Museum Alive AR With David Attenborough

Discover prehistoric life in ways never experienced before at home. Guided by natural history legend David Attenborough, discover fascinating worlds from the past millions of years in a way only possible with Augmented Reality.

Platform : iOS

Format : Augmented Reality App

Release : February 2021

Welcome to the Museum. Here, long-extinct come back to life and roam the real world in stunning augmented reality. Follow a fearsome sabre-toothed tiger as he stalks his prey, soar around the room with a flying dinosaur, and discover one of the strangest sea creatures from over 500 million years ago.

This immersive educational experience brings you into the world of these long lost animals. Search for the information points to discover more about the fossils and their incredible worlds. Guided by David Attenborough, and including videos and photographs from across his career, this experience is entertaining and educational for the whole family.

Download Museum Alive with David Attenborough on the App Store to witness long extinct animals as you’ve never seen them before. Currently supported by iOS 13 and iOS 14 from iPhone 7 upwards.

Museum Alive brings scientifically accurate 3D models and animation of now-extinct creatures to life in augmented reality. Combining realistic photogrammetry environments and full 3D ambisonic sound design, this experience immerses users in lost worlds of these ancient animals. Produced using Unity’s latest AR Foundation technology, Museum Alive’s visual dioramas push the limits of real-time computation on mobile devices.

Designed to engage users of all ages in the scientific debates and discourse around extinct life, Museum Alive offers a unique remote education experience. Interactive points scattered around the scene outline the conversations happening about the creatures and visually represents the ways our planet has shifted and changed over millions of years.

David Attenborough guides users through the experience with his informative narration and through a variety of videos from his expeditions throughout his career where he investigated the creatures in more detail. Visit the Canadian Rockies, or journey in the Borneo jungle to understand how the animals lived. This unique experience blends education and entertainment to create an experience that captivates adults and children alike.

Behind The Scenes

Produced throughout the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, Alchemy looked to harness the power of augmented reality to transport users into the world of the past without leaving their own homes. The team challenged themselves to create a beautiful, clean space to explore extinct life which doesn’t replace the museum experience but is an entirely new way to discover ancient life. Our approach to design was formed around creative an experience that would have digital legacy.

To create a virtual exhibition space that felt modern yet organic, Alchemy looked at ways of integrating textures from the natural world into the home menu where the creatures are exhibited. The team worked on combining classical features like marble plinths with textures such as sand, bark, and water go create a refined yet natural feel.

To make the fossils feel alive, even when they are stood still on the plinths, Alchemy took inspiration from art styles with fluid lines. One of our favourite references was Japanese watercolour arts. Seen here progressed into how we posed our 3D model of Smilodon. The evocative yet simple poses breath life into the fossils.

For the diorama scenes in Museum Alive, it was important to not only accurately bring the fossil back to life but to show how their environment would have looked as realistically as possible. Planet earth has seen dramatic shifts over the past hundred million years into the world we know today. It was important for users to understand that these creatures were shaped by their environments, even if they are unimaginable on our planet today.

The research into how our planets flora and fauna have changed over millennia is included in the information packs. Users whose interest has been piqued can further explore these alien versions of our world.

To provide a unique window into the life of extinct animals, Alchemy created scientifically correct 3D models and animation in collaboration with ZOO VFX. The combination of highly realistic models with accurate behaviours and mannerisms, users can meet these long lost prehistoric creatures in an entirely new way.

Press Quotes

“This fascinating new project is a wonderful example of how technology can bring history and culture to life, and showcases the incredible innovation of the UK’s creative industries. I hope it inspires people of all ages to explore the exciting worlds that are now at their fingertips.” 

Oliver Dowden- Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, UK Goverment

“We’re so proud to launch an app that can genuinely contribute to educating and inspiring children using immersive technologies. At a time when so many children are disengaged with learning, we really hope the excitement of bringing fossils to life in the home will provide a novel experience that showcases the potential of immersive story-telling within education. We are particularly proud of the app’s visual quality and distinctive approach to a 3D menu design. Above all, though, David Attenborough’s captivating stories bring an infectious liveliness to the experience that instantly makes it cinematic. You just won’t forget what it’s like to have a Sabre-tooth tiger prowl across your floor before pouncing on its prey – and we can’t wait to share what it’s like.”

Elliot Graves – Creative and Technical Lead, Alchemy Immersive

“Working with David on our BAFTA award-winning film David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive, we were totally on the cutting edge of 3D. Now we take the user on a new magical journey. Using the very latest technology we bring to life some of David’s favourite extinct creatures and their worlds in a completely different way. In this Augmented Reality experience, the team is breaking new frontiers in immersive storytelling.”

Anthony Geffen – CEO and Creative Director, Atlantic Productions

Credits

Narrator

David Attenborough

Lead Developer and 3D Artist

Bhaumik Patel

Design Director

Steve McGeorge

Creative Director

Elliot Graves

Creative Producer and Copywriter

Iona McEwan

Producers

Daniel Thompson
Vianney Comot

Exec Producer

Anthony Geffen

Sound Designer

Oliver Kadel

Modelling and Animation

Doroth Ballarini
Rob Angol
Simon Reid
Mark Gregory

VFX and 3D

ZOO VFX

Immersive Audio

1.618 Digital

Music

Prague Filmharmonic Orchestra
London Metropolitan Orchestra
Steve McLaughin
Joel Douek
Greg Pliska
Richard Fiocca

Legal

Mimi Gilligan

Production

Atlantic Productions

Thanks to

JB Caron
Smithsonian Institution
Natural History Museum

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.