PETA "EYE TO EYE"

Virtual Reality Live Acting Experience

A brand new use-case in VR

We have conceived the idea and use-case together with Kolle Rebbe, and have managed to develop an unparalleled and immersive virtual reality application. The purpose of this experience is not only to bring out the sensitivity in people, but also to put them in their counterpart’s shoes - and evoke a deeper emotional feeling. As the world’s largest animal rights organisation, PETA has found a new, eye-catching and compelling way to reach out to people who have little or no previous involvement in animal rights - and this experience is most definitely one that is at eye-level with the users.

Enhancing learning through technology

The main idea is simple: a simple conversation can work wonders. However, a dialogue with an animal offers an unprecedented communication platform for PETA. The detailed and real-time virtual reality applications used made it possible to enhance the quality, and therefore allow users to be fully immersive within the animal’s perspective.

Enhancing learning through technology

Live Acting in Virtual Reality

Simplicity is created with the use of a complex technological setup: A motion-capture setup transmits the voice, facial expressions and gestures of a real-time actor into the modelled character - in this case a rabbit - who in return reflects the gestures of the actor. The actor’s voice is transmitted into the virtual world and triggers the dialogue with the respective user. The special feature: users have no idea that their counterpart is controlled by an actor. This convinces them that the conversation they are having with the virtual animal is true. Through this approach, the application offers an exceptional level of detail while offering a non-linear and unique experience.

Development of a unique touchpoint

The combination of both conceptual and technological approaches offers a completely new touchpoint for PETA in order to convincingly draw attention to animal rights, while at the same time meeting the organisation’s standards and demands.

Real-time framework in Unreal

In order to achieve this, we have used a real-time framework that has been developed in Unreal - a game engine - and have explored a variety of possible solutions for face and body tracking, real-time 3D animation as well as binaural sound design.

Unique setup

This unique and high-performance setup which was developed in six months is stable enough to be used at festivals and events - reaching out to a larger audience.

Complex motion and face tracking

The experience was made possible with the use of a multitude of technical components which posed new challenges to the concept and creative engineers, as well as our 3D artists - who required a dedicated amount of time during their exploration phase. In parallel to VR, the core of this experience is face and body tracking. Facial recognition software captured the actor’s facial expressions and transmitted them in real-time to the 3D model: the virtual animal. As a dialogue partner, the rabbit represents the suffering of all animals, and reaches out to the logo of the animal rights organisation.

Motion capturing in real-time

The rabbit’s body is also controlled using body tracking - hence a motion-capture sensor suit was used, which allowed the transmission of the actor’s movements into a virtual skeleton. These are then transferred in real-time to the virtual model. Additional animations - such as breathing movements - enhanced the overall liveliness of the virtual animal.

Complex motion and face tracking
Results

The application sets new standards, and not only for virtual technology or NGOs. It offers a unique tool that can be used as a communication platform like never seen before. The experience is different from one user to another - it is individually tailored - which explains the reason why the User Testings lasted on average over 10 minutes per user: a new benchmark for VR.

PETA "EYE TO EYE"

Virtual Reality Live Acting Experience