U.K. visual effects and animation group, Axis Studios has forayed into IP creation with the launch of The Bond, written and directed by Olly Reid. In order to create a truly immersive experience, Axis utilised their experience in rich-story telling skills and real-time technology.
The Bond follows Tia Muati as she uses her mystical powers to watch over the creatures of the alien ecosystem of LuKara. In a trance, she can see the threads of energy that connect her and every living being to each other. She seeks out to animals in trouble and spirit walks into their minds. Audience will find themselves following her on these journeys inhabited by terrified species and insects as the terrified preys.
The movie, partly funded by Scottish Enterprise, is designed to emphasise the uniqueness of the medium by positioning viewers as multiple characters and allowing them to engage with the environment from a variety of dynamic perspectives.
The rich and startling world design was developed by artists Shanti Rittgers and Ivan Shavrin, who created a range of fantastical flora and fauna with a sense of an interconnected web of life.
Reid commented, “The Bond is set in an incredibly rich and detailed world, which isn’t easy to pull off in VR. I am incredibly proud of the amazing work the team has produced, as we sought to bring this story and world to life. VR is the perfect medium to create powerful, immersive experiences for audiences. I’m excited to see what the future holds for VR as a storytelling tool, I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Artists at Axis Studios’ three locations in Glasgow, Bristol and London collaborated on the project under Reid’s direction. The film was done in-house from start to finish, with all initial concept art, pre-visualisation, animation and lighting completed internally.
The film builds on the studio’s experience with real-time tools, including Unreal Engine, Unity and Amazon’s Lumberyard, which it had used on projects such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Alien Isolation and Dream Big, Build Bigger.
Axis Studio CEO Richard Scott mentioned, “Axis Studios is built on the ability to tell impeccable stories, and we’ve used real-time tools at the studio for several years now. The Bond has been a fascinating journey in combining these skills and discovering how far we can push the VR medium.”
The trailer of The Bond is available on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.