Inside our Lufthansa Air Swing VR Experience
What did you want to accomplish with the project?
For Lufthansa's appearance at the ITB - the largest tourism trade fair in the world, we wanted to awake the curiosity of trade fair visitors. Specifically – a desire to travel to some of the selected destinations served by Lufthansa Group airlines. Therefore – in cooperation with Kolle Rebbe – we created an immersive VR swing.
What technical challenges did you encounter and how did you solve them?
There where two main challenges: First, connecting a real swing to the virtual world. And second, creating photorealisitic environments that reflect destinations all over the world.
To connect the real and the virtual world, both the position of the swing, and the users head movements in the head set were tracked. Several trackers, attached to the sides of the swing, transferred the exact position and acceleration of the swing precisely into the virtual scene. This set-up enabled us to unite the real rocking experience and the virtual 3D world into one unseen experience.
To create the realistic environments, photorealistic visuals and authentic topography were generated by a software specially programmed for this application – using high-resolution Google Maps satellite images, and separate elevation information. In addition realistic, animated clouds, birds and several location-specific 3D assets enhanced the experience and the immersive feeling of depth.
What did winning the FWA award mean to you?
We are always excited to share our projects with the FWA community and receive feedback. Eventually, winning an FWA is great. The FWA has always been a place for awesome projects, and we appreciate being a part of it.
Starting with 3D renderings in Maya, ZBrush and Substance Painter we then developed the interactive experience and the realtime-3D elements in Unity expanded by a custom terrain map generator.
Three hot facts:
- Visitors are located around 15,000 feet above the surface.
- Each of the destinations uses over 40smi large 3D models.
- Adventurous users could “free-fall” more than 3,000 feet before being slowed down.