Cross the treacherous crevasses of the Khumbu Icefalls. Scramble up the icy Lhotse Face. Weave your way up the path of the Hillary Step, poised on a knife-edge between icy slopes and rocky cliffs. Finally, reach the summit of Mount Everest for a stunning view from Earth’s highest point.
Using a HTC Vive setup at the VRX 2015 conference in San Francisco Monday, we provided a first glimpse at a new virtual reality experience from Reykjavik, Iceland-based Sólfar Studios. It’s as close as most of us will come to climbing the world’s tallest mountain.
Sólfar is a pure-play VR studio formed in 2014 by three veteran game developers from CCP Games. They’re working with RVX, the Reykjavik-based visual effects and animation studio whose VFX credits include Hollywood blockbusters such as “Gravity” and “Everest,” to bring EVEREST VR to virtual reality platforms in 2016.
NVIDIA GPUs not only render the VR experience, but also were used in the creation of the ultra-realistic 3D model of Everest from more than 300,000 high-resolution photographs taken of the mountain.
Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X GPU, the team at RVX used the database of photographs to create a GPU-accelerated 3D point cloud of Everest. They then generated a 3D mesh and textures made to measure for the demands of a real-time VR application.
Our collaboration with Sólfar is just beginning. We’re working together to integrate GameWorks VR, including VR SLI and multi-resolution shading, into the final production.
The final result will be a VR experience like no other. One that’s built to take advantage of VR-ready PCs equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 GPUs on up to GeForce GTX TITAN X in SLI.
Our goal: to bring to VR fans an experience that delivers on the promise of virtual reality to fully immerse you in Earth’s most iconic settings.
Images courtesy of Sólfar Studios and RVX.