Since their development in the late-70s and early-80s, music videos have become an integral part of the visual experience of music. Videos express the thematic material that the artists want to portray in their music and can push the boundaries of creativity and innovation. It only makes sense for music videos to start exploring the virtual reality medium. Plus, if Google’s recent success in this proves anything, VR music videos are definitely the way of the future.
In collaboration with Queen, Google created the Bohemian Rhapsody Experience, which recently launched for free on Android and iOS for Google Cardboard (and is also available as a 360 video for those without a VR device).
As a journey through Freddie Mercury’s subconscious mind, and according to Virtual Reality Pulse, “is filled with diverse imagery from hand-drawn animation to motion capture to CGI”. The visuals emulate the song’s distinctive sections with real-time rendering and 3D audio. Another really cool aspect involves subtle interactive elements, depending on where the user looks.
Watch this video where Google, Queen, and the production studio heavily involved in developing this experience, Enosis VR, discuss the Bohemian Rhapsody Experience’s creation:
Another one of the really interesting — and perhaps surprising — things about this VR music video is its use of traditional hand-drawn animation. If you think that 2D animation might seem out of place in an immersive 3D experience, Virtual Reality Pulse assures that is not the case. The execution of the hand drawn animation fits well with the 3D VR music video. So, if you worried about the future of more traditional animation in a CGI, 3D world, don’t worry. Hand drawn animation still has a place alongside CGI animation in a world moving more and more towards virtual reality.
The Bohemian Rhapsody Experience is available for free. You can get it from Google Play, where you will need a Google Cardboard to view it. It is also available on the App Store where you can view it with a VR device or as a 360 video.