Since its launch Magic Leap has always been in the limelight for its unique AR experiences. To take it one step further, Magic Leap has announced a tie-up with motion capture actor Andy Serkis and his UK-based The Imaginarium Studios.
Andy Serkis and his Imaginarium Studios are best known for innovative motion capture and performance capture roles such as Gollum, King Kong, Caesar, Captain Haddock and Supreme Leader Snoke. Magic Leap and Serkis’ The Imaginarium plan to create additional content for the Magic Leap platform, and support third-party developers with its production resources, including the motion capture stage at its London studio.
Matthew Brown, CEO of The Imaginarium Studios, quotes, “In using performance capture, we have the opportunity to authentically portray the intent of the actor. With Magic Leap’s technology, that performance is pulled off the screen and into the world of the viewer. This is storytelling as it should be: immersive, personal, and integrated into our world.”
As the first product of this partnership, Andy has created a performance-captured character for the Magic Leap One Creator Edition mixed reality headset. This character named Grishneck, is the first Magic Leap character played by Serkis. Grishneck is described as a 3D Orc-like creature that interacts with the viewer when wearing the Magic Leap One Goggles in their controlled environment. In the story, Grishneck is a character who was rejected from a project because he wasn’t scary enough.
Andy has expressed enthusiasm for the potential of augmented reality. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said, “We now have a new way of experiencing story. What is thrilling is that with Magic Leap, the relationship of the performances to the real world can change hugely and they can be placed and manifested in countless ways.”
Magic Leap’s executive creative director Andy Lanning confirmed that Imaginarium and Magic Leap have been in conversations for at least five years. Imaginarium is currently working on several Magic Leap projects.