- BD VR: Madefire, the app that turns comics into interactive experiences
- Madefire adds a fourth dimension to comics
- Madefire's open source engine lets all comic book creators get started with VR
- VR professionals are interested in Madefire's potential for cinema
- BD VR: Square Enix transforms the manga through virtual reality
- Magnetic: the first comic book in virtual reality
By allowing users to immerse themselves in virtual environments, virtual reality has the potential to transform the various arts. Just like painting, cinema, music or even photography, the comic is about to experience a profound transformation thanks to VR.
BD VR: Madefire, the app that turns comics into interactive experiences
Superhero Movies bring comic book heroes into the real world through the magic of cinema. Today, thanks to virtual reality, the reverse is now possible: comic book fans can be immersed in their favorite comics. As part of the latest New York Comic Con, several Hollywood pundits, VR game developers, and comic book artists debated how new technology is transforming the way we read and create comic books. The startup Madefire, present at the event, presented a BD VR demonstration. Specializing in Motion Books, consisting of adding special effects to digital comics, the firm recently raised $ 6,5 million from investors like Drake and Kevin Spacey to develop a prototype VR application allowing cartoonists to transform their comics in 3D experience.
When the app is available, all artists will be able to distribute VR comics for free on all virtual reality headsets. For now, the demo available on the Oculus Store of the Samsung Gear VR features comics like Injustice: Gods Among US in virtual reality. Motion effects, as well as visual and sound effects, make the reading experience very immersive and spectacular.
- boxes scroll one by one, resized to fit the reader's field of vision. By pressing the Gear VR's touch button, the user brings up the following box. This new way of reading a comic transforms the experience. Thanks to VR, the user can focus on the small details while fully immersing themselves in the fictional universe. For example, in the Spectrum comic, pressing the Gear VR button brings up a GIF of a laser beam that splits a car in half. A sound is then emitted to reflect the explosion of the car. So the action is really staged in a dynamic way.
Madefire adds a fourth dimension to comics
Whether it's 2D or 3D comics, it's the addition of a fourth dimension, that of time, that really sets Madefire's VR comics apart from traditional comics.. The action is much less confusing for the reader, and the variable speed of the transitions makes it possible to reflect the intensity of the scenes. Watchmen comic creator Dave Gibbons has designed his new comic Treatment especially for the Madefire platform. The action unfolds naturally in front of the viewer's eyes, leaving more control to the cartoonists over how readers read and interpret the story.
Thanks to Madefire's VR app, comic book creators will now be able to manipulate three-dimensional objects, create depth effects, or even add animations to their comics. Suffice to say that this application has the potential to transform comics. Virtual reality allows comics to break free from the constraints of the past, and can therefore stimulate the creativity of designers. Rather than focusing on the number of pages in a comic book, cartoonists can now focus on how long they want the experience to last, and in VR, the reader doesn't have the option. go straight to the end of a fight or an important scene to see the end. The surprise effect is preserved until the end, which will be particularly useful for certain genres like horror or comedy.
Madefire's open source engine lets all comic book creators get started with VR
Le Madefire's rendering engine, which is based on OpenGL, is available on the internet and therefore allows all artists and authors to collaborate on projects simultaneously. In addition, by choosing to develop its own engine rather than using Unity or Unreal Engine, Madefire is able to publish its VR comics on all platforms including iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or even DeviantArt. .
At the moment, the main drawback of BD VR is the impossibility of transcribing these creations in paper format. It is quite possible to transcribe a printed comic in 3D action, but the reverse is much more complicated. However, most designers remain attached to this traditional and prestigious format. This is the reason why Madefire wants to prevent BD VR from becoming movies. The experience must remain a reading experience. Thus, the firm advises authors to limit the number of actions per click to one or two, in order to maintain a rate comparable to that of paper comics.
According to Gibbons, virtual reality creates a whole new storytelling grammar for comic book artists. To determine if the new ideas generated by this grammar are relevant, authors need feedback from their readers. For example, when it comes to sound effects and soundtracks, Madefire offers artists a large sound bank, but advises them to keep a number of effects less than five per fret to let the reader imagine part of the story by his own care. Thus, the creators of Madefire wish to avoid adding voice dubs to comics so that the user can choose the rate at which they read the VR comic.
VR professionals are interested in Madefire's potential for cinema
On the other hand, on the side of VR professionals, things are perceived differently. Matt Hooper, Oculus Development Director and Madefire Advisor, envisions the app's future as a theater for comic book fans to share a social and friendly experience. For example, when a new flagship VR comic is released, millions of readers could come together and watch the action unfold together.
Similarly, 20th Century Fox's Ted Gagliano Wants To Use Virtual Reality To Immerse Viewers In Superhero Movies. Rather than making print comics more cinematic, he imagines how Madefire could deliver interactive experiences to promote blockbusters. Anyway, for now, the creators of Madefire prefer BD VR to remain more of a reading experience, especially to avoid converting from paper to VR format taking more than a few days.
Still in beta, Madefire's open source software will be released in final version in the coming months. The firm hopes to reach more comic book creators in order to develop a substantial catalog, while continuing to work with amateur artists to reach a wider audience. Despite the many challenges to overcome, Madefire plans to revolutionize the way comic book fans consume comics. While Marvel super heroes will soon have their own VR game funded by Oculus Studios, Madefire's potential seems very immense.
BD VR: Square Enix transforms the manga through virtual reality
As part of the last Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix recently unveiled, an experimental project aimed at transforming the experience of reading manga. Just like Madefire, the app allows users to immerse themselves in comics, box after box. In this case, the dialogues are doubled, and the user can zoom in on the different details of each box or on the contrary take a step back to see the scene as a whole.
The larger boxes are even displayed in three dimensions, allowing the user to contemplate them as if they were looking through a window. With this project, Square Enix wants to create an experience halfway between manga and cartoons. The demonstration presented at TGS only offered to immerse yourself in a single manga:, dated 2014. However, if this project materializes, it is likely that many manga will be converted into VR comics, to the delight of fans. Japanese cartoon.
Magnetic: the first comic book in virtual reality
Created by the Italian studio Oniride, Magnetique is a virtual reality comic available on the Samsung Gear VR. The user is immersed in a 360-degree adventure, telling the story of puppeteer Nero and his quest for revenge. By staring at a bubble, the user can increase its size, while sound effects play depending on the action. Illustrated by designer Emilio Pilliu with Photoshop software, this VR comic was also created using tools developed in-house, in particular to respect proportions.
Similarly, the Unity engine allowed to add stereoscopic effects to certain elements. In the long term, Oniride hopes to create several BD VR series with different artists. A platform has already been created to distribute these creations. You will understand, virtual reality transforms all genres of comics, and could well represent the future of the ninth art.