Kingdom of Plants with David Attenborough

Welcome to a strange and dangerous world: the Kingdom of Plants. Discover the hidden dramas in the undergrowth of our planet at plant scale and in plant time.

Platform : Oculus TV

Runtime : 3 x 5 mins

Release : November 2022

Meet the dynamic, bloodthirsty, and heroic characters of the plant world guided by Natural History Legend, David Attenborough. The hidden lives of plants are revealed for the first time in 8K 3D virtual reality at 60fps, through spectacular macro cinematography and time-lapse sequences shot over weeks.

In continuation of the landmark production, David Attenborough’s Kingdom of Plants, comes this breathtaking three-part immersive series that reveals the perils and drama of the plant world.

All episodes are now available on Oculus TV in Oculus Quest 2 headsets.

Over three episodes, unearth allies, enemies, and predators of the plant kingdom. Sit inside some of the most beautiful and rare blooms on our planet, or be beguiled by the beautiful but bloodthirsty sundew. Dive inside a microscope to see some of the smallest seeds in incredible detail. Be consumed by fungi: one of the most gruesome yet essential organisms on our earth. Witness the battle cry of a Pine tree and become entrapped in the infamous Venus Flytrap.

This immersive series lets you discover how the life of plants is far from static…

Produced using customised 3D stereoscopic cameras, specially developed stereo-timelapse rigs, and innovative VFX compositing techniques, Kingdom of Plants pushes the potential of immersive media production pipelines. At 8K, details of flowers, plants, and insects invisible to the human eye are revealed. Breath-taking spatial sound design by 1.618 Digital infuses the perils and drama of the plant world with life. The 60fps frame rate shows every delicate movement of a mushroom tearing as it grows or a flowers spectacular bloom.

Behind the Scenes

One of the biggest challenges was putting this stunning, high-quality footage, captured at Kew Gardens for standard 16:9 screens, into virtual reality in a way that was accessible and interesting to everyone: from first time VR users to seasoned gamers.

Working with ZOO VFX, Alchemy built on this rectilinear footage using a custom ‘set extension’ technique, created by compositor Tim Baier, so they were able to create full 180 scenes that completely envelope the user in the plant world. 

One challenge is that the plant world has many visitors who live life at a much faster pace. The timelapse set-up was a single camera capturing both the left eye and right eye on a timer. The team worked to correct the stereo between eyes to account for frantic insects trying to escape a vicious sundew, or a bug aiding and abetting the fungi on the forest floor. Certain flowers and plants proved far more active than anticipated; Hylocereus could often jump out of frame unexpectedly as they rushed to open during the night.

By bringing users down to the scale of plants, and using timelapse footage to show how active and vicious they are in their fight for survival, we hope people get a glimpse at how the world is brimming with heroes, allies, and villains in the most unexpected places.

Join David Attenborough to unearth the secrets of the world of plants in a way only possible in Virtual Reality. You’ll never look at the undergrowth in the same way again. Episodes are exclusively available on Oculus TV in Oculus Quest headsets.

Discover the Kingdom of Plants at: alchemyimmersive.com/kingdomofplants

Press

One of the promises of VR is its ability to immerse users in fantastic and alien worlds. By manipulating time and scale, Kingdom of Plants succeeds in that endeavour, providing an awe-inspiring 3D peek into a fascinating slice of life on planet Earth.

Eric Cheng – Head of Immersive Media, Meta Quest

Credits

Narrator

David Attenborough

Director

Iona McEwan

Producer

Lou Doye

Executive Producer

Anthony Geffen

Executive Producer (Meta Quest)

Eric Cheng

Producer (Meta Quest)

Jonathan Gleit

Supervising Producer

Elliot Graves

Editor

Richard Lester

Sound Design & Spatial Mix

Oliver Kadel (1.618 Digital)

Design Director

Steve McGeorge

Edit Assistant

Joe Packman

VFX Producer (ZOO)

Vikas Gandhi

2D Lead Artist

Tim Baier

3D Lead Artist

Matthew Baker Jones

Modeler

Zahra Al-Naib

Director of Photography

Tim Cragg

Specialist Photography

Tim Shepherd
Rob Hollingworth

Production Director (Atlantic Productions)

Martin Williams

Production Researcher (Atlantic Productions)

Will Benson

Buisness and Legal

Mimi Gilligan

Production Accountant

Vincent Pretorius

Managing Director

Claudia Perkins

Head of Facilities

Conor Moss

Head of IT

Steve Cullen

Edit Assistant

Marc Jones

Macro Photography

Peter Parks
Simon de Glanville

Stereo Technician

Jason Lord-Castle

Sound Recordist

Adam Butterworth
Tom Mayhew

180 VR Camera

Al Caudullo
William Caudullo
Thomas Hübner

With Thanks To

Gina Fullerlove (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Matt Knott (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Karl G. (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

Aminata Dia (Meta Quest)
Brittney Black (Meta Quest)
Colum Slevin (Meta Quest)
Elizabeth Malone (Meta Quest)
Katalin Larocque-Tassi (Meta Quest)
Shelly McGee (Meta Quest)
Yelena Rachitsky (Meta Quest)

Atlantic Productions is one of the world’s leading factual production companies whose TV and theatrical films have been seen in over 150 countries.

Emmy-award winning Zoo are leaders in 4k VFX production and have a wealth of experience in stereoscopic production.

The multi award-winning Colossus Productions produce high-end 3D films for an international audience.