The Hobbit – Thief in the Shadows VR Announced

In March last year, Epic Games announced that they in collaboration with WETA Digital and Oculus were creating a VR experience for The Hobbit. That VR experience has met success and now been nominated for a Visual Effects Society award for ‘Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project’.

The experience recreates scenes from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Set in the universe of The Lord of the Rings, players are put in the place of Bilbo Baggins as he (the wearer of the Oculus VR-headset) is trapped with the the terrifying dragon Smaug in the treasure halls of Erebor.

The-Hobbit-Desolation-of-Smaug-gold-pile

Alasdair Coull, Head of R&D at Weta Digital, said that “adjusting our film pipeline to bring Smaug to life in Unreal Engine 4 and the Oculus Rift was a huge technical challenge but one that builds on our experience with real-time technology”. Thief in Shadows is nominated alongside Halo 5: Guardians, Destiny: The Taken King, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, and The Order: 1886. The 14th Annual VES Awards ceremony will be hosted Tuesday, February 2 in Beverly Hills, CA.

The video above is Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug in the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The virtual reality experience is based on this scene, however much shorter – and much, much more immense.

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