CULVER CITY, CA — Framestore Pictures and Framestore’s VR Studio (http://framestore.com) recently created Hawai’i VR, a new virtual reality project for the Hawai’i Tourism Authority showcasing the tropical islands. The VR project allows viewers to explore the islands’ spectacular landscapes, including coastlines, waterfalls and rain forests. In addition, viewers can take in native activities such as hula, surfing and catamaran sailing.
Framestore won the project with MVNP, an integrated advertising agency based in Honolulu and an affiliate agency of DDB Worldwide and OMD’s Zero Code.
“In terms of creative, it was about trying to capture lightning in a bottle,” says director Murray Butler. “We were showing off the natural beauty of Hawai’i, so we’re always at the mercy of the elements. Along with all the variables of light and weather that can affect the cameras in play, we also had to get naturalistic performances from the local celebrities who weren't actors."
The 360-degree footage was shot across four islands: O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and the island of Hawai‘i. The virtual tour begins with the user floating as a paraglider through clear blue skies above the islands. The user selects an island to explore, then gently descends into the midst of a tour experience highlighting that island’s particular allure, environment and attractions.
Framestore provided visual effects, including environmental clean up, stitching and composition. "To me that's the sweet spot — working with a tight-knit crew with meticulous planning," continues Butler. "Framestore’s ability to R&D ideas and workflow in pre-production and on location ensures that our execution and delivery is second to none."
Hawai‘i VR is customized for mobile and tethered platforms. The gaze of a user’s eyes controls selections from a mobile device, while the tethered experience is operated with Vive controllers, as the user holds them in the same way as the handles of a paraglider. The project is being launched with virtual tours of O‘ahu and the island of Hawai‘i on HTC Vive and iPhone. It can be downloaded for HTC Vive on Steam and on the iOS App Store for iPhone (https://appsto.re/us/8bh8eb.i