Interactive VR Scenes
3D environments purpose built for VR and optimized for a cross-platform experience.
The rate of consumers dropping their cable and satellite TV packages hit the highest level ever in the fourth quarter in 2017. Almost 500,000 customers left. At the core of this "cut the cord" revolution is Plex, the industry leader in the media server space.
Plex turns your local content, such as movies, photos, and videos stored on your laptop, into streamable content that you can view on any of your other devices. You just set up a Plex server on one device and download client apps to a bunch of others, and just like that, media that was once limited to a single device is now available, easily accessible, and organized everywhere you go.
The Plex VR team reached out to Part Time Evil to help concept, design, and build two of the 3D environments for their new Plex VR experience. The app lets users watch movies, videos, and TV shows with friends and family in real-time in a virtual environment and voice chat with friends while you watch. Users can interact with the environment by throwing popcorn, picking cover art, adjust lighting, and more.
ACHIEVING PERFORMANCE without sacrificing style
The experience was launching on Daydream first. Collaborating with the Plex and Google teams, we defined that the scenes should have single or very few materials, have a stylized, non-realistic look to preserve performance, and include optimizations like blob shadows on dynamic objects. Within these requirements, we explored different “low-poly” styles ranging from stylized, to elegant ultimately landing on a unique and upscale style to match the Plex brand.
Inspired by the look and feel of the golden age of drive-in theaters, this scene has an iconic 1960s and 1970s look. Nestled in the red mountains of New Mexico, in the glow just after sunset, the theater is full of classic, all-American convertibles, woodie station wagons, and trucks. The raked downhill layout gives each user a perfect view of the screen. Props, such as string lights, and signage have a distinct “space age” style. And as in a real drive-in, we placed the projection station behind the user for a fully immersive experience.
The loft scene needed city views and clean lines with modern, mid-century decor. Creating a lofted space with two floors gives ample space for the virtual TV to expand during watching. Adding interactive elements such as lighting, ceiling fans, artwork on walls, and coffee table objects, allows users to have some silly living room fun while enjoying their favorite film. The layout of the seating in the room is designed to provide ample space for at least 8 people, all with a clear view of the TV.