Grizedale Forest becomes a stream of bright, swirling colours in this new virtual reality video that lets viewers explore nature as animals do. Viewers travel through an alien landscape, transforming from a midge to a dragonfly, then to a frog and finally an owl.
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The immersive experience, titled In the Eyes of the Animal, was created by Marshmallow Laser Feast, a creative studio that aims to rethink human perception through its work.
“We’ve always had a hunger for hacking people’s senses by combining art and technology,” said Barney Steel, co-founder of Marshmallow Laser Feast. “Using VR to immerse someone in the sights and sounds of animals creates empathy by simulating the way that others sense the world.”
The exhibit was part of the Abandon Normal Devices Festival, a nomadic cinema, art and digital culture event, that took place in Grizedale Forest earlier this month. The video is now being shared online for anyone to experience.
Created through a combination of 360-degree drone filming, laser scans and CT scans, the video gives a unique perspective of the forest and its animals. The artwork also includes close-ups of animals captured with a photogrammetry rig and CT scans by the Natural History Museum. Surround sound and audio vibrations in the headset also add to the immersion.
They then used the rendering to create helmets that allow you to wander through the woods while visualizing how animals like dragonflies, frogs, and owls see the woods.
As this piece shows, drone filming opens new possibilities not just for major filmmakers, but also for artists.
“Telling a story from the point of view of an animal in this immersive, 360º way has been made possible by advances in technology. Aerial filming, for example, has traditionally been the preserve of Hollywood blockbusters with budgets big enough for helicopters. But new drone technology means artists can now get a slice of the action too,” said Robin McNicholas, co-founder of Marshmallow Laser Feast.
Author: Cara McGoogan
Photo credit: dailyvibes.org