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Cars Land attraction created with virtual technology

May 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
We came to know the world of Cars thanks to the hugely successful animated movies. Next month, the world will come to know Cars Land as the newest attraction at Disney California Adventure.

But before the rides became reality, they were designed in the virtual world. Mark Mine is one of Disney's top Imagineers, and he presides over the Digital Immersive Showroom, otherwise known as DISH.

"This is a model that we've been using for several years now to work out what this land is going to look like, and then more specifically what the Radiator Springs Racers attraction is going to feel like for the guests riding through that attraction," said Mine.

So before work crews started building the brick and mortar version of Cars Land, Mine and his team built it inside a warehouse in Glendale where the experience can be fine-tuned and improved.

"It's easy to make changes, whereas when something has been built out of concrete, it's very difficult to make changes, so that's why we like to work out all of the details in the virtual world before we ever start building things in the real world," said Mine.

The key to DISH is a futuristic hat that keeps track of your digital movements inside the virtual world.

"So you feel like you're there, and then you can very naturally look around the 3D simulation, you don't have to use a mouse or a joy stick or anything like that," said Mine.

Now that Cars Land is set to open on June 15, Mine and his team are recreating other rides from other Disney theme parks.

"We're using this for pretty much every single attraction that's coming out of Imagineering now; it's going to be a very helpful tool for us," said Mine.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.


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