Google’s Highlight Tales division gave us VR gems like Pearl and Age of Sail. Sadly, although, it seems the search engine big is shutting the crew down this week.
Phrase comes by means of Selection. The location bought maintain of an obvious e mail from Highlight Tales govt producer Karen Dufilho. Despatched on Wednesday night, the e-mail states that Highlight Tales is “shutting its doorways after over six years of constructing tales and placing them on telephones, on screens, in VR, and wherever else we might get away with it.”
We’ve reached out to Google to verify the report. In line with a Selection supply members of the crew are being given the prospect to search for new positions inside Google.
Highlight Tales wasn’t all the time a VR-centric filmmaker. It began life inside Motorola again when it was below Google’s possession. However over the previous three years the group produced round 13 360 diploma animations. You watched them inside mobile-based headsets like Google Cardboard utilizing a devoted app or YouTube. A few of them even bought native standalone releases on platforms like SteamVR.
These 13 movies cowl an unlimited physique of labor from a Simpsons VR expertise to a behind-the-scenes take a look at Wes Anderson’s Isle of Canines. Highlight Tales’ finest content material was unique, although. In 2017 the crew labored with The Ebook of Life director Jorge Gutierrez on the wonderful Son of Jaguar, for instance. It’s most up-to-date expertise, Age of Sail, introduced gorgeous visuals and heartfelt characters into VR like by no means earlier than. All of those movies have been free to observe. Final 12 months Google launched a guide celebrating the studio’s work.
However Patrick Osborne’s Pearl was undoubtedly the studio’s crowning achievement. This brief movie adopted a father and daughter as they traveled the nation of their hatchback automobile. A warming soundtrack and efficient montage of life’s highs and lows made for candy, memorable viewing. Pearl later received an Emmy. It additionally scored VR’s first Oscar nomination.
The information comes at an unsure time for Google’s VR efforts. The corporate’s Daydream cellular VR ecosystem seems to have pale into obscurity in recent times. Google is creating experimental six levels of freedom (6DOF) VR controllers for its Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, however we’re but to see what is going to come of them.
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