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November 18, 2019
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Need to make a great trailer for your VR game? Consider a green screen

April 4, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

April 4, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
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More: VR, Design, Video

This is the year that commercial versions of the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and the PlayStation VR headsets make their debut, and that means everyone who buys one will be in the market for new VR games and experiences.

Trick is, VR is a new medium that trades in feelings and experiences which are difficult to convey outside of VR. VR game developers know it's often hard to show people what your VR game is and how it feels to play it without actually putting them into a headset so they can experience it for themselves. 

However, the folks at Northway Games and Radial Games put out a trailer for their VR game Fantastic Contraption yesterday (ahead of its debut on the HTC Vive, which launches this week) that offers a great example of how VR devs can use a bit of green screen wizardry to effectively communicate what it's like to play in VR. To see what a difference a green screen makes, compare it with this earlier video made by the Fantastic Contraption devs in conjunction with Unity.

Speaking to Kotaku, Northway Games cofounder Colin Northway noted that the trailer was made (by indie trailer maker and occasional Gamasutra blogger Kert Gartner) by compositing footage of someone playing the game in front of a green screen with two separate camera views from inside the game. 

This is basically the same method the Fantastic Contraption devs devised for livestreaming the game on Twitch as a "mixed reality" stream that lets viewers see snippets of the game world overlayed on the real world as the player interacts with them. It's a remarkably effective way to showcase what the game can do, and you can read more details about how it was accomplished in this blog post on mixed-reality VR video production.

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