The virtual reality animated short film Gary the Gull is now available for free download. Users with an Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, or HTC Vive can obtain the experience immediately through their respective content platforms.
Gary the Gull is an experimental experience created through the Limitless VR platform by Mark Walsh of Motional Entertainment (and a Pixar alumnus). The narrative is relatively simple and is designed to showcase Limtless’ in-VR animation suite and the unique capabilities of interactive characters. The official synopsis for the film is as follows:
“In Gary the Gull, viewers engage with a smart-mouthed bird at the beach named Gary, who does everything he can to distract you while he attempts to steal your lunch! He responds to words, gestures and gaze, just as he would in real life.”
We last wrote about Limitless and its founder Tom Sanocki — a former lead character designer for Pixar — in a special hands on report of the Limitless creation engine. The program lets you step into a VR environment and animate a scene using either pre-made or self-made assets. The animations occur smoothly and naturally as the process is designed to feel like you are simply playing with toys.
At the time of our last report Sanocki stated that he was primarily focused on empowering other creators through this design engine and wasn’t as concerned with releasing internal concepts like Gary the Gull. However, according to an official statement from the artist and founder, the desire to showcase interactive VR animation prompted him to finally pull the trigger.
“Since we first started showing Gary the Gull at GDC in March, the response from the film and game industries has been amazing and supportive. We are doing something very special with characters in VR, making you the viewer feel as much a part of the experience as the characters themselves. We think consumers are really going to enjoy this interactive experience and we look forward to working with our partners and customers to deliver more great VR content in the near future.”
Gary the Gull is a brief, but highly entertaining, VR snapshot. At a price of zero dollars it’s well worth your time if you possess one of the compatible headsets.