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New VR Experience Casts Players as Animals in Lake District’s Grizedale Forest

Virtual reality (VR) lets users become anyone and, perhaps more excitingly, anything. A handful of experiences allow players to leave the confines of the human body and assume the roles of animals, aliens and more. This week sees the reveal of another such experience named ‘In the Eyes of the Animal’ from a studio by the name of Marshmallow Laser Feast. The piece utilises some unique features that attendees of the Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival will be able to sample later this month.

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In the Eyes of the Animal is set in the Lake District’s Grizedale Forest, which also hosts the AND Festival. The piece uses aerial 360° drone filming, LiDAR and CT scanning to allow virwers to become creatures within the forest, seeing the environment through their eyes. Some creatures were captured using a photogrammetry rig while others use the aforementioned CT scanning with the help of the Natural History Museum for highly detailed models, an example of which can be seen above. It also uses a wearable Sub Pac device which uses audio vibrations, turning them into a tactile experience.

It also uses information gathered from Project Daedalus, a Nesta-funded research project that investigates the creative potential of drones and aerial 360º cameras.

“Telling a story from the point of view of an animal in this immersive, 360º way has been made possible by advances in technology,” said Marshmallow Laser Feast co-founder, Robin McNicholas. “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. Thanks to AND, the Forestry Commission and the Digital R&D Fund, this has been an amazing opportunity to merge nature and technology.”

VRFocus will continue to follow the latest updates and VR experiences, reporting back with the latest.