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Lollipop Races Into the Future with Virtual Production

🌐 Enterprise Meets VR

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Welcome to VP Land!

We’ve got some interesting stories today — what I like to think of as Venn-diagram stories. Different tech, different industries overlapping with the tools and techniques they’re using.

We’ve got Lollipop, a new series blending episodic storytelling, audience interactivity, plus virtual production making a show taking place around the world producable in a volume.

Then we’ve got virtual enterprise training - training people in VR or AR headsets. But to do that, you need virtual environments - the same tools that build virtual sets.

Also, last time I’ll ping this here: 60 seconds to fill out this form to let us know a bit more about you.

Let’s jump into it!

Lollipop and Mobil 1: Racing Storytelling Inside the Volume

The lines between gaming, audience interactivity, and episodic storytelling are about to get even more blurred.

Mobil 1 has partnered with Lollipop, a groundbreaking racing franchise created by Feature, to bring fans an innovative streaming series that combines professional racing, episodic storytelling, and interactivity.

The Race Strategy

  • Lollipop, set to launch in early 2025, will feature 10 digital races across 10 cities. The first three locations are Los Angeles, Miami, and London.

  • The series is written and executive-produced by David Ayer, creator of The Fast and the Furious franchise, and will utilize cutting-edge virtual production technology.

  • Each episode will revolve around a single race/location. In addition to the episodic narrative centered around each race, Lollipop features an adjacent fantasy sports-like racing circuit that intertwines with the scripted plot at key moments.

  • The fan-driven strategy experience features real-time digital race simulations based on car setups done by the audience-powered teams. Results and even fan characters can be integrated into the story via next-generation production methods. 

Behind the Scenes

Virtual production will play a pivotal role in making this series possible.

Academy Award-nominated VFX supervisor Jerome Chen will be the Visual Effects Supervisor and Producer.

While each episode will take place in a different city, production will primarily happen on a volume in LA, with B units getting local shots or driving plates in the different locales.

Final Take

The partnership between Mobil 1 and Lollipop represents a significant shift in how fans engage with motorsports content.

This also signifies a further shift in technology across various industries blending together, from virtual production to gaming to immersive audience participation. We can expect to see more shows like Lollipop redefining entertainment in the future.

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Virtual Production Meets Enterprise Training

Back at the Augmented World Expo (AWE), we met one company that has nothing to do with media & entertainment: ForgeFX.

They build virtual environments for companies to train people on heavy machinery or new tools in a VR headset.

But to build those environments, you’re still relying on the same 3D tools: Unreal Engine, Unity, Maya, etc.

And a lot of the jobs and talent overlap—for example, instead of working on a Virtual Art Department for a film, you’re building a virtual construction site for someone to train on.

Enterprise applications of VP tools and techniques are a continuing growth area we’re seeing.

This is also a big application of Apple Vision Pro users, as Tim Cook mentioned in his interview with MKBHD. Also mentioned in our link area below, we’re seeing control accessories come out for the AVP, like Surreal Touch controllers.

Here are a few more applications on our radar:

RenderStream Demystified | Virtual Production tips by Addy Ghani

Addy Ghani from Disguise has a great explainer on RenderStream and how rendering video outputs to large LED walls works. Watch the video on YouTube.

🧊 Pérez Irigoyen's studio, Dessignare, has developed innovative production pipelines for VR and hemispherical formats, utilizing a combination of custom software and off-the-shelf tools to create captivating 3D animations

🕹️ Surreal Interactive introduces Surreal Touch controllers for the Apple Vision Pro, bringing traditional VR gaming controls to the headset and expanding its compatibility with existing VR games

📷 The latest Blackmagic Video Assist firmware update expands Blackmagic RAW recording capabilities to include the Panasonic LUMIX GH7 and FUJIFILM GFX100S II cameras

🔁 Blackmagic Design releases Converters 9.0.2 Update, enhancing ancillary data handling and simplifying 2110 IP video system integration for the Blackmagic 2110 IP Converter 3x3G

🎞️ ShotDeck's Recreations Contest is back, offering $75,000 in prizes for the most creative and meticulous recreations of iconic movie frames

👔 Virtual Production Gigs

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