Limitless, Ltd. today announced a new cloud-based animation toolset that allows rapid prototyping of animated VR content inside a virtual reality world. For the first time ever, anyone working on VR content can intuitively animate characters in real time within the VR world itself – and accomplish this at least 16 times faster than with current animation software. By making VR content faster and easier to create, developers can run more experiments and create more compelling content for VR, including games and films that involve interactive character’s.
The new animation toolset is the first-of-its-kind and does not require professional training. Limitless CEO and Founder Tom Sanocki saw the need for great VR content, but was watching VR directors and animators spend countless hours going back and forth between computer software and the VR environment where the content lives. Putting VR content creation inside the actual VR world eliminates the time-consuming back-and-forth between the computer and the VR environment, and also allows those without professional training to become VR animators on the spot.
According to Sanocki, “We are all animators at heart – we learned at an early age by playing with our toys. We just need to remove the barrier formed by our software so we can all create stories using the inspiration that we already have inside of us.”
“I’ve seen the future of VR animation, and Limitless is getting it right,” said Bobby Beck, CEO/Founder Artella and CEO/Founder Animation Mentor. “They are paving the way in VR animation for both professionals and the masses.”
The animation editing tools in the Limitless Creative VR Environment are strong enough for developers to use for prototyping, yet easy enough for anyone to animate. Using a VR headset and hand controllers in the Limitless Creative VR Environment enables rapid prototyping for newcomers that would otherwise require weeks of intensive professional training. Plus, Limitless has a tutorial character within the VR environment to help walk anyone through the animation process. Film directors, for example, can change the way a character moves, looks or acts instantly in real time.
Professional animator Jon Collins, who has previously worked at Pixar, ILM, Blue Sky, Blizzard, and ToyTalk, currently leads UX and animation as the Creative Director at Limitless. “As a layout tool, this dramatically increases the rate at which sequences can be assembled and iterated on in CG. What would have normally taken me an entire day to do, I can now accomplish in less than an hour,” said Collins.
“It has always frustrated me that although I can visualize motion and timing quickly and easily, the process of replicating these movements in CG with traditional animation software is time consuming and non-intuitive,” Collins added. “With the Limitless Creative VR Environment, both of these restrictions can be overcome in a matter of hours by anyone. By connecting a person’s innate ability to move their own body in beautifully rhythmic ways directly to VR characters in real time, the process of animation becomes much more intuitive and enjoyable.”
The Limitless animation tools can be used with any VR environment and character that has been imported into this part of the Limitless Creative VR Environment platform. In October, the company will be opening the platform and animation tools to a small group of studios and partners to make sure the company is solving the right VR problems while keeping content creation easy.
Sanocki concluded, “Right now the biggest need in VR is good content and that is largely driven by characters. Forming a deep emotional connection with the characters we care about hits the core of mainstream entertainment. Our platform solves the tricky task of creating interactive characters in VR, and now makes it easy for anyone to animate those characters in real time.”