Doctor Strange
VR Comic Experience

LAUNCH PROJECT
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Doctor Strange, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that stars actor Benedict Cumberbatch as master of mystical arts, is bending people’s minds thanks to a new comic book virtual reality experience from a animation studio, AnimaticmediaVR. Fans can explore the comic in 360° on their desktop, tablet , mobile phone or Google cardboard.

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This is an example of how the VR industry is establishing itself as a destination technology. While analysts predict that VR could generate as much as $40 billion by 2020, most of the money right now is going to mobile solutions like Samsung’s Gear VR and companies like AnimaticmediaVR that are providing creative solutions to bring this new technology to the mainstream consumer.

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It was helpful to keep the ever changing environment surrounding one location, as this allowed for a more immersive experience. We found that the water filled environment was extremely render intensive, so we approached the project like a standard 360° video, rendering six different camera views and stitching them together. However we did encounter a bit of artifacting using this solution. Thankfully just before our deadline we discovered a plugin that allowed us to finally export our liquid scenes, seam free along with no artifacting.

AnimaticmediaVR put together a VR comic page that combines music and visual elements of Doctor Strange with original, comicbook artistic imagery. Since the titular Doctor in the film is capable of warping the surface of reality, the parallax effect of the artwork in a 360° space is an ideal way of enabling people to explore a facsimile of his powers first-hand.

Dr Strange is a mind trip of a action film we wanted to create a VR experience that would offer context for who Dr Strange is and the unique place he inhabits in the Marvel Universe by offering a VR comic that offers mind bending visuals.

“There were a few challenges in drawing and rendering this project: handcrafting 2-dimensional artwork and translating it to a 360° environment, pushing the limits of art and technology to make it playable on a desktop, tablet or mobile phone and developing a new way to immerse the viewer into the comicbook medium.”

AnimaticmediaVR, Creative Director
Scott Ownbey

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Speech bubbles float in parallax over the characters and audio effects add to the immersion. The result is something like a cross between a traditional comic and the digital graphic novels that the likes of Marvel and DC have experimented with. The AnimaticmediaVR creative team assembled the project using in-house tools to make sure proportions of characters, environments and objects matched up correctly, and added parallax effects using a 3d javascript to make all the various layers move on the page.

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