Coco VR - Made With Unity (2023)

by Pixar & Magnopus

The studio The project The reveal

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The studio

(Video) Zitong Wu Unity/VR/AR/3D Work

Magicians of VR spectacle

Magnopus founders Ben Grossmann, Alex Henning, and Rodrigo Teixeira have credits in some of the most effects-heavy film productions in the last decade, including the Oscar-winning Hugo, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Amazing Spiderman, Alice in Wonderland, and The Jungle Book. For well over a decade, the ultra-talented team at Magnopus has been bending creative technology to their wills to create impressive visual feasts.

“We started Magnopus because films were hitting a ceiling and we were running out of impossible spectacles to wow people with. We saw directors struggling to engage audiences, and audiences looking for more than a theater or TV could provide,” said Ben Grossmann, CEO. “We knew we needed to put audiences inside those experiences, but that we’d never be able to do it within the existing system, so we left to start fresh. Now we’re building experiences and technology that allow people to become an active part of the story, whether it’s a mixture of the physical and digital worlds or a completely imagined world.”

They delivered some of 2017’s most impressive VR experiences in Mission:ISS and the Emmy-nominated Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab, gaining valuable expertise in the process. “Developing for VR is fundamentally different from creating VFX for traditional films or video games,” explained Lap Luu, CTO. “Making amazing VR content is not the same as making films, TV or games. It’s like all three at the same time.”

Coco VR - Made With Unity (1)

(Top) Magnopus co-founders Rodrigo Teixeira, Alex Henning, and Ben Grossmann. (Bottom) Pixar’s John Halstead, Supervising Technical Director

The project

Coco VR - Made With Unity (2)

Inviting the living to the Land of the Dead

In Coco VR, Magnopus and Pixar combined their creative talent and technical wizardry to transport players into Pixar’s beautiful vision of the Land of the Dead as seen in their animated film Coco.“We set out to both explore the creative opportunities of the medium as well as push the technology to its limit,” said John Halstead, Pixar’s Supervising Technical Director.

“So instead of just doing a narrative short of the film, we designed an active experience that gives users the opportunity to visit many of the beautiful locations in the film, including taking a gondola ride and enjoying gorgeous views of the surrounding city.”

As well as experiencing the world hundreds of feet above the city– courtesy of an Oculus Rift headset – players experience the vibrantly colored Land of the Dead as they wander through a series of mini-experiences that include a costume shop, an art gallery, a cinema, a photo booth, and a musical performance.

Coco VR – like Magnopus’ Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab – is nominated for an Emmy this year in the Outstanding Original Interactive Program category. Players are encouraged to experience Coco VR on their own or with up to three friends through each of the activities. “The multiplayer experience is where Coco VR really comes to life,” said Alex Henning. “It was built to be a social experience from the ground up and there’s no doubt that visiting the Land of the Dead with friends elevates the fun.”

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Coco VR - Made With Unity (3)

Watch Coco VR's trailer

The reveal

The challenge of Pixar standards in VR

The multiplayer functionality of Coco VR was among the first features Magnopus implemented. While important to the eventual enjoyment of the final experience for players, multiplayer first proved invaluable in the highly collaborative design and iteration process with clients at Disney and Pixar.

“One of the most amazing things about working in VR with a client is how effective communication can be,” observed Henning. “We’re able to discuss complex design topics while freely moving around, pointing to specific areas like we’re walking around a set on a movie: ‘Change this detail, make this alteration, let’s move this over here, what if we put this stuff there and had players experience things this way?’ All of these suggestions and discussions become infinitely more productive, shortening iteration time on projects.”

(Video) Moonwalk VR 360 4k 60 fps video made whit Unity PSVR ready

Coco VR - Made With Unity (4)

Multiplayer isn’t just for fun anymore

Animation worthy of a hero

On entering and exiting the experience, players are treated to short conversations with Miguel, the hero of the films, and they can also interact with Hector during an enjoyable performance sequence. Pixar’s focus on character meant these heroes, so recognizable from the film, needed to translate 1:1 to a new medium.

