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Animated polar bears in a feel-good spot that aren’t in a Coke ad! Adrift is a story of a bond between mother and son in an uplifting Christmas-inspired three minute film that also doubled as an excuse for our relentless team to experiment rendering a 360° animation using the Unreal 4 game engine.

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The film tells a story of a baby cub being separated from his mother and witnesses a variety of playful animal encounters on a floating piece of ice. All the action is set to a John Williams-style music composition created by ARU Chicago’s Tom Haigh.


Creative Director Scott Ownbey remarked, “For the 360° format it was helpful to keep the ever changing environment surrounding one location, as this allowed for a more immersive experience if viewed in VR using the Google Cardboard.”

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"We have vast experience stitching 360° video footage, and also rendering 360° animation in programs such as Maya, and After effects. This came in handy with this project as we encountered various errors with real time rendering such a vast scene in 360°. The water environment was extremely render intensive—even for UE4. So we approached the project like a standard 360° video rendering 6 different camera views and stitching them together; however we did encounter a bit of artifacting using this solution. Right as we were about to go live the amazingly responsive team at UE4 support gave us a plugin that allowed us to finally export our liquid scenes, seam free along with no artifacting."

AnimaticmediaVR, Technical Director
Angel Nieto

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Branded Google cardboard glasses were sent to select clients that allowed them to experience the 360° video in VR. A variety of social media tools encouraged sharing and interaction as the battle for hearts and minds becomes increasingly digital.