Eric Hanson’s Blueplanet VR – ‘Landscapes for the Mind’ is the WINNER of the Educational Volumetric VR Award in the Immersive Story Telling Category at The MY HERO International Film Festival 2021.
True-to-life VR utilizing advanced technology coupled with experienced environment capture and rich art direction is the closest thing to experiencing these compelling and special places
Eric Hanson, a former competitive hang glider pilot, is CEO of Blueplanet VR and is a faculty member at USC School of Cinematic Arts. Hanson is a visual effects designer who has worked with leading visual effects houses such as Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, and Walt Disney Feature Animation. His film work can be seen in “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Cast Away”, “Fantasia 2000”, and “The Fifth Element”.
Blueplanet VR was formed in 2018 by Hanson, a formative VR practice specializing in 360 capture technology, cultural heritage, and science visualization content. At Blueplanet, Hanson documents the world’s inaccessible locations by using thousands of still images, taken in extremely high resolution.
The website currently hosts a collection of over 40 ‘photogrammetric experiences’ of unique, scenic and cultural heritage locations worldwide, ranging from Borobudur Temple in Indonesia to Bears Ears National Monument in the USA.
Said Hanson, “This project is a first of its kind, and I think people will find it very compelling as a form of virtual visitation of a myriad of unusual and powerful spatial outdoor locations from across the planet. Our goal is to create true-to-life volumetric VR content of these remarkable locations utilizing advanced technology coupled with experienced environment capture and rich art direction. This will be the closest thing to experiencing these compelling and special places.”
Hanson’s early career was based in design, computer graphics, architectural design and creating feature film visual effects. He was an early pioneer of 3d rendering and visualization and many of his initial clients were the major movie studios.
Hanson describes his incredible journey from creating works of art for Hollywood blockbusters to those of more cultural and natural beauty:
“One day after viewing an animation done for another studio, the head of Warner Brothers, said “Son, you ought to be in the moo-vies.” I was ready to take that challenge, left architecture, and forged the creation of digital cityscapes and environments for films such as “The Fifth Element”, “Cast Away”, and “The Day After Tomorrow,” working for leading visual effects houses such as Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, and Walt Disney Feature Animation. After a few decades of long hours and declining quality of the films, I started a company of my own with a partner called “xRez Studio.” Conceptualized over a campfire high in the Sierras, we lamented that our film work had become less of enabling better stories to be told, and rather providing eyewash and spectacle for poorer ones. We decided to turn our mutual and complementary skills to real-world topics that I found of interest over my lifetimes, such as natural history, cultural heritage, and scientific visualization. We have been grateful to have landed into a myriad of unique and compelling projects ever since, from doing the highest resolution photography of the national parks to working in planetarium domes with Ai Weiwei and the Navajo Nation, to virtual reality with Björk, and now with 2 amazing foundations capturing ancient Buddhist art caves in the Gobi Desert, and equally ancient archaeological ruins in the Navajo Nation. It is always tough to give a simple answer about the nature of my work!!”
When asked about his inspiration for his art and what took him to VR, Hanson answered:
“I’ve been a strong believer in the power of 3d digital media my entire life, and see it as the ultimate flexible design creation tool. I have also led a life of active outdoor exploration through hiking, climbing, and hang gliding, and have always used digital work as a reciprocal medium for exploring inner worlds of creation and design. So, my muse was rooted initially in exploratory urban design in architecture and film, but at this point in my career, I am embracing photography and volumetric virtual reality, capturing and communicating the richness and profound meaning found in natural landscapes.
Landscapes for the Mind is a film that explores all that Blueplanet VR has to offer. Part one is a promotional video and a 3D scan of a selection of the spectacular ‘photogrammetric experiences’ where we are given glimpses of some of these unique, worldwide locations. Part two offers a demonstration of a live VR session. Beginning inside a reconstruction of a human eye with over 40 remarkable locations for the user to choose from and experience, Hanson demonstrates how immersive the experience can be.
Landscapes for the Mind wins the Educational Volumetric VR Award in the Immersive Story Telling Category at The MY HERO International Film Festival 2021.
Said Hanson, “I am honored to be recognized and included in the MY HERO International Film festival. My aspirations for the project came from desiring to foster a connection to these special places with a receptive audience, of which MY HERO is so central to."
If you own a VR headset and would like to see more demonstrations or to purchase a Blueplanet VR experience, go to STEAM: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1264180/Blueplanet_VR/
For more information go to: Blue Planet VR
About MY HERO International Film Festival
The MY HERO International Film Festival brings together professional and youth filmmakers who honor local and global heroes working for positive change in the world. Thanks to generous sponsors, prizes are awarded to elementary, middle school, high school, college and professionals in a variety of categories including documentary, narrative, music video, animation, experimental, and more.
To view the 2021 award-winning films, go to Winners
For more details about MY HERO's International Film Festival, please visit myhero.com/FilmFestival
Page created on 11/24/2021 4:23:39 PM
Last edited 12/7/2021 1:28:32 PM