spatial audio to form a stunning experience. Photo courtesy Lytro Lytro’s Immerge camera is unlike any 360 camera you’ve seen before. Instead of shooting individual ‘flat’ frames, the Immerge camera has a huge array of cameras which gather many views of the same scene, data which is crunched by special software to recreate the actual shape of the environment around the camera. The…

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Oculus Teases Unreleased ‘Quill’ Animation Tools

Oculus Story Studio Art Director Goro Fujita has teased an unreleased build of the Quill VR paint app with experimental animation features. Released earlier this year, Quill allows users to create still 3D drawings in VR. Using the new animation tools Fujita shows what the app’s animation tools can do. Update (4/22/17, 12:37PM PT): Oculus has reached out to clarify that artist Goro Fujita is actually Art Director at Oculus Story Studio. The original version of this article (now updated) stated that Fujita was still with his former employer, Dreamworks Animation. Original Article (4/21/17): Oculus Story Studio, the company’s VR film division, built Quill initially as an internal tool for creating the VR film Dear Angelica. The film surrounds viewers in a hand-painted world…

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Oculus ‘Medium’ 1.1 Update Brings Major Improvements

On April 12th, Oculus Medium received the 1.1 ‘Large’ update, which added several highly-requested features, including the ability to import reference images. Medium is Oculus’ flagship creative tool for the Touch motion controllers, recognised for its intuitive sculpting and modelling features. Debuted at Oculus Connect 2 in September 2015, and bundled free with Oculus Touch controllers at the hardware launch in December 2016, Medium achieved its goal of delivering an accessible 3D modelling tool for the masses by emulating real-world clay sculpting, being more intuitive and approachable than professional software like ZBrush. But Medium also appealed to the pros, keen to integrate the tool with their workflow, resulting in a long list of feature requests. (function(d, s, id) { var…

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Watch the First 10 Minutes of ‘Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality’

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality (2017) is finally here, launching today on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. And yes, it’s all the wonderful weirdness of the show mixed in with some seriously fun object interaction courtesy of the game’s spiritual predecessor, Job Simulator (2016). Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality was created by Owlchemy Labs and Adult Swim Games. Voiced by show creator Justin Roiland, the VR game is everything Rick and Morty fans need to calm their nerves before the rest of season 3 comes out later this summer. *insert ‘blaze 4/20’ joke here* If you’re looking for an extended look at the game or more information, check out our full review here to find out why we gave it a 9/10. The…

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Facebook is Researching Brain-Computer Interfaces, “Just the Kind of Interface AR Needs”

Regina Dugan, VP of Engineering at Facebook’s Building 8 skunkworks and former head of DARPA, took the stage today at F8, the company’s annual developer conference, to highlight some of the research into brain-computer interfaces going on at the world’s most far-reaching social network. While it’s still early days, Facebook wants to start solving some of the AR input problem today by using tech that will essentially read your mind. 6 months in the making, Facebook has assembled a team of more than 60 scientists, engineers and system integrators specialized in machine learning methods for decoding speech and language, in optical neuroimaging systems, and “the most advanced neural prosthesis in the world,” all in effort to crack the question: How do people…

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Vive Users Can Join Rift Friends in ‘Facebook Spaces’ With Revive Hack

It appears that Revive is already compatible with the Facebook’s new social VR app, Facebook Spaces. Revive is a popular free hack that allows Oculus content to be played on HTC Vive system. Launched today at Facebook’s F8 opening conference, the social network’s first social VR app is available on the Early Access section of the Oculus Store. While the interface is clearly intended for Oculus Touch controllers, it is possible to launch and operate the app with an HTC Vive headset and its motion controllers. Facebook Spaces allows you to connect with friends inside and outside of VR with Messenger video calling, draw freeform objects in 3D, share media together, and more. Check out some of these features in…

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‘Alien’, ‘Blade Runner’ Director Ridley Scott Launches VR Film Division

Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), the film production company of famed director Ridley Scott, is launching RSA VR, a new division dedicated to the production of high-end immersive films using VR, AR, and mixed reality. Scott and co. is known for work on acclaimed films such as Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), and more throughout his career as a director now going on 40 years. RSA today announced the launch of RSA VR, a formalization and expansion of RSA’s recent work in VR space which has included the production of The Martian VR Experience (2016) and a forthcoming Alien: Covenant experience. In a prepared release, the studio calls RSA VR, “a new division dedicated exclusively to the…

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Studio Behind ‘Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission’ Working on “Something awesome in Battlefront II”

Criterion Games, the EA studio that developed the PSVR-exclusive Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: VR Mission, could be working on new VR experiences for the upcoming Battlefront II. EA today announced Star Wars Battlefront II, a followup to 2015’s Star Wars Battlefront reboot. The game’s reveal trailer suggests a full single-player campaign this time around, as well as the large scale multiplayer action that the franchise is known for, this time spanning many Star Wars eras: In December, EA launched the PSVR-exclusive Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: VR Mission, a free DLC add-on to the game which brought a short but polished demo that would be the first taste of VR to be released by EA. Developed by child-studio Criterion Games,…

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‘Starfigher Inc.’ Kickstarter successful, hitting stretch goals with 21 hours remaining

Impeller Studios’ crowdfunding goal of $150,000 was reached with around 40 hours to go, meaning the Starfighter Inc. project has the resources to complete in a timely manner. Stretch goals are now being hit, starting with new pilot and ship skins. Update (4/14/17, 5:04PM): At one stage it looked like it could be another close call, but pledges accelerated over the last few days, hitting the $150,000 target comfortably with about 40 hours to go. Lead Designer David Wessman posted his appreciation, saying “We made it thanks to the amazing support of over 2700 backers! From everyone at Impeller Studios, know that we are extremely happy and very, very grateful! We can’t wait to deliver the game to you, and…