Spider-man: Homecoming Virtual Reality Experience with Intel® Innovator, Justin Lassen

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Intel® Software Innovator Justin Lassen talks about his involvement with the Spider-man Homecoming Virtual Reality Experience at SIGGRAPH 2017!

Hi, I'm Justin Lassen. I'm here at SIGGRAPH 2017, showing off "Spider-Man Virtual Reality Experience." 

I was the audio director on this cool VR experience. So I did the dialogue, editing, sound effects, ambience, music, spatialization and implementation in the Unreal Engine. So our team, that created this game, used Dell workstations with xenon processors for everything from the graphics, rendering, coding, perforce, editing, and for me, I did all the audio and sound effects on these workstations as well. 

It was a really cool, fun project. We worked with Sony Pictures Virtual Reality, CreateVR, of course, Marvel Studios, and Intel. So it's a really awesome collaboration between all these different companies. 

I was at GDC this year, the Game Development Conference, and I got a text on my phone from a friend of mine at CreateVR, and he said, Justin, do you want to be a part of the "Spider-man Virtual Reality Experience?" And of course, I had to jump at that because Spider-man is one of my favorite heroes of all time. And I literally said yes. 

And through this project, I actually got to learn Unreal because most of my previous VR projects like "Shapesong" have been Unity projects. So this is my first time really diving into the Unreal Engine. So I learned blueprints, note editing. I learned basically, how fun and easy Unreal is, and it works really good on these workstations, and it was a great project. 

So I've been an Intel innovator for a number of years now. And it's been really rewarding because I get access to people and resources and projects and teams that I normally wouldn't get access to. And through it, I've made a lot of cool friendships. I've made a lot of cool just collaborative partners. And everything from virtual reality to IOT stuff. Through the program, I'm going to China this week. I mean, it's cool. I get to do all kinds of stuff all over the world. 

Because of Spider-man, and it's done so well-- we've got a bunch of accolades and recognition for it-- I've been offered some really big, really cool virtual reality projects coming up in the future. I wish I could tell you the names of them, but I promise you, in the next few months, you will see them. And I really have Intel to thank for having these opportunities and getting to be able to even be offered this kind of stuff. So, yeah, it was a cool project, cool stuff. 

I think for me, the most exciting thing about virtual reality is not necessarily the game space but the educational sector training and learning. For instance, when we worked on "Shapesong," yes, it's fun. You can play instruments and things, but what I like about it is that you can actually teach somebody who doesn't know anything about music, you know, musical ideas, abstractly. 

And so, like, it's fun to be like in Spider-man and like, you know, shoot your webs and do all of that kind of stuff and have, like, a comic book kind of experience, but I feel like in virtual reality, we don't actually know exactly where it's going, and that's what makes it still wild west. I mean, whether it's a government using it to train soldiers or people just wanting to show off 3D galleries, I feel like just the sky's the limit right now in VR and AR. So that's why I'm really excited to be a part of this industry. 

Right now, working in virtual reality is really cool because the community at large is actually still pretty tight knit. We're all friends on Facebook, you know, all the social media networks. We reach out. We help each other on projects, and we kind of cross-pollinate. So like the AR guys and the VR guys will utilize each other's resources and teams to pull off different projects, and I really think that's really cool and really fun. So this year, at, like, VRLA I got to meet up with a bunch of them and that was really cool. And at SIGGRAPH, I'm running into so many visual effects companies for Hollywood films and things that are starting to create VR divisions and departments. And everyone's got kind of like tight little teams, but they're still open enough that they'll bring in new collaborators, which is exciting, very cool. 

You can get more information about me and the projects that I work on at my website at justinlassen.com. And you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. I'm pretty social. Through Intel, of course, I'm traveling all over the world, so there's always some cool story or some exciting project that I'm always talking about. So please do. Thank you.