December 16th, 2015

ryan hemsworth ubisoft surrounded virtual reality music video

“Alone, but not lonely” takes on a whole new meaning in Ryan Hemsworth‘s music video for “Surrounded,” the third chapter of a trilogy of videos off his 2014 debut EP Alone For The First Time made with Montreal based production company Romeo et Fils. The Trilogy (City, Nature, Technology) consists of the videos for “One For Me”, “Snow In Newark”, and now “Surrounded”

In “Surrounded,” Hemsworth strides solo into a countryside warehouse, where he’s soon outfitted with motion-capture gear, including a clunky virtual reality visor that makes Scott Summers’ seem downright modest.

ryan hemsworth surrounded

Soon, the changes take place and the video displays interconnected scenes where Hemsworth crosses the threshold into a virtual second world. A place where anything is possible, where dreams are realized, an existence where the only limit is your imagination — a place that Hemsworth explores … as a DJ. Haha, dream on! Wouldn’t it be crazy if he was an actual DJ!? Oh wait …

Baby steps.

The gear and studio are both provided by video game giant Ubisoft Montreal, and the sheer power of its effects are on proud display throughout the video. In order to reduce animation labor and costs, the Canadian video game company opened the mocap studio back in 2012. Since then, it has been responsible for the seamless visual quality in several games, using its 46 cameras on such top games as Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Watch Dogs. Simply put, motion capture is the future of video game animation, and with Hemsworth paving the way, its influence could very well spill over into the music industry.

As Hemsworth moves by himself in the studio, his avatar makes corresponding movements in virtual reality. As the headliner in a church, he puts on a show for dozens of others who, as the video shows, come from all walks of life, diverse in settings and age, but all end up together in cyberspace. The Matrix it’s not, but who needs that dystopic shit? Hemsworth x Ubisoft put a positive spin  on virtual reality that proves technology’s capacity to unite loners worldwide.

Yet another reason never to leave your house.