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A Disney animator and HTC tech showcase the future of storytelling

Virtual reality is evolving at a rapid pace and when Disney animators get ahold of HTC technology the results are rather astounding.

Glen Keane was a Disney animator for nearly 38 years. He’s leant his skills with a pencil to films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas and Tangled, amongst other notable classics – so it’s fair to say he’s pretty good at what he does.

But what happens when you give a master of animation tools to sketch and draw in a 3D, virtual reality environment?

The HTC Vive (a product of the company’s endeavours beyond the confines of smartphones) is blazing a trail in the VR landscape, going above and beyond the likes of the Oculus Rift, with next level fidelity and control. The painting demo that the company has been showcasing since the Vive’s official unveiling is a fun experience for the average VR fan, but with Keane at the controls it can be used to create some seriously impressive work.

Keane deftly translates his skills in hand drawn animation to the three dimensional canvas offered up by the Vive; sketching The Little Mermaid’s Ariel in light trails at a life-sized scale.

If you’ve watched the behind the scenes Paperman featurette, you will have already seen how Disney’s animation team is working to seamlessly blend 2D and 3D animation styles to create a cohesive visual experience and what Keane demonstrates with the Vive looks to be another new tool to help bring those two worlds together.

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