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3dp_vrporn_holodexxx_modelThey say that you should never learn how the sausage is made, because the chances are that you’ll never be able to eat the sausage again. I don’t think that truism has ever been more apt than when used in conjunction with the making of virtual reality porn. Even the making of regular porn sounds terrible, I can’t imagine anything less arousing than the image of two (or more) people having sex while camera crews, boom operators, directors and lighting experts stand around and watch. And it isn’t just the artifice of the performers that sounds off-putting, but it’s more about the fact that everyone present is really just there to do a job and is probably not really enjoying themselves. Watching other people stand around not having fun doing their jobs doesn’t sound especially interesting, even if some of them are naked.

So I didn’t even have to hit play on the new video from VICE contributor Sarah Ratchford to know that learning how they made VR porn wasn’t going to be very glamorous. Seeing the building where VR porn company Holodexxx is headquartered is all it took for me to know that I was right. It seemed more like the headquarters for a shady telemarketing company than the future of interactive pornography, but clearly appearances can be deceiving. Holodexxx is a Canadian startup that was founded by Morgan Young, Craig Alguire, and Chris Abell, none of whom have a background in pornography, but will clearly be redefining it in the next decade.

The future starts here.

The future starts here.

The company was started about eight month ago by Young and Alguire who have experience designing video games, while Abell who joined then a few months later has a background in the movie industry. On the surface, the process of making 3D pornography isn’t much different than the one used to create the hyper-detailed 3D printable mini-selfies that can be made with 3D scanning booths. The porn performer, in this case Tori Black, strikes various poses while a bank of 112 Canon Rebel digital cameras snap high quality pictures that software combines into a high quality three dimensional model.

Black is photographed in multiple positions, and photographed making just as many facial expressions. She is also recorded on HD video speaking hundreds of lines of dialogue, while a computer captures her body language. They spend an almost absurd amount of time just photographing her vagina alone, although it makes sense for that to be one of the most fully realized parts on her new virtual body, especially given what her avatar is going to be used for. Eventually they will have captured enough of her likeness that all of the digital assets can be combined to create a photorealistic avatar that will be able to move and make countless facial expressions.

"I'm ready for my close-up."

“I’m ready for my close-up.”

It’s all in service of creating a “video game” that Holodexxx is developing to allow users to manipulate their favorite porn stars, and eventually as technology evolves, even simulate sex with them. For now the game can only be played with a VR setup like Oculus Rift, where the payer wears a headset to view the 3D world, and wears gloves in order to interact with it. But Holodexxx is just getting started, and as the technology of virtual reality matures, interactivity is going to increase.

3dp_vrporn_Holodexxx“I think there’s going to be almost like a renaissance. People are going to be able to explore their sexuality in a way that they’ve never been able to before. It’s crazy too, because people may not choose to represent themselves the way that they are in the real world in a VR space. You know, I might talk to you and you like lizards, and you’re a big lizard. And I’m an ice cream cone. But if that’s how I choose to represent myself as an avatar, then so be it. And we can still step into a space and have an exciting, interactive and intimate connection with each other. [You can] assume the body you like, assume the gender you like, the race you like, and be yourself and explore sexuality. It’s amazing; it’s what we’re on this planet to do,” Young explained to Ratchford.

There is nothing new about the idea of creating 3D virtual reality pornography; it has likely been one of the driving forces of VR tech advancement as it was with the Internet. However, Holodexxx seems to be leading the pack, and while currently limited by technology they are already planning for advancements that are still several years away. The industry is already working on developing teledildonic technology, which is literally tech that will stimulate the wearer’s body via signals sent to it over the internet. Pretty soon the sex won’t be as simulated as it is now, and in fact users will for all intents and purposes be getting busy with a machine.

Adult actress Tori Black.

Adult actress Tori Black.

While throughout the video Ratchford really seems hung up on the consent issue of a 3D avatar, it isn’t a worry that Black seems to share. She insists that the avatar is not her, so her fans or whoever can pretty much do whatever they want with it. But if an adult actor does have a problem with people doing things to their avatar that they don’t like, her advice is pretty blunt: “Find a new career.” Advice that is legitimately difficult to counter, because it isn’t going to be difficult for someone to figure out how to pull 3D avatars from films and control them any way that they wish. The pornography industry lost the war against free pornography, and the VR porn industry will lose the war against pirated avatars.

Honestly, for me, what a sex performer’s virtual body does isn’t really the issue. After all, considering what they are going through in order to make VR porn, they have to know what they’re getting into. But what about real people? What about celebrities? What happens when their avatars are hacked and the internet fills up with 3D versions of famous actors and actresses that people can virtually have sex with? Are those actors, who often have images that need to legally be protected in order to be able to make films, going to be as blasé as Black on the issue?

One of hundreds of facial expressions photographed by the Holodexxx team.

One of hundreds of facial expressions photographed by the Holodexxx team.

It’s unlikely, but not impossible, that will be the future of virtual reality, and it’s a little silly to deny it. VR is coming – honestly, no pun intended – far faster than any of us seem to think it is and I don’t think anyone is exactly ready for what’s going to happen when it gets here.

You can read the article here, and see VICE’s NSFW video on Tori Black recording VR porn here:

 

 

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