Immersion VR were enlisted to produce content for an AR ghost hunt experience for the Microsoft Hololens [link]. Using the same unique production techniques devised for Robin Hood: Arrow Through Time [link] This ghost hunt would fuse live action footage, CGI visual effects and AR technology in a real-world spatially mapped environment.
The AR experience would be hosted at Rufford Abbey, Yorkshire – a site with a long history of ghostly encounters, including the famous White Lady of Rufford.
As the viewer walks around the haunted Undercroft location at Rufford Abbey, the AR content appears As the viewer walks around the haunted Undercroft location at Rufford Abbey, the AR content appears according to the location of the viewer. Immersion VR created a bank of more than 30 historical characters – appearing as ghosts to shock and surprise – each one with their own unique story that plays out in front of the viewer.
The Microsoft HoloLens2 is the second iteration of Microsoft’s revolutionary head-mounted mixed reality device. It’s a device you put on your head, with a visor over your eyes, which enables a completely new way of interacting with information.
The Hololens is Microsoft’s take on augmented reality, which they call “mixed reality”. Using multiple sensors, advanced optics, and holographic processing that melds seamlessly with its environment, These holograms can be used to display information, blend with the real world, or even simulate a virtual world.
Combined with the incredible AR technology of the Hololens2, this pioneering project also utilised wearable sound technology to add deeper levels to the sense of immersion.
The Subpac is a haptic feedback vest which makes the user able to not only hear the sound, but feel it. We designed the audio to mimic the heartbeat of the viewer. As they move through the experience, the eerie soundtrack is combined with a heartbeat increasing in rhythm, that the wearer actually feels.
Shot in a studio environment by our talented team, the mixed reality experience combines live action, stunts, special effects and CGI to create a truly immersive and unique experience.
Our team’s extensive background both in 360VR and in traditional filmmaking was invaluable throughout this project – as our filmmaking approach combined both disciplines – as well as creating many new workflows and ways of shooting that were specific to this individual project.
Many of the brand-new filmmaking techniques we established on RHATT [link} – from camera equipment, to lighting setups, and special effects – were utilised in the Rufford Ghost Walk project.
As well as creating new shooting workflows, we also built new post-production workflows specific for Hololens experiences. As the filming process involved using a single fixed camera – we used custom made live keying technology to create cutting points. Transparency and colours behaved differently on the Hololens and this had to be adapted into our VFX workflow. Even the blocking of the actors had to be adapted in ways to suit the display of the Hololens.
A special mention also has to go to our talented Costume, Hair & Make Up and Art Departments. Many custom props were created for the experience, including soft weapons. The Costume Designer and Hair and Make Up department created multiple looks for our characters to enhance the story. Even fine details such as colour of costume, or style of hats, had to be considered carefully as the Hololens replicates images differently to conventional screen displays.
This pioneering AR filmmaking approach was also used on another project “Robin Hood: Arrow Through Time”.