Virtual Reality

  • NYFA Welcomes VR Software Architect Chris Bobotis


    Last week, the New York Film Academy welcomed well-known VR artist, Chris Bobotis, to speak to students in our new VR program.

    chris bobotis

    Bobotis is the Co-Founder and 360/VR Software Architect at Mettle, which introduced 360/VR plugins that have been widely adopted by leading companies world-wide, such as The New York Times, Time, CNN, HBO, Google, youtube, Discovery VR, DreamWorks TV, National Geographic, USA Today, LinkedIn, The Ellen Show, BuzzFeed, Conan 360, Framestore, Google, Jaunt VR, GreenPeace, Care, UBER, RYOT, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Apple, and Facebook. Independent filmmakers and youtubers have also widely adopted the toolset available through Mettle, shaping the content that is available through YouTube, FaceBook, Samsung, and other 360/VR viewers.

    Founded in Montreal as a production studio by Chris Bobotis and Nancy Eperjesy in 1992, the team of artists and programmers who have consistently embraced art and tech, and pushed forward the notion of empowering artists with digital tools, developing software by artists for artists.

    Chris Bobotis

    Drawing on a vast experience of production and post-production workflows, Bobotis leads the development of all Mettle software. SkyBox 360/VR plugins are the most complete set of Cinematic 360/VR production tools available for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, and include a VR Player for Oculus RIFT.

    Chris generously spent a couple of hours lecturing on the theory of creating successful VR experiences, as well as demonstrating very practical how-to lessons with the software, which is used in the NYFA VR classrooms.

    At the end of the event, Bobotis offered an award to the best student VR project. Stay tuned!


    March 24, 2017 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 4893

  • A 360 Degree Look at Ribalta


    We’ve all heard of the some of the more popularly known diets like the Atkins Diet or a Juice Detox, but what’s become a sort of blessing to New Yorkers is the recently proclaimed Pizza Diet. That’s correct. According to Chef Pasquale Cozzolino of “Ribalta” in Manhattan’s East Village, eating a whole pie at his restaurant provided him with both a filing and relatively healthy meal at only 570 calories. So, while dieting on his delicious brick oven pizza, Cozzolino has lost a total of 100 pounds in just five months! It’s no wonder People and Good Morning America, among many other media outlets, have taken the time out to discuss the diet with the Italian chef. “It’s not only about a diet it’s about a lifestyle,” says Chef Cozzolino.

    To continue the celebration of this magnificent diet, the New York Film Academy commemorated Chef Cozzolio by filming a 360 degree / Virtual Reality video at the new dining hot-spot, Ribalta. The VR, 360 video was directed by NYFA Florence Program Director Diana Santi, shot by NYFA Florence Equipment Manager Nicola Ciccarelli, and included cast and crew made up of acting and filmmaking students and alumni.

    “This terrific video from the New York Film Academy will drive you straight in the heart of Ribalta,” said Owner, Rosario Procino. “Look around, enjoy and discover our place!”

    Having the opportunity to explore this technology for the first time has led to a bit of excitement at the Academy as well.

    VR Pizza

    photo by Shani Patel

    360 Video and/or Virtual Reality is still a nascent technology,” said Diana Santi. “Only pioneers are using it so far and we want to be part of that!”

    With the belief that 360 Video / VR will be an integral part of the filmmaking and entertainment world for years to come, be on the look out for more VR content and a Virtual Reality Filmmaking Workshop at the New York Film Academy. Stay tuned!


    February 12, 2016 • Filmmaking • Views: 4313

  • Sony’s Morpheus Encourages You To Take The Blue Pill

    Sony Morpheus VR Headset

    Credit: Signe Brewster

    Red pill or blue pill? In The Matrix, Morpheus convinced Neo to take the red pill and escape a virtual reality to see the real world. Sony’s Morpheus intends to do the opposite.

