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Hollywood continues to see VR as a way to get people excited about upcoming film releases, and Marvel has jumped on board with that to hype up its sorcerer supreme.

Doctor Strange, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that stars actor Benedict Cumberbatch as master of mystical arts, is bending people’s minds thanks to a virtual reality experience that is traveling to major metropolitan areas around the world. Creative agency Denizen has put together this attraction that has professional artists using the Google Tilt Brush app to paint 3D worlds into existence. Fans can then explore these elaborate creations in a 50-square-foot space. Denizen took the Doctor Strange VR event to New York City, London, and Hong Kong, which are all important settings in the film.

This is an example of how the VR industry is establishing itself as a destination technology. While analysts predict that VR could generate as much as $40 billion by 2020, most of the money right now is going to mobile solutions like Samsung’s Gear VR and companies like Denizen that are providing work-for-hire solutions to bring this new technology to major companies like Marvel and Disney.

Denizen put together a video that combines music and visual elements of Doctor Strange with original, psychedelic artistic imagery. Since the titular Doctor in the film is capable of warping the surface of reality, this is an ideal way of enabling people to explore a facsimile of his powers first-hand.


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“We wanted everyday people to try it themselves and then film their authentic reactions as they walk through the virtual world,” Denizen cofounder Joe Matsushima said in a statement.. “We wanted to convey the vast scope and awe-inspiring beauty of the dimensions within Doctor Strange while connecting to the theme that these dimensions are within our own reality.”

Denizen’s solution is perhaps especially interesting because it really uses off-the-shelf existing software to convey the experience of Doctor Strange. Some other film-related VR promotions have featured totally original creations. Denizen, instead, just grabbed Tilt Brush, which is a free app from Google.

“We wanted to promote the jaw-dropping visuals of Doctor Strange in a way that reinforced the spectacular quality of the film,” said Matsushima. “We found that Tilt Brush in VR empowered each artist to create their own interpretation of each dimension by hand, versus a purely visual-effects creation. Any person who puts on the VR headset can experience the immersive world of Strange themselves as seen through the eyes of these unique artists.”

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