Virtual reality can have a major impact on a few different industries in the future. Comic books are not necessarily something one would associate with VR, but Square Enix thinks in a different direction. Few people are aware this company is a comic published next to developing video games. Their Project Hikari can go a very long way to make comic books more immersive.
Square Enix and VR Comics
It has to be said, Square Enix doesn’t shy away from using immersive technologies. Virtual reality is still in the very early stages of development as of right now., but there are plenty of opportunities abound. More specifically, the company has been working on Project Hikari for quite some time now. This project aims to bring comics to life in VR, as well as explore all of the opportunities for VR comics in general. It now appears we have our first creation to be experienced by the public.
Tales of the Wedding Rings VR is based on the Japanese comic with the same non-VR name. It is completely non-interactive, but it will certainly present 3D animated film framed as a comic. This is done by using the visual language of comics and conveying a narrative to guide the viewer. Said project will be showcased during the New York Comic Con event of 2017. It is an interesting take on comics in general and may prove t be a rather powerful venture.
To put this into perspective, Square Enix makes use of floating comic-like panels. They are shaped like a regular comic book, but they can frame and place shots of any scene without the viewer moving. Inside every panel, the actual content remains three dimensional. The end result is a 360-degree comic venture which will hopefully wow some of the viewers. Viewers can look around every scene complete as if they are effectively part of the comic itself.
As one would expect from a Japanese comic, the comic is fully voiced in Japanese. There are English speech bubbles as well, which is a nifty touch. Everything looks and feels like a semi-interactive comic, even though the viewer has to do absolutely nothing whatsoever. It will be interesting to see if Square Enix is on the right track with this venture. Comics can certainly benefit from VR technology, but it remains to be seen if this is the correct approach.
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