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_Tree

A VR journey from the perspective of a tree.

2017 Milica Zec,Winslow Porter
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We want to encourage our viewers to feel the journey into the lens of nature and, as such, begin to personalize the toll of man-made climate change and deforestation.

Milica Zec, & Winslow Porter, authors

This VR project immerses viewers into the lifetime of a tree, from a seedling to a full-grown rain forest tree. This sensory journey augments virtuality through haptic feedback and on-site smells, making the users take the perspective of a tree as their arms become branches and their body the trunk in the middle of a lush Peruvian Amazon landscape.

The goal of the project is to reflect on the rapid pace of rainforest loss, and the implications of virtual documentation of an environment we’re losing. Users receive a real kapok tree seed to plant before they put on a headset.

Filmmakers Milica Zec and Winslow Porter collaborated with Xin Liu and Yedan Qien, researchers from the Fluid Interfaces group at the MIT Media Lab, who designed and built the haptic experience, augmenting virtuality with physical stimuli. They used Subpac “a pair of customized vibration oversleeves with six local points and a vibrating floor powered by four based transducers” as they describe in their website. That tactile element is combined with bass audio integrated into different parts of the user’s body, an air mover and heaters so they could feel “the disturbance of a forest fire as well as a bird landing on a branch.”

Project at a Glance :

Country : United States
Year : 2017
Author : Milica Zec,Winslow Porter
Producer : Alessia Bulgari,Chicken & Egg Pictures,Droga5,Fondazione Pianoterra Onlus,H.W. Buffalo & Co.,Here Be Dragons,Jessie Hooper,New Reality Co.,​Diana Barrett
Team : Aleksandar Protic,Bruce Nussbaum,Devon Baur,Dimitri Loginowski,Jen Vitale,Marcie Jastrow,Mike Woods,Scott Gershin,Ted Schilowitz,Tim Dillon
Developers : Erik Anderson,Jakob Kudsk Steensen,Konvrge,Mark Kleback,Milk VFX,Rewind Co.,Todd Bryant
Designers : Droga5,Mark Klebeck,Milica Zec,Todd Bryant,Winslow Porter,Xin Liu,Yedan Qian
Festivals : Camden International Film Festival,IBC365 Amsterdam,IndieBo Festival de Cine Colombia,Mill Valley Film Festival,NAB Show Las Vegas,Sundance New Frontier,TED,The Future of Storytelling Summit,Tribeca Immersive Storyscapes and Virtual Arcade,VR in the Sky at Time Inc.,VR on the Lot,“Lucid Realities” Exhibition at the Phi Centre in Montreal
Awards & Nominations : HTC Vive “VR For Impact” Grant,Unreal DevGrant
Funders AND Incubators : Alessia Bulgari,Chicken & Egg Pictures,Chip Krueger,Diana Barrett (The Fledgling Fund),Fondazione Pianoterra Onlus,H.W. Buffalo and Co.,Here Be Dragons,HTC Vive,Intel,Jessie Hooper,Willie Mack
Trailer :

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