The experience is exclusive to Microsoft's headsets.
Cinematic virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt VR debuted its latest project, an interactive experience called Free the Night at the The Future of Storytelling Summit (FoST) in New York City last month. Today the experience has been made publicly available, exclusively for Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Free the Night is the brain child of award-winning interactive filmmaker Nicole McDonald, who’s previously worked with NASA, John Legend and Cirque Du Soleil. The experience was inspired by her childhood experiences gazing into the night sky with her father, taking viewers on a journey into the stars.
As Free the Night is a six degrees of freedom (6DOF) interactive experience viewers can interact with the night sky, picking and placing lights out of a city skyline, triggering real-time physical reactions, whilst seeing and hearing the light extinguish, then reignite as the lights can be placed back into the night sky where they belong. Once the liberation of the night sky is complete, slight touches or swipes will trigger real-time physical reactions: stars swooping, dancing, travelling all around viewers, and much more.
While McDonald provided the creative inspiration and direction for Free the Night, Giant Propeller was enlisted to animate the experience, meticulously building over 300 assets with a particular focus on generating a unique style, colour and lighting for a realistic and artful approach.
A team led by developer K.C. Austin from Los Angeles-based studio Ion Wolf crafted the tactile and responsive world, allowing users to be placed in the middle of the narrative and play with the stars. Framestore – which created the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them VR experience – was brought on board to optimise the experience to run on low specification hardware capable of delivering comparable visual fidelity for computers without a standard VR-ready graphics card.