High-res and web-friendly formats of our beautiful hand-drawn poster design! Includes a zip of: high-res, large, medium, small, and thumbnail JPG formats.
A variety of cover art images. Zip file includes: 1:1, 3:1, 10:3, 16:9 dimensions.
Large, medium, small logo sizes. Includes logo on: original navy, black, white, and transparent backgrounds.
Captures from a variety of moments in The Avaloki.
Priyam is an Indian-American writer-director and technical lead. He is currently exploring the future of animation at Fable Studio, known for its Emmy-nominated experience Wolves in the Walls. His previous research in immersive narrative design at the University of Southern California led him to create two experiences funded and distributed by Oculus. He has also created an interactive experience for an iconic Grammy award-winning artist at Sony Pictures, and has worked at DreamWorks Animation, Amazon Studios, and the BBC.
Robin Cho is an interactive producer of VR and AR experiences, having recently premiered a WITHIN music-composing VR title at Tribeca Immersive in collaboration with rock band OK Go. He has also produced projects funded by Oculus and Jaunt XR while working on major studio IP, and has advised several AR ventures.
Cho grew up in Hong Kong and graduated from the University of Southern California after serving in the South Korean military. He is particularly interested in interactive projects that connect users across borders, and offer real-world solutions to everyday problems. Outside of work, he is a competitive open water swimmer and an avid guitarist.
A graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Niko Korolog has a background in Classical and Electronic music composition and Game Audio implementation. He has been composing music since 2005, and has been writing commissioned works for film and video games since 2007. He is credited on a number of short films, and several published video games and virtual reality experiences.
More about Niko: https://www.nikokorologmusic.com/
Art Director / Lead VR Artist
Estella Tse is a VR/AR art director and immersive artist based in Oakland, CA. She focuses on the integration of emerging tech and visual storytelling as a new art form, to inspire new ways of connection, education, and empathy building. Estella has collaborated with Google, Cartoon Network, Adobe, and more.
Jake Stull is an animator who has been in the industry for over three years. After graduating from the University of Kansas he studied character animation at The Animation Collaborative to refine his workflow. Avaloki is the second interactive virtual reality film he has worked on with the direction of Priyam Parikh. Jake Stull’s passion for new technology led him to co-found Syndikit, an avant-garde technology art house where he continues to push storytelling in new mediums.
Lead Concept Development
Yaya Veerasilpa is a storyteller from Thailand with a background in Transmedia and game design. She explores the theme of spirituality, human psychology and fantasy and works across different mediums ranging from digital arts, film, game to VR.
Find more of Yaya's work: http://www.yaya-v.com/
Frequently Asked Questions
WHERE DOES THIS STORY COME FROM?
Beginning with design, Avaloki itself was conceived from an interactive technique to intuitively answer two major VR questions: Who am I? and What do I do? My co-creator and I knew that we wanted to innovate the relationship between a user and the story's world. So, we thought of the most meaningful relationships in our own lives and asked: what were the moments that began our strongest friendships? Both of us agreed that they often begin when one person shares an intimate story from their past. For our pilot episode, we decided to use this derivation to make our core interaction. For example, this is the interaction where the user has to unveil an orb that shares a tale of the children's past. This simultaneously gives depth to the characters, progresses the story, unfolds clues of their father, and exposes the Avaloki's (or the user's) relationship with both the father and children.
Building on top of our design, the story is inspired from a beautiful Buddhist myth: Avalokiteshvara, which are enlightened people (bodhisattvas) that postpone nirvana in order to give compassion to humanity. I found this to be the perfect context of our core interaction, while representing my own cultural heritage. Even more so, I thought it would be elegant for the user to play such a person. Accordingly, we made sure to structure the experience so that the user must actively choose to become an Avalokiteshvara-type character (e.g. by placing their own hands inside the ancient sculpture’s). This way there’s a conscious decision to become a character that helps these children. When developing the mythology of this series, I decided to name the user’s character the Avaloki, which later became the title for the series itself. His goal (and thus, our goal) is to guide these lost children through compassion.
Avaloki is filled with some of the medium’s latest technology. Among others, the experience’s setting is a real-world photogrammetric cave we shot and rendered in Red Rock, California. The ‘memories’ were fully painted using Google’s Tilt Brush. Finally, the experience also utilizes non-linear, branching Unity timelines.
WHAT DO THE SYMBOLS REPRESENT?
Avaloki draws from a combination of Japanese and Buddhist symbology.
In traditional Buddhist mythology, Avalokiteshvara remained on Earth to save people from suffering, instead of reaching Nirvana. He represents compassion. For our adaptation, the Avaloki is a spirit that people rely on when they hope for something. He is omniscient and helps the children uncover their past.
We included the lotus in various parts of the flashback experiences. The lotus symbology is a really beautiful concept! The lotus flower is beautiful and grows from muddy waters. It represents purity and enlightenment. Even the colors and stages of open/closeness of the lotus flower have different meanings in traditional Eastern symbology.
Above the flashback scenes, there is an endless knot within a mandala. The endless or infinity knot represents interrelated, entwined realities, of choices and consequences. It also ties back to the intersections of wisdom and compassion. Mandalas are made as a creative representation/internal investigation of one's inner universe. It's created in meditation to provide more insight into one's inner self. We thought this two symbols would be so perfect to use specifically for the VR platform, the intwining of realities and time, of diving deeper into one's history to uncover truths.
There were several Japanese patterns you might have noticed. The wave, or "seigaiha", represents good luck, power, resilience. The wave is considered a lucky omen. The arabesque or "karakusa" is a pattern of leaves and vines. It represents family legacies, similar to family trees in Eastern culture.
WHAT WAS THE MOST TECHNICALLY DIFFICULT THING TO ACHIEVE FOR THIS PROJECT?
By far, the process of combining all of our varied art assets (3D, photogrammetry, Tilt Brush painting) into a cohesive experience.
We not only had to create an action/reaction flow with two fully animated 3D models, but also had to add in a massive, detailed photogrammetric cave, and stylized ‘2.5D’-style Tilt Brush illustrations. Through countless iterations we strived to achieve the right balance of quality, cohesion and technical performance. Among other decisions, we increased blacks and reduced detail from the cave texture such that the characters are highlighted more; we matched the textures of the children with their Tilt Brush forms; we shortened the viewing distance of the memory sequences so as to not overwhelm the participant when moving between cave and illustration; we reduced lighting in the cave and used point lights in the Tilt Brush scenes to focus the participant’s attention. Overall, it was a difficult and elusive process of finding the right balance.
When everything began to come together, it was magic.
HOW DID YOU PAINT THE FLASHBACK SCENES?
The flashbacks were painted in virtual reality, using an HTC Vive headset (the hardware) and Google's Tilt Brush (the software). While in a VR headset, our artist Estella was able to paint within a roomscale environment, meaning she could paint full 3D worlds with depth and mass, floating in a large space in her studio space. It's a 1-to-1 ratio. (Here are some examples that best illustrate what this means.)
From there, we were able to export the full worlds / paintings, and pass it to our developers to add lighting, special effects, and combine them into the rest of the experience.
WILL THERE BE MORE?
Hopefully! Avaloki was designed to be the first installment of an interactive episodic series, where you are the Avaloki guardian awoken to guide the lost children to their exiled father.
DO YOU HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Feel free to contact us!