Lively Agency & Mazda - Round 2
Bigger and bolder
The first virtual test drive for the Mazda MX-5 RF was a huge success. Lively Agency and Mazda were delighted – and the next step was making it bigger, better and bolder. So once again we joined forces with Lively to create an out-of-this-world VR test drive – this time to be taken on a tour around Europe, complete with a 4D system that would drive the immersion even further. For the second time round, we’d be upping the stakes in the scenery – starting off in the spectacular setting of Iceland before transporting users to the winding roads of the French Riviera.
We filmed the iconic roadster driving on location in 360º – using a range of cameras rigged to different parts of the car to capture every exterior angle. We then merged the footage with a 3D modelled interior of the car and an actor filmed against green-screen, to make sure both the car and driver looked the best they could. During the drive, we included two ‘portals’ that transported the car from one location to another within the experience – creating a contrasting drive that shows off the all-weather capabilities of the car – and included multilingual callouts that drew attention to the two-seater’s key features.
The real feel
With the visual experience sorted, next was the 4D experience. The plan was for users to take a seat in a real Mazda MX-5 RF and put on the headset – so the whole experience needed to feel as realistic as possible. This included placing rumble speakers under the car seats to give the impression of engine vibration, playing the soundtrack through the in-car BOSE sound system and installing a 5:1 surround sound system to give spatial audio – for example, passing trees or wind noise. This was all enhanced by a system of fans and heat bulbs arranged around the car to recreate the feeling of roof-down driving.
The entire system was controlled by an invigilator app we built for an iPad – allowing the team at the events to sync playback over two headsets, with all the 4D elements kicking in correctly. What’s more, the system collected key analytical data to help inform the Mazda team about their customers. The entire setup was assembled on location in Vienna using G2 4K headsets, before it was toured around Europe – giving users a real taste of the Mazda MX-5 RF.
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