Streetball player Grayson Boucher is known simply as "The Professor" for his ability to school opponents in the fine art of dribbling and layups. Now he’s taking his lessons to a new medium — virtual reality. Thanks to Mountain Dew and the newest VR technology, you can walk onto the court and learn his moves. It’s the basketball game game you’ve always wanted to play.
Mountain Dew will host the gaming experience with the Professor at SXSW, and it's unlike what you've experienced so far in virtual reality. Don't expect this to be just a VR goggles viewing experience: It's game play on the next level. Once you enter the court, you'll get to experience the Professor's moves in 360 degrees, while two of his "clones" do layups around you. Then you'll be challenged to learn some of his signature dribbling techniques in CGI form. Interact, and dribble, and live out your basketball fantasies of learning from the Professor.
What does it take to create a new gaming experience like this? Dozens of cameras, long days of shooting, endless numbers of takes, and the top motion-capture technology. Mountain Dew shot with the Professor for three days, first with the Google Jump Cam set up on a tripod in order to capture him in 360 degrees. The challenges of shooting in a live action, 360-environment? No where to hide (the crew had to remain invisible on set, ducking so that the cameras wouldn't capture them), and no cuts: Boucher had to perform his lines and in moves in a whole take, with no mistakes. Then Boucher recorded more than 70 of his moves in a motion capture studio for the next two days, wearing more than 20 sensors on a green suit so that animators could use his CGI character to animate his motion. Each move required three to five takes, so count them up and you've got one serious matchup against the Professor.
Go behind the scenes to see how the Professor and the Mountain Dew crew pulled of this latest VR stunt — you have to play it to believe it. Find out more and sign up to play "The Professor Presents: #GotHandles" on March 16 at SXSW.