Pixar’s storytelling style is heavily dependent on their advanced facial animation, so while Magnopus optimized nearly every model from the film, the hero character faces and animations are rendered in the exact format of the original. Normally in a VR experience, the textures are the largest files, but in the case of Coco VR, the animation files were massive and created with Pixar’s proprietary animation system, prompting Magnopus to craft custom tools capable of accommodating the files in real time in Unity.

Hector in the Editor

In addition to the facial animation, the movement of the skeleton bodies is extremely important to the immersion of the experience. The team utilized Final IK, an inverse kinematics solution available on the Asset Store, to implement the skeleton body animation of players and their friends.

Massive detail, minimal cost

Of the many successful aspects of the Coco VR experience, one of the most impressive is the visualization of the Land of the Dead. “Pixar created one of the most detailed, extravagant, colorful, brilliant visualizations for the Land of the Dead for the Coco film,” Luu reflected. “Everyone working on this project felt a need to bring that vision to life in VR as closely as possible. We wanted players to really feel like they’ve crossed to the other side, just like Miguel did in the movie.”

“That was a key part of the project for us,” said Pixar’s Halstead. “Our team spent a lot of effort redesigning elements from the film to work natively in this fresh format. And part of the challenge was to make sure they worked smoothly both in the Unity engine and in the experience itself. To get it right, we went through a number of steps before handing off the animations to Magnopus.”

Incredible size and scale made affordable for VR.

In order to achieve the level of detail they hoped for, Magnopus cultivated new techniques that blended a variety of 360-degree projections as the environment, allowing them to use actual RenderMan renders from the film in some cases. “What you’re actually seeing is a multi-layered experience of true 3D assets up closer and more projections the farther the scenery is in the distance,” said lead 3D artist Luke Schloemer. “You can think of it as skybox 1.5.”

The detailed layering of environments is used everywhere in the experience but is most apparent in an eye-popping gondola ride through the city. It’s a mixture that easily tricks the brain into seeing a cohesive whole and allows for a stunning amount of detail in a VR environment.

“It was really interesting seeing the finished movie for the first time,” recalled Henning. “Having been in the VR experience first and having stood in the middle of the square and ridden the gondola, the experience of seeing the movie was almost like looking at vacation photos from somewhere I had already visited.”

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Was Coco made with unity? ›

Coco VR by Pixar & Magnopus - An interactive film | Made with Unity.

What animation studio made Coco? ›

Coco is a 2017 American computer-animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich, it is directed by him and co-directed by Adrian Molina.

Is there a Coco video game? ›

Coco: Dawn of the Dead.

What software was used to make Coco? ›

Presto is the proprietary software developed and used in-house by Pixar Animation Studios in the animation of its features and short films. Presto is not available for sale and is only used by Pixar.

What race is Coco based on? ›

Maria Salud Ramirez Caballero, the Mexican woman who reportedly inspired the 2017 Pixar animation Coco, has died at the age of 109.

What animation studio does Disney use? ›

Currently Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm Animation (through Lucasfilm) and 20th Century Studios's animation division are parts of the Walt Disney Studios unit.

What animation studio does Rick and Morty use? ›

Rainbow S.p.A. Bardel is involved in the acquisition, development, production and distribution of animated programming. The studio is best known for animating Rick and Morty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Dragon Prince.

Is Coco age appropriate? ›

What is Coco VR? ›

Coco VR is Pixar's stunning debut into virtual reality: an adventure into the beautiful Disney-Pixar film, Coco. We combined creativity and technology to transport players into Pixar's unique vision of the Land of the Dead. Pixar.

What 3D software does Disney use? ›

As one of the programs Disney and other top animation studios use, Autodesk Maya is leading 3D animation software. You can create data visualizations, realistic characters and incredible effects with simulation, modeling and motion graphics. Thinking bigger is fun with Maya.

What 3D program does Pixar use? ›

Pixar RenderMan (formerly PhotoRealistic RenderMan) is proprietary photorealistic 3D rendering software produced by Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar uses RenderMan to render their in-house 3D animated movie productions and it is also available as a commercial product licensed to third parties.

