Pixar Animation: virtual reality will not change cinema

Pixar Animation: virtual reality will not change cinema

Palmer Luckey Oculus VRPalmer Luckey, Oculus VR founder, recently expressed his doubts about the real interest of Second Life and virtual worlds users regarding virtual reality, but now Edwin Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation, seems to think the same of virtual reality and animation movies.

Virtual worlds are one thing, virtual reality another according to Luckey and the fact that Second Life has been able to involve many creatives and technicasl which have become enthusiastic pioneers of virtual reality does not mean that users of this platform can really be enthusiasts of the VR themselves.

A curiously similar reasoning is now being applied by Ed Catmull (who was also one of the software architect of RenderMan) to the idea, carried out by the same Luckey, that virtual reality can have big implications for the animation movies.

Virtual reality won’t be a revolution in storytelling

According to the Pixar Animation guru, who recently took part in the Dublin Web Summit conference (as the Oculus VR founder and dozens of other speakers, find the list here), virtual reality would be that revolution in storytelling that they would like herevangelists” (as Luckey himself).

Pixar Animation Ed CatmullIn an interview to the Guardian Catmull also stated that his prudence present on the real possibilities of virtual reality does not mean that this technology can not have an outlet for art, but that, for now, the most promising sector seems that of gaming, an art form in itself but this is not the same as a linear narrative like cinema.

Linear narrative is an artfully-directed telling of a story, where the lighting and the sound is all for a very clear purpose. You’re not just wandering around in the world”; people have been talking about virtual reality for 40 years.

There have been experiments around of people trying to do that, and always excited about it, added Pixar Animation president, who think that with Oculus is not much different: “all that the new virtual-reality stuff did was they removed the time-lag, because it was the time-lag that made you feel that you weren’t in the environmen”. A good step forward, but certainly not a revolution in narrative terms.

Changing technolgy doesn’t change the game

Virtual reality cinemaThe fact that you’ve changed the technology, and people are excited about it, doesn’t change the underlying difficulty of the compelling narrative story. Just like books aren’t the same things as movies. They don’t have to be”.

I know there’s talk of it, added Catmull, “but I don’t think it (the ability to tell a story so compelling, ed) is actually based on our way of connecting with each other. Having said that, I think they should keep running the experiments. But the fact that we should run the experiments and the fact that the technology has changed doesn’t mean that it’s going to end up where they (virtual reality evangelists) think it is”.

An important opinion, that comes from Catmull’s long career in the field of computer graphics and animation. If you want to know how it will end as far as virtual reality and its uses, even within the narrative and cinematic, you just have to continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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