It’s A Miracle! Wait, No, It’s Tech.

Production still.

Production still.

Producers have been fretting about how to do feature films in VR, because the format doesn’t lend itself to traditional Hollywood techniques. However, it’s about to be used on one of the best-known tales of all time for Jesus VR — the Story of Christ, slated to arrive in Christmas, 2016, according to Variety. The 360-degree, 4K film will work on all major VR platforms, including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and PlayStation VR. Produced by Autumn Products and VRWERX, it’ll tell the story of Christ’s life from baptism to crucifixion.


The filmmakers behind Jesus VR haven’t said how they’re approaching the story, but appear to be focused on the immersion aspect. … That approach will let the camera operator “be” in scenes and should make for very high-resolution video, though it’ll require a lot of data post-processing to stitch everything together. “The viewers truly feel they are there with Jesus and his disciples,” director David Hansen said. “This is the most powerful story of all time and virtual reality is the perfect way to tell it.”

The most powerful story of all time. Goodness. I think that could be seriously argued against. Personally, I find it to be a weak and pale pastiche of earlier tales, featuring much better and more compelling characters, with great backgrounds. Virtual Reality? No. Virtual Bad Mythology, maybe.

Via Engadget.


  1. rq says

    Also, I’m betting the guy in the background on the right, with his hood up and his face all broody, is Judas Iscariot.

  2. Saad says

    Seriously. That looks like a Pope’s robe, just dirtied up a bit. Some fine materialistic embroidery there for the Prince of Peace.

  3. says


    That looks like a Pope’s robe, just dirtied up a bit. Some fine materialistic embroidery there for the Prince of Peace.

    High quality linen, too. That stuff is serious expensive, always has been. Not the cloth an itinerant preacher would be wearing. I guess being God’s kid had advantages.

  4. says


    Also, I’m betting the guy in the background on the right, with his hood up and his face all broody, is Judas Iscariot.

    Naturally, he’s the scary looking ethnic dude in a hoodie.

  5. rq says

    Some fine materialistic embroidery there for the Prince of Peace.

    His God’s somebody’s mum made it for him (wait what?).

    I was going to say something about the expense of linen and linen-wearing itinerant beggars/preachers (Latvian folk tales seem to be full of these), but this does not apply to the Middle East, since I doubt it has ever been a linen-producing region. So the point stands. :)

    At least none of them are openly blonde…

  6. says

    Linen is still expensive as hell, and that’s not including the finest linens, merely good quality, which will run you about $26.00 to $30.00 dollars a yard here. Thousands of years ago, processing flax and making linen was an insanely time consuming process, so linen has always been, historically, a fabric for the wealthy.

  7. rq says

    Thousands of years ago, processing flax and making linen was an insanely time consuming process, so linen has always been, historically, a fabric for the wealthy.

    :) This used to be what my family did, back out in the country. It’s a very labour-intensive process, and time-consuming, as you say. Linen is expensive -- but at the same time, I know that, locally, it was a common form of payment for field labour; so pretty much anyone who worked had at least one linen shirt (though, yes -- you’d only get one per year ;) ). Anyway, this is way, way off-topic. and mostly just me musing on linen and my personal experience with it. Sorry to ramble like that, I’m just looking for conversation in all the wrong places today, I guess.

  8. blf says

    rq, As you self-corrected, linen made from flax was certainly known in that part of the world at that time, and indeed for thousands of years before. The point which puzzles me is flax is (apparently) a cooler-weather crop, so I’m somewhat puzzled just where the linen used by, e.g., the ancient Egyptians was grown.


    I’ve got a (as in one) linen shirt — which is quite comfortable and cool, albeit seemingly-fragile — and a linen trouser (ditto), which has shown its fragility by developing a nasty tear. Shirt-wise, I prefer silk (also have one), which after some years of service finally developed its own tear. All three were, indeed, not-cheap.

  9. blf says

    I’m reasonably confident both the conversation and conversing individuals are far more interesting then the probable-dreck of the “VR” “movie” in the OP.

  10. rq says

    That’s funny, blf, because I associate linen with sturdy fabric (though not heavy or coarse), certainly not fragile (as a general rule -- for lacy, really fancy stuff, yes). :)
    If you ever find the ancient flax-fields of Egypt, let me know -- I’m curious, too.

  11. says


    Sorry to ramble like that, I’m just looking for conversation in all the wrong places today, I guess.