What software did Encanto use? ›

Finally, here are a handful of stills from the movie, 100% created using Disney's Hyperion Renderer by our amazing artists.

Is Mamá Coco Mexican? ›

In the town of Santa Fe de la Laguna in Mexico, tourists from all across the world and Pixar fans alike gather during the Day of the Dead festivities to visit the home of the "real Mamá Coco", the ficitional character from the beloved 2017 Pixar film Coco.

How old is the real Mamá Coco? ›

The Real-Life “Mama Coco,” who Inspired the PIXAR Film Character, Dies at Age 109. The Mexican potter who reportedly inspired the character of Mama Coco in PIXAR's 2017 film has died. She was 109 years old.

Why is Coco called Coco? ›

Originally the film was called “Day of the Dead” but this name is part of the intangible heritage of humanity and was not allowed, so they decided to call it “Coco” in honor of the great-grandmother of Miguel, who plays an important role in the film.

What software was Luca made of? ›

Things get slightly trickier when the characters interact with the water, as they do frequently – diving in and erupting out of it in a shower of spray and salt. To model the droplets, Pixar uses a software package called Houdini, from Toronto-based company SideFX.

Is Pixar using blender? ›

Has Pixar Ever Used Blender For Any Projects? Blender has not been used in the production of any of the major Pixar animations that we all know about. That does not mean that it has not been used in smaller projects such as short films or other isolated cases. But Blender is not a part of the pipeline at Pixar studios.

How is Pixar so realistic? ›

Pixar gets its characters to move and emote by building them rigs and filling them with controls that allow animators to give them unique expressions and movements. “Toy Story 2” gave them the ability to adapt and reuse rigs for multiple characters, allowing a wide array of characters of all shapes and sizes.

What animation studio made Shrek? ›

DreamWorks Animation PDI/DreamWorks

Who dominates the animation industry? ›

In the over twenty years that the award has been given out, there has been a clear dominating force in the category. That's Disney. As the most famous animation studio of all time, it's no wonder why Disney has received so much recognition in the category.

Which studio animated Moana? ›

Moana (also known as Vaiana or Oceania in some markets) is a 2016 American computer-animated musical action-adventure fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures.

How long does it take to animate 1 episode of Rick and Morty? ›

The entire process, from conception and writing to finished animation, is about nine to 12 months for one episode, but it's always operating on kind of a rolling assembly line. Once the storyboard artists finish on one episode, they'll begin another. The designers could still be finishing up on a previous episode.

What is Rick and Morty animation style called? ›

Noting that Rick and Morty is mainly a vector-based 2d-puppet show, Canipa explains the economic advantages of this approach over, say, hand-drawn animation.

How much does it cost to animate an episode of Rick and Morty? ›

How much does animation cost for Rick and Morty? It's estimated that each episode of Rick and Morty costs between $1.2 and $1.5 million dollars. Rick and Morty does not use famous voice actors so most of their production budget goes into design and animation.

Why is music not allowed in Coco? ›

In a town known as Santa Cecilla, a kid Miguel dreams of becoming a musician. Even though his family strictly forbids it and has banned music in their house. The ban was placed because Miguel's great-great-grandmother Imelda was married to a man who left her and their daughter Coco to pursue a career in music.

What age is Encanto for? ›

Content that may disturb children

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Encanto has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under 5 years.

Is Coco too scary for a 3 year old? ›

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Coco has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example: The Land of the Dead is a colourful but scary place, with flying creatures, dragons and spirit animals.

Is Coco retired? ›

Kiryu Coco, you see, is technically retired. She left Hololive – or as the fandom puts it, "graduated" – about two years ago after a relatively short but absolutely explosive career as a streamer.

What happens to Coco at the end? ›

Coco has passed on, and her picture is put in the ofrenda. Miguel has a new baby sister, and he tells her the story of his family. A museum has opened up honoring Hector's music, while Ernesto's tomb is condemned, and he will be forgotten.

