Collaborating with Artificial Artists

There is a lot of noise and hand-wringing about AI in general right now: it’s going to steal jobs, it’s going to be smarter than us, it’s going to kill us all, etc. There are especially loud discussions around generative AI – neural nets that can transform the style of a given image or turn…

Las Vegas – “Vegas: Alter Your Reality”

In early 2017, Andrew and John Fragomeni joined forces with R&R Partners to bring an ambitious immersive animation project called “Vegas: Alter Your Reality” (VAYR) to life. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) commissioned five world-renowned artists to express their visions of the city in each of their unique styles, to create a traveling art installation where the art is all experienced inside a VR headset. Adhemas Batista (Brazil), Beeple (U.S.), Fafi (France), INSA (U.K.), and Signalnoise (Canada) collaborated directly with a team of designers, animators, and technicians brought together and led by John and Andrew in a creative studio purpose-built to craft these five 360º experiences.

“The Carrier” VR: Coming Soon

Coming Spring 2023 – “The Carrier” is a first-person VR180° experience starring Karolina Wydra and Nicholas Massouh. This immersive short film straps viewers into the POV of a baby whose family is trapped in an apocalyptic traffic jam. Unable to move or speak, the audience must watch in vain as their parents make one potentially…

Disney – “Pandora VR”

Disney released a 360º VR tour of the latest addition to their Animal Kingdom park in Florida: Pandora – The World of Avatar. Andrew and John Fragomeni provided Disney with post-production services on this piece, which included editing, graphics, animation, a CG environment for lead Imagineer Joe Rhode, compositing, and color grading. The final sound mix was provided by John Hendicott at Aurelia Soundworks, a frequent collaborator on many of the 360º projects seen on this site.

USA Today – “VRtually There”

The USA Today Network has officially launched “VRtually There”, the first branded news experience presented in virtual reality (VR). This is a weekly immersive program that offers original segments focused on thrills, epic adventures, and visiting dream destinations. Andrew and Mirada’s VR team had the honor of working closely with the USA Today team to help develop the language and visual style for the program’s graphics and ad units, including the creation of “Cubemercials”, an immersive blend between billboard and 360º video advertising.

USA Network – “Mr. Robot VR”

For Comic Con 2016, Within and Here Be Dragons partnered with Sam Esmail to bring his show Mr. Robot into virtual reality. Andrew supervised post production stitching/cleanup, CG ceiling replacements, and a stylized dream sequence montage for Mirada’s portions of the 13-minute 360º video. The experience was ‘simulcast’ in a specific synchronized time window across Within’s VR apps and at a live event at Comic Con, then shown exclusively at the convention in a recreation of Elliott’s apartment.

GE – “Minds and Machines VR”

Andrew supervised this complex all-CG VR experience for GE’s annual Minds and Machines conference. Designed to give power plant operators a glimpse into the ways that GE’s new Predix industrial internet can improve efficiency, this experience features a first-person dive into what the future of industry will look like.

THE 100% is an Emmy Finalist

we can now announce that THE 100% was selected as a finalist for a Creative Arts Emmy in the “Innovation In Interactive Programming” category!

THE 100% Is a VR Awards 2019 Finalist

It is with extreme pride that we would like to announce that our volutmetric VR experience “THE 100%” has been selected as a finalist for the VR Social Impact Award in the VR Awards 2019!

THE 100% – Leica LiDAR Case Study

Leica has published a great interview / case study of our use of LiDAR capture and point cloud processing software on THE 100%, a volumetric video VR experience that premiered at Tribeca a few weeks ago, where we won the Tribeca X award for “Best VR Experience”.

Andy On The Post Post Podcast:

I had the distinct honor to be interviewed by David Gidali a little while ago, and the result was last week’s episode of The Post Post Podcast! The PPP features interviews with post production artists who have managed to move onwards / upwards from VFX or other parts of post to become writers, directors, producers, and other forms of content creators. Previous episodes have featured Aaron Nee (Masters of the Universe, Minecraft), Tomer Eshed (Dragon Rider), Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander (Next Gen), and – honestly completely randomly – one of my good friends and classmates from film school Ethan Shaftel!

SMPTE Monthly Technology Webcast

Andrew Shulkind and I are going to be on SMPTE’s monthly tech webcast in a few weeks talking about VR, AR, MR, XR, RR… all of the alternatives to reality. We’ll be covering the state of the industry and talking about our feelings on how it’s all going so far, and discussing where and when we see things going next.

Marseille Web Fest 2018:

I’m going to France in less than two weeks to be a judge for the 2018 edition of the Marseille Web Fest, where I will also be doing a fireside chat on VR (and probably other immersive and interactive mediums). This is my first time going to this festival – being asked to judge the web series in competition has been an honor, and watching the entries has been an interesting experience.

Mettle Dives Into Signal Noise’s “Vegas Rising”

Mettle just posted part 3 of a series of behind the scenes interviews with John and I about the “Vegas:Alter Your Reality” project (part 1 here, part 2 here). This time it’s a close-up on our process for bringing Signal Noise‘s vision of Las Vegas to life in “Vegas Rising”. This immersive film features the most artwork directly from its featured artist due to James’ ability to create most of the buildings using his normal weapon of choice: Adobe Illustrator.

