Digital production agency, Figment Productions has been nominated for two awards at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival.

Figment’s production Kinch and the Double World has been nominated for ‘Best British Experience’ and ‘Best Cinematic VR Experience’ at the Raindance Film Festival, which will be held in September.

The VR experience will have its world premier in London at the 26th Annual Raindance Film Festival’s Gallery of Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds. The experience will be shown in the OXO Tower, on London’s Southbank.

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The film was shortlisted from over 400 applicants for the VR Theatre at the 2018 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Conference in Vancouver earlier this month.

Kinch and the Double World tells of a young street urchin named Kinch in Victorian London. He steals a loaf of bread and is pursued by a policeman. Taking refuge in an old Vaudeville theatre, he meets a magician who saves him from the attentions of the police by transporting him to a parallel universe where magic is real.

Viewers will wear the Oculus Go to watch the story

A testbed for new techniques

The film was created as a testbed for new cinematic VR production techniques such as the use of lightfields.Figment Productions Logo

The 360 film elements were captured using a mix of camera rigs including Google Jump and Nokia OZO. They were filmed across four Victorian-period locations in the UK.

The final piece features a mixture of 360 video filmed on location with live actors, CGI environments and visual effects, lightfield shots, LIDAR scanned environments and real-time interactive elements..

Simon Reveley, CEO of Figment, said: “Kinch and the Double World is an original cinematic VR experience but it has an unusual origin story of its own. Its primary purpose was to be the test case for a government funded research project called ‘ALIVE’. With government funding from Innovate UK we worked with technology partners (Foundry and the University of Surrey) whose tasks were to develop the core tech and the toolchain that would facilitate next generation production techniques particularly around 360 video and lightfields.”

“Innovating with new forms of media”

Reveley continued: “Our role was to generate the real-world demands of an actual production rather than just a series of test scenarios so we decided to create the VR equivalent of a short film. Several members of the Figment team pitched in ideas and we selected the one which both excited us most and provided the right range of production scenarios for the objectives of the ALIVE project. Our production team worked on Kinch the same way they would on a commercial project and that allowed us to place plenty of unreasonable demands on our technology partners!

“The UK creative industries are incredibly active in developing immersive entertainment: VR, AR, MR and 360. There’s a really strong culture here around innovating with new forms of media and that’s what the ALIVE project was all about. It was an honour to work as the production partner alongside Foundry and the University of Surrey.”

In June, Figment Productions revealed their next generation location based VR (LBVR) experience, codenamed Project Helix.

Project Helix is a multi-user, tactile, free-roaming VR experience which includes interactive props and environments.  High quality content and realistic looking avatars takes free-roaming VR to the next level and beyond from the current trend for gun-focused shooting games.

Raindance Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds is taking place during October 4th – 7th.

Images and video courtesy Figment Productions