New Location: Terre d’Exploration

It’s time to go underground
Apr 11, 2018 · 4 min read

There’s a new pin on the Realities globe: put on your helmet, pack your flashlight and prepare to crawl on the floor — it’s time to go underground into the caves below Vancouver Island!

VR cave exploration in the office

But what’s even better: this is just the first of three locations in the Terre d’Exploration / Uncharted Canada series! This cross media collaboration will take you right into the wilderness of Canada, letting you explore the sites featured in the TV5 documentary series! Following the descent into the caves we’ll release two more locations alongside the TV episodes: roam the Grasslands National Park from the 17th of April onwards and get ready to climb the amazing Bridge Glacier on April 24!


Before we tell you about why this is a very special release for us, we want to introduce you to the some friends of ours!

Meet FX, Damien, your guides in Terre d’Exploration:

Terre d’Exploration is a documentary series following two young adventurers (FX & Damien as you might have guessed) on their quest to explore Canadas most remote and striking areas. Traveling by air, raft, foot, they aim to better understand Canada’s land, people and ecosystems using their unique combination of outdoor skills and scientific knowledge. Each episode focuses on a different topic, from melting glaciers to the fauna of the prairies and even Canada’s undiscovered underground cave system.

Curious? You can watch the series on TV5s online portal (in French):

and of course, you should definitely follow them on Facebook & Instagram!

Now that you know you’re in good hands when venturing out into the Canadian wilderness, back to the other burning question: how is this release different to what came before?

Well, basically because we never left the office for it! So far all the locations you can explore on Realities were captured by someone from Why? As everybody who once tried photogrammetry knows, the quality of the photos is crucial for the quality of the end result — but getting the scanning right is still a bit of vodoo magic. While that’s of course an amazing excuse for us to travel around the globe to scan amazing places it’s also a huge bottleneck for bringing you new content and thus something we were never content with. From the beginning on our vision was to enable more people to bring amazing places into VR to make them accessible for everybody.

FX & Damien on the ice shield of the Bridge Glacier taking aerial shots for the photogrammetry reconstruction

So this time, instead of us venturing out ourselves and quite possibly getting lost somewhere in Canada we trained FX & Damien how to do the scanning on site. Once they returned to civilization (aka a place with an internet connection), they uploaded the photos and we processed them into the scenes using our pipeline and tools. Additionally, the Terre d’Exploration team produced the voice overs and video clips that you can find in the scenes to learn more.

This makes the Terre d’Exploration series a big step forward towards more exciting and diverse content! We showed that its possible for a crew of documentary filmmakers to venture out and do the scanning alongside their normal productions, enabling you to not only watch but also step inside the documentary! And rest assured, this is not the end — the next places produced that way are already in the making!

Time for a big thank you to our guinea pigs: Damien & FX, you guys did an amazing capturing those tricky locations! And Magali, thanks for keeping everything rolling behind the scenes, testing & providing valuable feedback! It’s been wonderful working with you guys, thanks for bringing those amazing pieces of Canada to Realities!

The stories and technology behind our award-winning VR experiences

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Interactive Documentaries in Explorable Virtual Reality #VR #photogrammetry #volumetric

The stories and technology behind our award-winning VR experiences

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