The New York Times is evolving with the times, not just delivering the news but putting the audience at the center of the story through immersive 360-degree VR experiences. Its mission: “to bring you places you can’t normally go” – using the promise of VR to take viewers to global hotspots, and even back in time.
For its latest VR production, The New York Times teamed up with Technicolor’s VFX brand The Mill to create The Modern Games, an immersive journey that lets the viewer feel the triumph and defeat, joy and despair of past Summer Olympic Games. Working closely with the NYT production team, The Mill’s Eric Chang and Westley Sarokin led a team of VFX artists to transform archival photography into virtual worlds using a combination of 2D and 3D techniques.
Specifically, the team closely analyzed each environment from iconic source material of the Summer Olympics going back to the first games in Athens (1896), to Los Angeles (1932), Mexico (1968), and Beijing (2008) – adding texture, depth, and CGI elements, such as crowds, to bring each scene roaring back to life. Each element was seamlessly integrated, putting extreme focus on consistently matching the lighting and tone for each time period.
Go behind the scenes of The Modern Games VR Experience in the video below.