    Virtual reality is picking up steam. Oculus Rift brought VR technology back into the mainstream, and companies are seeing a potential new channels for providing content. For example, the NBA is already experimenting with providing virtual reality streams through the Samsung Gear (powered by Oculus). Google has also entered the game with “low tech” option for android devices with its Cardboard.

    Sony, being the proprietor of one of the biggest game consoles on the market, decided to jump on the opportunity as well.

    Sony Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida confirmed at the Game Developers Conference that Sony’s new virtual reality hardware is pretty much done.

    The Morpheus VR headset will be compatible with the new PS4 and will provide a 1080p virtual reality experience. There will be no wireless headset, however, because Sony wants to keep its high quality for the headset visuals.

    This will provide those involved with game design and development for the PS4 a new opportunity, but also a new challenge.

    While we’ve only been shown prototypes for both the Oculus, Morpheus, and other VR headsets, it seems like we are on the brink of seeing releases of consumer-ready versions. While nothing has been confirmed, there are indications that Oculus will be ready for mass market later this year. Morpheus, on the other hand, won’t be ready until 2016.

    Although virtual reality is not a new topic, and we see the topic spike in popularity every so often, perhaps the technology is getting to a point where it will stick around. Seems like we’ll just have to wait and see.



    March 6, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4159

  • Telltale Is Making an Interactive TV-Video Game Hybrid


    tell tale got

    Telltale Games, a premier video game studio known for its choose-your-own-adventure titles, announced it will be merging its specialty product with a live-action television show. It’s a potentially big step for both media, though a natural one for the company, which has found huge success adapting popular works like The Walking Dead, Fables and Game of Thrones.

    Their games, like the television shows some of them are based on, are structured and released episodically, each costing a small fee and consisting of a few hours of the overall story. Telltale’s The Walking Dead has so far released two seasons of five episodes each, which can also be purchased in bulk with season passes. Their games consist of top-end graphics and numerous cut scenes,–in effect, a TV show you watch but also control, making conversation and action choices for a playable protagonist. Telltale is known for making some of these choices strong moral dilemmas, sucking the player/viewer into a storyline against their will. Likewise these choices typically carry from episode to episode, season to season.

    Telltale’s new project will be both a video game and a live-action television series, with the same characters and storylines. Both will be released an episode at a time and depending on the choices made in the game, the television show may lead down a different path for the viewer. Conversely, watching the show first will affect the storyline of the game.

    Combining two separate media into a single interactive experience could be a groundbreaking event for visual storytelling, and only time will tell how successful it is executed and received. Plot details are unknown, but with Lionsgate producing the project, there’s a good chance it will see the light of day sooner than later. With mainstream Virtual Reality just around the corner, it might not be too long before people are living out entire fictional storylines from the comfort of their couch.

    Now is the time to get into game design. Check out our game design school programs here.


    February 25, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4695

  • The Future Is Here. NBA Introduces Virtual Reality Footage


    NBA uses virtual reality during All-Star weekend

    Since taking over the league, Commissioner Adam Silver has been open to experimenting with new ways to expand the NBA. One way is to embrace new technologies; more specifically, virtual reality.

    It has been rumored for months that the NBA would be the first sports league to introduce virtual reality streams of its events. And during this past weekend’s All-Star festivities in New York, the rumors came closer to becoming a reality.

    Although not a live stream, the three point contest, dunk contest, and actual All-Star Game were all filmed with special virtual reality cameras.

    The footage will only be available for users of the Samsung Gear VR headset (powered by Oculus Rift) which is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. While that limits the amount of people with access to the footage, it should be a great test case for bringing fans court-side through virtual reality.

    This could open the doors for virtual reality implementation elsewhere. While it could obviously be used for other leagues and different sporting events, the possibilities are endless.

    It’s not too much of a stretch to think that it could change the face of filmmaking. For example, a documentary filmed with the use of virtual reality could give the audience a whole different experience than a simple narration.

    We are still in the early days of experimenting with this type of media, but this is a huge step towards making it more mainstream.


    February 16, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 3757