Cable TV network Nickelodeon is looking to break new ground with a new series that will be experienced in virtual and augmented reality.
Developed under the working title Meet the Voxels, the series will be one of the first animated shows developed completely within a gaming engine, including real-time facial and full-body performance capture.
"Our vision is to take the real-time technology we've been exploring in the Lab and marry it with a creative concept that connects with kids and their passion for video games," said Chris Young, senior vice president of Nickelodeon's Entertainment Lab, in a statement. "We designed this next-gen animation workflow and filled it with characters who can exist naturally across multiple platforms from day one."
The main characters of the series are a family of video game characters and their hijinks in and out of their respective games. "Chris is helping lead Nickelodeon animation toward a transformation into a wholly new content creation studio," said Chris Viscardi, Nickelodeon's senior vice president of animation. "Meet the Voxels marks a significant development in turning that content dream into a production reality."
According to a Nickelodeon spokesperson, the production team has not decided on a gaming engine for developing the series. However, an earlier immersive content initiative from Nickelodeon used the Unreal Engine for its SlimeZone VR experience.
That said, it's worth noting that the performance capture capabilities described in the studio's announcement have been previewed by Unity, with its Facial AR Remote Component for easy motion capture, as well as Project MAPS for AR content development.
Entertainment companies have been quick to adopt AR to promote their properties, but Nickelodeon could be leading the way in producing content for the technology.