Nickelodeon has big plans to introduce its reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise during Comic-Con with a virtual-reality experience that will put journalists and some lucky superfans directly into the show’s animated universe to chat live with two of the Turtles, Donatello and Michelangelo. The “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Live” experience, set for Friday, July 20, is the latest project from Nickelodeon’s cutting-edge Entertainment Lab, which launched last year to experiment with new and emerging technologies and broaden entertainment options for Nick’s audiences.

“It’s really fun,” says Chris Young, senior VP of Entertainment Lab. “There’s a great moment when you realize you’re fully immersed inside of the Turtles’ universe.

The characters that you know really well are right in front of you, and you can have a conversation with them.” The team has constructed a green-screen cube, which is where users will put on HTC Vive VR headsets and immediately find themselves in a stylized New York street scene. “The idea is that the person will be in the Ninja Turtle reboot universe,” explains Young.

“A camera is filming the journalist and compositing them live in real time into the environment. They’ll have a big Nickelodeon cartoon avatar head that can be chosen ahead of time.” It’s quite a setup behind the scenes, with several high-powered gaming computers, video and audio technicians, and a team of puppeteers making the Turtles move while the actors respond to the reporter’s or fan’s questions.

Josh Brener, who voices Donatello, and Brandon Mychal Smith, who plays Michelangelo, will be on hand at Comic-Con to interact with users in real time. The puppeteers are stationed so they can watch the actors as they improv and create the animated performance. Read more from variety.com…

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