Oculus VR on Monday unveiled a new project at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Oculus Story Studio will produce movies in virtual reality. It presented its first example of the genre on Monday evening — a 4-minute experience called Lost.
Oculus, which was founded in 2012 and quickly raised US$2.4 million via crowdfunding and venture capital, was acquired last year by Facebook for a reported $2.2 billion.
Story Studio currently has about 10 people on its team, including some who previously worked at Pixar Animation Studios and Lucasfilm. At the helm are Creative Director Saschka Unseld and Supervising Technical Director Max Planck, both of whom came from Pixar.
Story Studio reportedly was in the planning stages before Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook. It is dedicated to developing “immersive cinema” that includes real time story-driven VR experiences that let viewers feel as though they’ve stepped inside the story.
Lost, which was directed by Unseld, takes viewers on a journey through a moonlit forest inhabited by an unexpected creature. Developed in the Unreal Engine 4 for Crescent Bay, it combines hand animation with procedural animation, expanding the engine’s cinematic and storytelling toolset.