ITEC ENTERTAINMENT – Using virtual reality to pitch attraction concepts

By Allison Walker Torres


 

ITEC Entertainment — responsible for a bunch of local attractions — lets us in on how the virtual world continues to take over physical models. (PHOTO: Allison Walker Torres)


ORLANDO, Fla. (April 10, 2018) – Inside ITEC Entertainment’s lobby are several scaled-down models of local attractions. While they make for cool display pieces, a model can make or break a deal.

  • VR becoming common way to show attraction concepts
  • ITEC execs say its easier to make changes w/ software
  • Some developers still stick to ‘tradition’

The industry word is “previz.”

“Previsualization is a way for us to convey with our clients what the attractions are going to look like,” says Steve Alkhoja, ITEC Entertainment’s executive vice president of entertainment technologies.

Alkhoja and Jeff Jensen, the executive vice president, say the days of using physical models are thinning. Now, it’s all about virtual.

“It’s faster and it’s easier to make changes,” Alkhoja told Spectrum News.

The reason, in part, is because of the software. It’s the same kind that was used to create “Shrek.”

“The hair in the videos wasn’t as good as it is now,” he added. “Now it flows, so there’s a lot of techniques.”

The duo let us check out a fly-through of a Monkey King attraction currently under construction in China — one that ITEC designed.

“The actual ride is very similar to the Harry Potter ride here in Orlando where you’re on a robotic arm,” Jensen said. “The big difference with this one is you’re on a robotic arm that goes through a flat area, like a dark ride, and changes into a roller coaster.”

So developers can use a virtual reality set-up to check out the ride experience for consideration. We got to demo a King Arthur-based ride both first-and third-person.

Jensen added that a lot of new developers are getting into the business, also influencing the need for VR.

“So we actually need to be as clear with them as we can in describing these themed environments,” he explained.

But get this: Some developers, who’ve been around for a while like sticking to tradition.

“We actually had to build physical models and some clients, literally still do that,” he said smiling.

ITEC Entertainment has worked on technologies for 76 attractions at Universal parks around the world. Nearly 50 were done locally, including parts of Jaws and the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

About ITEC Entertainment Corporation

ITEC Entertainment Corporation is a global industry leader of award-winning, entertainment solutions that ignite the dreams of hundreds of millions of people all over the world. ITEC’s culture of performance and innovation pushes the frontiers of themed entertainment design, production and technology to new heights. Founded in 1985, ITEC has delivered over 300 of the most successful and comprehensive guest experiences spanning: theme parks, rides and shows; cultural attractions; resorts and mixed-use; themed dining; entertainment centers; and themed retail. ITEC is headquartered in Orlando, Florida with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.ITEC.com.

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