    No need for sorry, linen is infinitely more interesting than yet another white Jesus pic.

  12. says

    Couldn’t have Egypt traded with Greece for linen or flax?

    Rick has several fine linen shirts, which he prizes, but you have to be damn careful with them so you don’t wear them out right away. I don’t even bother trying to wash linen, it goes dry clean.

  13. blf says

    Caine, Yes, I assume Egypt traded with somewhere for the flax and/or linen, but haven’t a clew where. (My initial guess would be someplace like the mountains of Lebanon, but that is just speculation(and not very informed at that!).)

  14. blf says

    Caine@17, Interesting! Either I am mistaken(quite possible!) about the “cool”(which, I note, is imprecise), or proximity to the Nile (which must have some “cooling” influence) matters, or perhaps the flax of time was more heat-tolerance, or some combination of those (and perhaps other?) factors.

  15. rq says

    I put linen in the regular wash… but I think there’s a marked difference in product, here. The linen I have everyday association with is not necessarily fine, it’s very cotton-y, and it’s considered a hardy fabric -- wash it, wring it, hang it out to dry, no problem. They do tend to go a bit yellow with repeat wear, but I think that’s ordinary for any white fabric. But! This isn’t fine artisanal linen, it’s linen for mortal folk like me, which is where the difference arises (I wash my linen napkins regular cycle, too!). Export-quality linen is probably a whole ‘nother fish, depending on which market it’s going to, and dry-clean is probably the best way to go.
    I find linen notorious for wrinkling, though it’s a good fabric to iron -- a rewarding process, since it always comes out nice and smooth, too. And I don’t even like ironing.

    Speaking of cost, I recently acquired a 2m x 1.5m (approximate values, I’m not home to check) linen table-cloth for 45 euro… how does that compare with price for yards? (This is an affordable number, but again, it’s a regular grey/white linen table-cloth with a fairly traditional/common-place square-and-rectangle pattern (without the lace).)

  16. rq says

    proximity to the Nile

    I would assume this would be a factor, I think flax needs quite a bit of water (though not necessarily a marsh). And who knows, might be different varieties in different areas, too.

  17. blf says

    Ok, it seems flax in Egypt “is sown […] about the middle of November, in the plains which have been inundated by the Nile, and it is pulled in about 110 days. It is generally in the boll in February, and pulled in March” (Ancient Egyptian Linen, other sources confirm). That would be during the coolest part of the year (apparently ranging from, on average, c.9–c.20℃), which, self-evidently, is flax-liked.

    Amusingly, on the ancient Greece speculation, Flax points out:

    Pliny describes how flax was grown in his day and mentions the economic importance the plant had for the Egyptians apart from the obvious one of clothing the native population:

    Flax is mostly sown in sandy soils, and after a single ploughing only. There is no plant that grows more rapidly than this; sown in spring, it is pulled up in summer, and is, for this reason as well, productive of considerable injury to the soil. There may be some, however, who would forgive Egypt for growing it, as it is by its aid that she imports the merchandize of Arabia and India.
    The flax of Egypt, though the least strong of all as a tissue, is that from which the greatest profits are derived. There are four varieties of it, the Tanitic, the Pelusiac, the Butic, and the Tentyritic — so called from the various districts in which they are respectively grown.

    As per the quote from Pliny above, there were several(three?) different types of flax grown in ancient Egypt.

  18. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 11

    I guess luck and the kind of work one did may have influenced on what kind of linen the shirt was. Flax (pellava in Finnish, both the plant and fiber) produces both finer (aivina in Finnish, I don’t know what that is in other languages) and coarser (rohdin in Fi) fibers.

    I’ve got some half-linen shirts, they’re nice and cool for summer, but they tend to get wrinkly quite easily. Nowadays linen is used often here for tablecloths, towels and sauna textiles (bench covers and such) here. Various linen textiles are quite popular as gift items.

  19. rq says

    Hm, sandy soils, short growing period, cool weather, proximity to water. Huh. Neat!
    What are the stronger tissues, then, if the flax of Egypt is the least strong? Or is that just Egyptian flax being least strong among all the other flax out there?
    Pliny seems to list four varieties; I wonder if each had slightly varying properties or applications, too?

