In 2018, Nexus Studios in collaboration with Google Spotlight Stories created the first virtual reality (VR) Google Doodle in the form of Back to the Moon. Google closed the Spotlight Stories studio in 2019 after six years but that hasn’t stopped Nexus taking the project and moving it into augmented reality (AR) this week.
Back to the Moon was directed by Fx Goby and Hélène Leroux to celebrate the story of pioneering filmmaker and illusionist Georges Méliès. One of the earliest to experiment with visual effects at the turn of the 20th century, his film A Trip To The Moon features one of cinema’s most iconic images, a spaceship which has struck the Moon, becoming lodged in its eye.
That’s just one of several Méliès films which Back to the Moon references, others include The One-Man Band where he appeared to audiences to be playing multiple instruments simultaneously and The Impossible Voyage, with Méliès playing an explorer who travels around the globe, into the oceans and even further afield.
Bringing Back to the Moon into AR means the Google Doodle has now starred across most formats, VR, 360-degree video and 2D. To view the piece all you need to do is download the free Google Spotlight Stories app for Android or iOS devices then download Back to the Moon. You’ll also be able to view all the other Google Spotlight Stories including Age of Sail, a story of William Avery (played by Ian McShane), an old sailor adrift and alone in the North Atlantic.
For another free AR app check out Within’s Wonderscope which is currently offering all its DLC for free. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Nexus Studios and its AR projects, reporting back with the latest updates.