Magic Leap taps Andy Serkis' CGI studio to power content for its new VR headset

Emily Nicolle
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Andy Serkis' brand has worked on several projects including Star Wars
Andy Serkis' brand has worked on several projects including Star Wars (Source: The Imaginarium Studios)

Virtual reality startup Magic Leap has teamed up with The Imaginarium Studios, a London firm founded by actor Andy Serkis to power additional CGI content for its latest headset, which it raised $2.4bn to develop.

Imaginarium, which has worked on films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, uses performance capture technology with actors to build digital characters.

Serkis, who has starred as a number of digital characters to date including Gollum in Lord of The Rings and Caesar in Planet of the Apes, will appear in the content as an orc named Grishneck that interacts with the viewer when wearing the Magic Leap headset.

Read more: Apple has bought an augmented reality startup to rival Microsoft's Hololens

Magic Leap launched its first publicly available product, the Magic Leap One: Creator Edition, to users last month with creators and developers in mind.

Other competitor models include Microsoft's Hololens, and Apple is rumoured to enter the game soon after it bought a smart lens-making startup in the industry.

Outside of its partnership with Magic Leap, Imaginarium's chief executive Matthew Brown told City A.M. that the firm is “currently working with several production partners on a range of developing projects across children's TV and theatre, as well as a major feature film due out next year”.