Sólfar and RVX Take Virtual Reality to New Heights

SAN FRANCISCO, HELSINKI, November 2015 -- Sólfar Studios today announced they are bringing EVEREST VR to virtual reality platforms in 2016.  In partnership with RVX - Nordic’s leading visual effects and animation house - the two companies are co-developing a VR experience like no other. 

“In forming this VR expeditionary force with RVX, our mission is to construct the definitive experience of what it feels like to summit Mount Everest, an epic feat that most will never attempt in the real world,” said Kjartan Pierre Emilsson CEO and co-founder at Sólfar. “By combining incomparable visual fidelity with real player agency and interactivity, EVEREST VR will immerse you in a virtual reality that feels both real and emotionally stunning.”

The premise of EVEREST VR is simple. Preparing for your expedition at Basecamp, you will traverse the Khumbu Icefalls, scale Lhotse Face, ascend the Hillary Step, and finally conquer the summit of Everest. You will learn to respect the mountain, you may even survive the encounter. You will leave the experience feeling like you were there. 

EVEREST VR is poised to generate huge interest from VR fans, with virtual exploration set to become the breakthrough application on VR platforms launching in 2016. In a survey of 2,250 U.S. consumers published by Greenlight VR today, travel and exploration categories registered the highest interest across all age, gender, and ethnicity groups, garnering the interest of 66% of respondents, higher than gaming. 

The partnership between Sólfar and RVX brings together a stellar team from the games and film industries to deliver an industry first experience in VR. Combining the best technology the games and film industry have to offer with a masterfully scripted AAA VR experience, Solfar and RVX have created an emotionally stunning and truly immersive VR journey. 

“As a creative director in the VFX industry working with phenomenal directors like Baltasar Kormákur and Alfonso Cuarón, I´ve always strived to perfect visual effects that add verisimilitude to the story and increase its emotional impact,” said Dadi Einarsson, founder and Creative Director at RVX. “With EVEREST VR, we now place the participant into a story where they control their pace and interaction with the experience. This will rewrite the rules for future storytellers and I can´t wait to see where this creative intersection of film and games talent in VR takes us.” 

EVEREST VR pushes the envelope of real-time graphics. Using advanced stereophotogrammetry techniques, the two studios have created the definitive CGI model of Everest for high-end VR platforms. Using NVIDIA‘s GeForce GTX TITAN X GPU to churn through over 300,000 high resolution images of the mountain range, a highly detailed 3D point cloud of the whole area was created. They then generated a 3D mesh and textures made to measure for the demands of a real-time VR application.

Sólfar and NVIDIA will further collaborate during the production of EVEREST VR to integrate GameWorks VR including VR SLI and multi-resolution shading and to take advantage of VR-ready PCs equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 GPUs on up to GeForce GTX TITAN X in SLI.

Building on this stunning visual backdrop in Unreal Engine 4, EVEREST VR will bring a level of interactivity and player agency that promises to become an apex experience for this new medium. 

Published by Sólfar, EVEREST VR will debut in 2016.