Dreamworks Offers Glimpse Of 360 Degree 3D VR ‘Super Cinema’ Format Technology
The point of a product like the Oculus Rift is to immerse its user like never before - they're put "into' the action. For gaming, the experience a good VR product offers can be nothing short of spectacular, but truthfully, it's not only games that can benefit from an increased level of immersion. Up to this point, we've seen different VR solutions for film, but for the most part, they've been a way to dominate your entire field-of-vision with video, rather than pit you in a 3D environment. That's something Dreamworks wants to change.
At a recent Samsung conference, Dreamworks unveiled "Super Cinema", a technology that aims to deliver the robust CGI movies that its customers are familiar with in a virtual reality format. That means that Dreamworks would be moving from pre-rendered movies to real-time ones, because just like our video games, the movie has to respond appropriately to where the user is looking.
That might sound simple enough, but consider the fact that Dreamworks demands such a high quality in its films, that rendering a single frame can take more than a day on a given PC. There's simply no way the company could deliver that level of detail in real-time, so it seems likely that what we'll wind up with is a really high-quality real-time movie that uses a traditional game engine that makes good use of anti-aliasing. The challenges go beyond that, though.
One Dreamworks representitive said that while 1080p is the norm for Blu-ray and other HD formats, Super Cinema would need to render the movie at a far higher resolution in order to look good regardless of which direction a viewer is looking. That doesn't just mean increased GPU horsepower, it'll mean far larger movie sizes.
Regardless of the PC that might be required to run a high-quality real-time movie, I'm personally excited to see what Dreamworks' efforts end up looking like. Given all of the additional effort required to make such a film, though, I'd suspect that we'd see record-high release prices once such movies hit the shelves.