  20. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Language quirk: pelavas (kind of a collective plural) is the remains of what you get after threshing grain (the chaff?). :D Also linen is produced in two different colours, the grey and the white (bleached) and they’re accordingly called pelēkie lini and baltie lini. Both are popular in gift items, clothing (esp. traditional folkwear) and kitchen linens (also sauna textiles, it’s supposed to extra-invigorating to dry yourself with a linen towel due to the coarser texture).

  21. blf says

    The first link also refers to Pliny (but provides no quote), and lists only three types of flax (albeit with four names), and indicates each of the three-ish types is of different quality and, possibly, usage.

  22. Ice Swimmer says

    In the first link of blf the coarser outer fibers (even a single plant produces different qualities) are called “tow”. So rohdin would be tow.

    My late grandma’s trick to get soft linen towels was to use them as tablecloths for a time so that repeated washing would soften them.

  23. rq says

    I actually like the roughness, but thanks for the tip! If I ever need soft towels, I’ll go for the linen tablecloths.

  24. says

    He’s white again.

    … following the new tradition of using the likeness of pope Alexander VI’s son Cesare Borja. (Lucretia’s brother) Cesare was a good-looking fellow until the syphilis claimed his face, and was the model for a lot of papal commissions. Pope daddy later bought Cesare a cardinalship. Machiavelli wrote “The Prince” as a sort of extended analingus to Cesare. He died naked and bleeding, thrust through with a spear, during an ambush attack in one of the incessant series of wars he started. Good riddance. But a good likeness for jesus!

  25. says

    Flax is a big crop here in ND, but it’s for oil, not fiber.

    OMG I hope they do something useful with the fiber.

    I keep having daydreams about going into the business of making bed-linens like they used to make them. I’ve seen some 18th century bed-linens and they’re about as thick and drapy as today’s Irish linen towels. I can’t imagine how awesome it would be to sleep in something like that. All we need is a load of the fiber and a spinning machine, right? (actually, joking aside, probably more like $100k and ship the stuff to Thailand for spinning and Pakistan for finishing…)

  26. inquisitiveraven says

    Actually, as I read that quote, what he was saying is that the most fragile linen is the most valuable, or at least the most profitable in terms of sales. And yeah, something so sheer as to be almost see through is gonna be fragile. It also deserves the tissue description.

  27. rq says

    You should look into doing the spinning and finishing yourself -- it can’t be that much more complicated. Time- and labour-intensive, sure, but what else are you going to do out there in the wilds of N.Murca?

  28. says

    Marcus @ 31:

    OMG I hope they do something useful with the fiber.

    I don’t think they do. It probably ends up as silage, but I don’t know for sure. I’ll have to ask around.

  29. blf says

    The link seems to be borked, so this is from Generalissimo Google’s cache (Flax Production in North Dakota, North Dakota State University):

    Producers grow two types of flax: seed flax for the oil in its seed and nutritional value, and fiber flax for the fiber in its stem.

    Today producers in the upper Midwest and the Prairie Provinces of Canada grow seed flax. North Dakota is the leading producer of flax for oil and food use in the U.S.

    Interest in healthful diets for humans and animals is increasing the demand for flax seed. Flax seed is crushed to produce linseed oil and linseed meal. Linseed oil has many industrial uses; linseed meal is used for livestock feed […].

    Flax seed and meal also are fed to pets, swine, chickens and horses. In addition, the fiber in seed flax stems is used to make fine paper and as tow, or padding, in upholstered furniture. Cigarette paper is a major flax paper product.

    No mention of linen, other than in a historical context (not included in the above excerpt). Note it seems to suggest the fibre of common flax grown in ND isn’t really suitable for linen, being more useful to make into paper to keep people addicted to nicotine.

  30. blf says

    Also, Alternative Field Crops Manual — Flax:

    Common flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) was one of the first crops domesticated by man. Flax is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region of Europe; the Swiss Lake Dweller People of the Stone Age apparently produced flax utilizing the fiber as well as the seed. Linen cloth made from flax was used to wrap the mummies in the early Egyptian tombs. In the United States, the early colonists grew small fields of flax for home use, and commercial production of fiber flax began in 1753. However, with the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, flax production began to decline. During the 1940’s fiber flax production in the U.S. dropped to nearly zero. Today a few individuals still grow fiber flax for their own use to make linen. Presently [1989?] the major fiber flax producing countries are the Soviet Union, Poland, and France. […] States having the largest seed flax acreages are North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

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