Gear VR & Google Cardboard owners who have been looking for AAA production Sci-Fi action in full stereoscopic 3d, the day has come. Sonar is a 360° Sci-Fi short film with a run time of about 6 minutes that places you in a spaceship and plunges you into the depths of an unsettling cave.
Things start out fairly ordinary, as you drift through the remains of a spaceship and catch a glimpse of the computer hardware scattered about. All along there is an eerie feeling of being completely isolated from the rest of humanity. As you exit the spacecraft, you look around and find yourself on what appears to be a strange alien planet, something that looked like what you would imagine to see in a movie such as Prometheus.
Drifting through the sky as the title floats around you, the spacecraft then starts it’s decent into the cave below. This is where things go from somewhat isolating and mesmerizing to completely unsettling. As you venture further into the dark cave, the lead up to the dramatic finale begins. I won’t spoil anything here, but while it’s not a jump scare, it is the kind of scary that will most likely end up giving you a nightmare or two.
How to Download
- Go to Sonar’s Download Page.
- Enter your name and email. Make sure the format is set to GearVR 3d (even if you are planning to view on Cardboard)
- Click download now.
- You should receive the email shortly after. It took about a minute to get my email and I did it with two email accounts.
- Click the download link in the email to download (keep in mind there is a max of two download attempts)
- Gear VR Users –> Place .mp4 file into Oculus -> 360 Videos Directory. Open with Oculus 360 Videos App
- Google Cardboard Owners –> Use a program like AAA Cinema to play. Please select “Stacked 360°” as the format. Also, select option to turn off menu during playback.
- Oculus Rift Owners –> The only option I have found that works for now is Whirligig. Some people are reporting Virtual Desktop works when selecting Over Under and High Quality/Queue Ahead under performance settings. However, I have yet to get it working myself on Virtual Desktop. Whirligig works, but is choppy for me.
Sonar was created by Philipp Maas and Dominik Stockhausen at Filmacadamy Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany in 2014. Alexander Maas composed the brilliant musical score. Their concept of a classic Sci-Fi horror film was dramatically altered after they got hold of an Oculus Developer Kit 1 Virtual Reality Headset. At that point they started creating this 360° experience for VR use. This short first appeared for download to Oculus Rift users but is now available in full stereoscopic 3d for Google Cardboard and Gear VR owners.
One more thing. This is a 3 person team, that was capable of creating such an incredible experience with barely anything. Please donate to them on their download page to help with future projects.