If James Cameron and Bill Kroyer came together to create some kind of cinematic love child, we imagine it would look something like this VR world. The latest project from the animators at Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), the clip offers viewers a fully-immersive trip through a mystical forest, as seen through the eyes of the creatures who inhabit it.
Sorry, Bran. It looks like you need a new party trick.
It’s hard to believe, but the aptly titled, “In the Eyes of the Animals,” features a 3D rendering of a real forest in north England. To achieve the effect, the MLF crew had to overlay data from several scanning techniques – CT and photogrammetry (for detail), and LIDAR (for mapping) – with footage captured by aerial drones and 360º cameras. And by data, we do mean a lot of data. The LIDAR scan alone provided the team with a whopping 800 million points to work with.
The full video, which ran as part of the Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival this month, allowed users to soar above the canopy as owls, traverse the woodland undergrowth as frogs, and zip through the brush as a dragonflies.
“We’ve always had a hunger for hacking people’s senses by combining art and technology,” says co-founder Barney Steel. “Using VR to immerse someone in the sights and sounds of animals creates empathy by simulating the way that others sense the world.”
The experience is further enhanced by directional sound within the VR helmet, and a specially-designed vibration pack which simulates an animal’s breathing pattern – but MLF isn’t stopping there. The team is currently working on the next incarnation, which we can only hope will be Oculus-ready.