Mettle Goes Behind The Scenes of “Vegas: Alter Your Reality”

In the first of three behind-the-scenes articles, Mettle has pulled back the curtain on the work that we did to bring Adhemas Batista’s vision to life for the recent “Vegas: Alter Your Reality” project. This article dives deeper into the ways that we used Mettle’s brand new VR tool MantraVR and the Skybox plugins that Mettle developed which are now part of the core of Adobe’s After Effects and Premiere. Check it out, and stay tuned for articles about our work for Signal Noise and Fafi, coming soon!

NVIDIA Interview About GPU Rendering With Octane

NVIDIA recently asked me to provide some thoughts about our use of Octane in the Vegas: Alter Your Reality 360º animation project, seen in the above-embedded video. This was the largest project I have used GPU rendering on to date, and the amount of refinement that we were able to do due to the insanely fast render times was a luxury that I just simply have never had. GPU rendering has massively changed the speed at which CGI can be generated and iterated, and it is only getting better and faster. Renders that literally took hours a few years ago are now almost realtime, which is allowing experimentation and refinement that was previously just simply too expensive to attempt.

Warner Brothers – “The House – Frank’s Place 360”

Andy worked with frequent collaborator Andrew Shulkind on the edit, stitch cleanup, graphics, and final grade for this behind the scenes 360º look at the main set for Warner Brothers’ comedy “The House“. Featuring audio from the film, each scene shows the progression from total dump to high-end casino that Frank (played by Will Ferrell) performs on his own house. This immersive video was created from a series of spherical HDRI images, and relied extensively on Affinity Photo‘s 360º paint and compositing tools. The final title card was converted into proper spherical perspective using Mettle‘s Skybox, and the edit was completed in Premiere.

FMX 2016 Roundup: 10/10 Would Recommend!

FMX 2016 has come and gone and left us completely jetlagged (but inspired). This is the first time that I have made it to FMX, and after years of hearing great things from those who have gone I can say first-hand that it is a great conference and you should put it on your radar!

Presenting At Unity Vision Summit 2016:

Next week I will be continuing my ‘Virtual and Augmented reality evangelism tour’ by doing a presentation at the Unity Vision Summit 2016. It will be a presentation of a series of case studies on Mirada’s work to add interactivity to 360º video, specifically focusing on how and why we chose Unity to create three of our recent…

VR Adoption Predictions for 2016-2020 And Beyond:

After having multiple conversations about VR monetization, adoption rates, and other ‘gazing into a crystal ball’-type thought exercises recently, I decided to put together my predictions for how VR is going to roll out. The TL;DR is that I think that mobile VR is the only thing that will have any kind of audience for…

Come See Mirada At VRLA’s Winter Expo On Jan 23:

Mirada will be in full force this weekend at VRLA – we’ll be showing The Strain, Google Shop, Michigan, GE, Jump, some new R&D, and we will have a really cool new way to view and interact with 360º video on display. VRLA is the biggest and best VR conference around, If you have not bought a ticket yet,…

The Strain VR and Google Shop VR Win Big At Digital Hollywood:

Animation World Network reports that The Strain VR won “Best VR Based on Cinematic and Television Experience” and the Google Shop at Currys VR Tour was named “Best in Mobile VR” at the recent Digital Hollywood VR awards: Google Shop at Currys VR Tour launched in April 2015 as the first official app for Google Cardboard,…

CES 2016: VR Panel Reviews did a quick write-up of the VR-focused panel that I was on at this year’s CES: While the Harry Potter films were about watching a boy wizard grow up, a VR game of the same concept would have to be about the experience of actually being a wizard, said Andy Cochrane, director of interactive and…

VES Summit 2015: VR Panel Review

Andrew was a member of a panel discussing Virtual Reality and the impact it is already having on the VFX community and entertainment at large at the 2015 VES Summit. The Hollywood Reporter covered the discussion here: The emerging virtual reality arena “could be the saving grace” of Hollywood’s struggling visual effects community, asserted Andrew Cochrane, interactive…

SIGGRAPH 2015: VR Panel Review

This article is a nice review of a panel about VR at SIGGRAPH that Andrew participated in: Beneath the aura of excitement generated this year at SIGGRAPH 2015 by the prevalence of virtual reality, a number of panels drilled into the nuts and bolts of creating VR experiences, including managing the workflow and assets. From…

Review: VRLA Summer Expo 2015

The Robot’s Voice did a great review of their favorite experiences at this summer’s VRLA conference, and we were honored that they chose “The Strain VR” as their top pick: I don’t watch FX series The Strain, on account of not having cable, but I stepped inside the world at VRLA. L.A.-based company Mirada created…

UploadVR Dives Into “The Strain VR”

UploadVR’s Matthew Terndrup had an opportunity to see “The Strain VR“, created by Mirada and Headcase for Comicon 2015, and wrote these thoughts on the experience: I tried out the VR demo recently, and it is an exhilarating ride into the world of FX’s “The Strain.” It begins in an abandoned warehouse with a sense of death…