Framestore and Warner Bros. Pictures have expanded the story world of Newt Scamander and his creatures for the latest virtual reality release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Scripted on the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling, the VR experience allows fans to become wizards themselves complete with a wand in hand, able to cast spells and control their environment while tending to Newt’s fantastic beasts.
The original 2016 project has been heralded for its craft, creativity and fan engagement. “With this project, we wanted to bring players into an immersive experience combining the graphic fidelity of the
Fantastic Beasts brand with the interactivity of real-time games,” states Julien Charlebois, Head of Production, VR, Montréal.
The 2018 version further develops the experience with an open-world gameplay to include additional creatures, environments and interactive puzzles. New character additions include the Niffler, Occamy and Bowtruckle to the already existing Erumpent, Thunderbird and Graphorn.
Charlebois adds, “In order to achieve the quality expected from a Fantastic Beasts experience on such a broad range of VR platforms, we had to leverage the knowledge and expertise of our different teams around the globe.”
The project evolves and sustains fan engagement between the feature-film release cycles, building on an established relationship between Warner Bros. Pictures and Framestore that crosses feature-film and VR productions.
This latest VR edition was led by Framestore’s New York and Montréal offices; the project marking the first real-time project from Montréal, which opened its VR Studio in 2017. The team worked to optimize and enhance this latest version with unparalleled visual fidelity and technological innovation, especially for mobile VR.
Framestore’s Montréal office also worked on the character animation and visual effects for the Fantastic Beasts theatrical release, ensuring users will encounter the same beasts as seen in the film. The Framestore global team exported the experience to live on Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive and Oculus, in addition to its 2016 exclusive debut on Google Daydream.