Why can't kids under 13 use VR? ›

Designed for Age 13+

Meta VR Systems are not toys and must not be used by children under 13. Younger children have greater risks of injury and adverse effects than older users.

What is Roblox VR called? ›

What Roblox Game Has VR? Only a few Roblox games support Virtual Reality because VR is a new advancement in Roblox. Some Roblox games that support VR include Koala Cafe, Vibe VR, Escape Room (VR), and Noodle VR, amongst others.

Is Roblox VR real? ›

Of course, the answer is “Yes”. But Roblox isn't automatically available in VR, so you'll need to use the headset in Oculus Link mode. In this case, you can connect the Quest to the PC using a link cable, which is a special high-quality USB-C cable.

Where did Coco concept come from? ›

Director Lee Unkrich was fresh off the triumph of Toy Story 3 when the idea for Coco came to him — at Walt Disney World, of all places. According to Unkrich, he was in the middle of a boat ride at Epcot's Mexico pavilion when he saw an image that ignited a spark of inspiration.

Who composed the music in Coco? ›

Are there two versions of Coco? ›

The creators of Coco have released two versions of their film and soundtrack, one in English and one in Spanish.

Who made the music in Coco? ›

All music is composed by Michael Giacchino, except where noted.

Is Coco culturally accurate? ›

Not only due to it's fantastic animation and storytelling techniques, but to it's authentic representation of Latinx, specifically Mexican culture. It is truly a film dedicated to Mexican culture.

Is Coco based on Mexican culture? ›

This animated film is based on the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos and follows the journey of Miguel, a young boy and aspiring musician (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez).

Is Coco based off of Mexico? ›

Coco's director Lee Unkrich has himself revealed that Santa Fe de la Laguna in Michoacán was the key inspiration behind his fictional Mexican village. The tiny yet lively town of just 5,000 inhabitants has a similar size and layout to Santa Cecilia.

What kind of guitar is in Coco? ›

Indeed, the fanciful nylon-string guitar once sported by de la Cruz is practically a character in itself, and there is delectable nylon-string guitar music stitched into Michael Giacchino's score for Coco, which combines a traditional “Hollywood” approach with a rich infusion of Mexican and Latin flavors: mariachi, ...

Who stole the song in Coco? ›

Along the way, we discover that “Remember Me” was actually a song written by Héctor for his daughter, Coco, and stolen by Ernesto.

What is the Mexican music in Coco? ›

In Coco, he belts out mariachis and son jarocho tunes; the soundtrack includes other genres, including banda, ranchera, huapango and modern Mexican electronic music.

Is Coco A Boy or Girl Disney? ›

LINDA HOLMES, HOST: The 2017 Disney-Pixar movie "Coco" is about a Mexican boy named Miguel who has an adventure on Dia de los Muertos, a holiday dedicated to remembering the dead.

Is Coco a boy or girl in the movie? ›

The 2017 movie Coco is about a Mexican boy named Miguel who has an adventure on Día de los Muertos, a holiday dedicated to remembering the dead. He finds himself in the Land of the Dead, where he learns about the importance of memory and how we tell the stories of our families.

Is Pepita a girl in Coco? ›

Pepita is an Alebrije who appears in the 2017 Pixar film, Coco. She was Mamma Imelda's pet Maine Coon cat when she was alive, and served as her Alebrije spirit guide in the afterlife. She is shown in her living form at the end of the movie, accompanying Dante.

Why did Coco cry? ›

“There were balls I was hitting deep and she was hitting them on the line and hitting them back deep, like, over and over again. It's just one of those days that just didn't go my way and went her way.” Gauff began to tear up when asked to explain her frustrations.

Why was music not allowed in Coco? ›

The ban was placed because Miguel's great-great-grandmother Imelda was married to a man who left her and their daughter Coco to pursue a career in music. When he never returned, Imelda banished music from her house and started a shoemaking business.

Who is the villain in Coco? ›

Ernesto de la Cruz is the main antagonist of Pixar's 19th full-length animated feature film Coco. He is both the former idol and former childhood best friend now archenemy of Miguel and Héctor Rivera, respectively.


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