×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney’s Latest Research Project Can Turn Scripts Into Virtual Reality

Disney Research has been working on a way to turn natural language scripts into virtual reality (VR) pre-visualizations. While currently focusing on VR story creation, the tool could ultimately be used for traditional filmmaking as well, said Disney Research digital platforms group lead Sasha Schriber during a talk at the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) in San Francisco Monday.

Pre-visualizations, rough draft animations that give directors an idea of how their characters behave in a space, and how changes to the script might affect the scene, are a key step in movie-making. But previs, as it’s also called in the industry, can take time. “This is a very lengthy process,” said Schriber about both previs and storyboarding. “Some animation films take sometimes up to two years to finalize the story.”

Disney Research’s Project Cardinal wants to speed up that process by automatically turning scripts into storyboards and then previs films. “It goes from script to storyboard to animation in real-time,” said Schriber.

Disney Research VR Previz

Project Cardinal’s software can ingest scripts and turn them into simple animations, which can then be manually manipulated by filmmakers. Creatives can also integrate voice recordings on the spot, and then preview scenes directly in VR while wearing a headset, giving a vantage point that’s similar to being on scene with the actors of a movie.

Characters can even be moved around from within a headset, and Disney’s researchers ultimately want to add the ability to do more advanced editing directly in VR as well.

Cardinal is currently being tested with a handful of VR filmmakers, but Schriber readily admitted that there is still a lot of work to be done. For one thing, natural language processing has proven to be challenging. “Each script writer writes in his or her own way,” she said.

That’s why Disney Research has developed a simplified markup language for scripts, and is currently advising writers to streamline their work to make it easier for computers to understand, for example by sticking to the present tense.

However, Schriber said that ultimately, Disney Research was looking to turn Cardinal into a more potent tool, which also includes potentially making it available outside of the world of VR filmmakers. Her group had already shown Cardinal to traditional filmmakers, she said: “They asked us: what about us?”

More Digital

  • JUMP camera

    Google Is Shutting Down Its Jump VR Video Program

    Google will shut down Jump, its cloud-based video stitching service, this summer. The company emailed creators Friday afternoon to tell them that Jump would be shuttered on June 28, and detailed plans for the shut-down on its website as well. In its email, Google justified the closure of Jump with the emergence of new video [...]

  • Relix Live Music Conference

    Relix Live Music Conference Puts Spotlight on Gender Parity, Privacy

    The third annual Relix Live Music Conference took place at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl earlier this week. The two-day confab, which featured panels and Q&As by executives from such companies as Live Nation, Q Prime, SiriusXM, Bowery Presents, Glassnote Music, Shorefire Media and Splice, among many others, offered a fascinating and honest look at the [...]

  • Spotify Tests 'Car Thing' Audio Adapter

    Spotify Starts Testing In-Car Hardware

    Spotify is carefully taking a first step into the consumer hardware space: The company has begun to test a new in-car device that lets users access music and podcasts with voice commands, it revealed in a blog post Friday morning. “Car Thing,” as the device is being called for now, is only being tested in [...]

  • Hannah-Hart-BuzzFeed-Tasty-Edible-History

    BuzzFeed's Tasty Taps Hannah Hart for Food-History Show on Facebook Watch

    YouTube star and food fanatic Hannah Hart is combining her passions for cuisine and history in a new series for BuzzFeed’s Tasty on Facebook Watch. The eight-episode show, “Edible History,” premieres Sunday, May 19, at 8 a.m PT, on BuzzFeed’s Tasty Presents show page on Facebook Watch, with episodes released weekly. In each episode (7-12 [...]

  • YouTube Music

    Songza Co-Founders Have Left YouTube Music Ahead of Google Play Music Shut-Down

    The three co-founders of Songza, a music curation startup acquired by Google in  2014, have left YouTube Music, Variety has learned. Former Songza CEO Elias Roman, former chief product officer Elliott Breece and former chief operating officer Peter Asbill all quietly transitioned to new positions at Google’s startup incubator Area 120 in March. A YouTube [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content