Meet the Voxels: Nickelodeon takes to AR and VR in new animated sitcom

Nickelodeon has developed a new TV series using AR and VR, developed by its entertainment lab lead Chris Young / Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon announced the development of its first original TV series that uses both augmented and virtual reality.

The animated sitcom, tentatively titled ‘Meet the Voxels’, is considered a first of its kind for Nickelodeon, using real-time motion capture and animation technologies through its entertainment lab.

Meet the Voxels, the tentative name given to the series, focuses on the life of a family of video-game characters and their ‘on and off-duty’ adventures. The family members (all names working titles) have included the 13-year-old star of a laser-tag video game; a 16-year-old girl bubble popper, a younger brother who hasn’t found his video game calling yet, all raised by their street fighter mother and retired 90s era console character of a father.

'Meet the Voxels' will live on Nickelodeon's TV, on-demand and online channels, but will also utilize virtual and augmented reality for companion episodes that add to the main storyline.

The show was developed by Chris Young, Nickelodeon’s senior vice president of the Nick Entertainment Lab. Young said in a statement, “Our vision is to take the real-time technology we’ve been exploring in the Lab and marry it with a creative concept that connects with kids and their passion for video games."

Young previously was Nick’s executive creative for Nickelodeon’s animation lab, and held various roles at Nickelodeon and in the entertainment industry, including as an actor on the cult series Max Headroom and as a producer of shows like Disney’s The Proud Family.

He added: “We designed this next-gen animation workflow and filled it with characters who can exist naturally across multiple platforms from day one.”

When asked why and how his team has been able to use these varied platforms, he said to The Drum: "It’s really about leveraging this virtual cinema workflow that allows us to utilize game assets to make a linear television show and VR and AR experiences from the same source material.”

Chris Viscardi, the Viacom channel’s senior vice president of animation added: “Chris is helping lead Nickelodeon animation toward a transformation into a wholly new content creation studio. Meet the Voxels marks a significant development in turning that content dream into a production reality.”

The Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab seemed to be a big focus for the network, as the channel has utilized its capabilities to help launch new assets like its Slimezone VR experience and The Loud House 360, a web cartoon series set in a 360-degree environment. The company considers this an evolution in how it develops content through real-time animation.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.