News: Magic Leap & Andy Serkis Reveal Lord of the Rings-Inspired Character for Upcoming AR Experience

Magic Leap & Andy Serkis Reveal Lord of the Rings-Inspired Character for Upcoming AR Experience

We already know that Magic Leap is working with Hollywood motion capture legend Andy Serkis on a new immersive content experience but, so far, all we've heard are descriptions of the work. Well, now the mystery is over, and the character of Grishneck, who Magic Leap mentioned just last month, has finally been revealed.

The character, an ogre-like creature, is described by Serkis as a kind of unofficial cast off from the ranks of the Orcs from the Lord of the Rings franchise.

"What happens to wonderfully crafted pieces of concept artwork that doesn't quite make the grade? Grishneck is one of those characters," said Serkis, who donned his motion capture suit to deliver the creature's performances. "He was destined to be one of the Orcs in Lord of the Rings, and he never quite made the grade."

Image by BBC/YouTube

The motion capture portion of the experience was produced at The Imaginarium Studios, the UK-based studio founded by Serkis to further his work on motion capture performance innovation.

"Here we have a technology, performance capture, which is, I think, one of the greatest 21st-century tools for an actor that allows you to play anything, to become anything. And a new platform [Magic Leap], which is taking storytelling into another realm," Serkis told the BBC in a recent televised interview.

Image by BBC/YouTube

"[It] almost brings you back to an ancient form of storytelling, which is to be in and amongst the characters that have been created, not separated by a screen. It feels like you're living the story with the characters."

Image by BBC/YouTube

Alas, while Grishneck does exhibit some of the now familiar motion capture expressiveness that Serkis made famous in films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Lord of the Rings, the Magic Leap character isn't particularly compelling from a visual standpoint.

However, when it comes to immersive experiences, a lot can be lost without the proper immersive, in-story context, so once the character and its story are fully baked, we can take another look to see if Magic Leap has come up with its first digital Hollywood-driven success story.

Cover image via BBC/Youtube

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