Exploring emerging 3D production tools.
In 2017, ABC R+D collaborated with ABC Education to trial making educational content about insects using real-time animation and photogrammetry.
We worked with the Deakin Motion Lab research team to develop a project using their virtual production pipeline, which utilises motion capture, facial capture, 3D virtual worlds and real-time visualisation to produce 3D animations. To that, we added another layer of experimentation by making our 3D models using ‘macro’ photogrammetry, a largely untested technique.
The Minibeast Heroes project produced a series of content experiences, each one exploring a different model for learning—from traditional animated explainers to room-scale VR.
WATCH THE ANIMATED EXPLAINERS
In this six-part series, a tiny jetpack-powered bug enthusiast (played by ABC Science presenter Carl Smith) introduces kids to six ‘tiny but mighty’ invertebrates, who play a critical role in our ecologies.
Each episode is designed for classroom use to support primary-school teachers covering insect ecology, and to be entertaining enough to make it work for kids on ABC iview.
WHY WE MADE THIS PROJECT
We were interested in the potential for virtual production pipelines to have an impact on how media companies might choose to make visual content in the short-to-medium-term future.
Importantly, this project was funded by ABC Education, who had very specific outcomes in mind. They needed fresh, high-quality content designed for teaching and wanted to explore new approaches for engaging an audience who can sometimes be slow to adopt technology in the classroom. In addition to R+D’s own research outcomes, we needed to deliver maximum value in terms of audience-facing content.
R+D had three research questions we wanted to answer. See the results here