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20th June 2019
The Viking Planet's new VR experience shapes the future of entertainment and education

The Ridley Scott Creative Group’s RSA Films and The Viking Planet partner with immersive media company Hammerhead to create the world’s first virtual reality battle scene using volumetric capture.

‘Virtual Viking – The Ambush’ uses a ground-breaking combination of technology to create a hyper-realistic Viking ship-based drama that unfolds in real time. Over 30 actors were filmed in Hammerhead’s London-based volumetric capture studio, Dimension, using 106 cameras which generated 10GB of data per second. Additionally, Norway’s west coast was recreated using photogrammetry to create a historically accurate setting for the experience.

The complexity of the VR project required an intensive year-long collaboration between director Erik Gustavson, Small Screen AS, RSA Films, Hammerhead, and The Viking Planet. RSA Films has long been a champion of creative technology, led by co-founder Ridley Scott whose prolific body of work consistently uses the latest and most innovative filmmaking tools.

“We are extremely happy to have collaborated with RSA Films and Hammerhead on this ground-breaking production and look forward to offering the general public an opportunity to experience how it was to be on board a Viking ship more than 1,000 years ago in a very realistic and captivating way,” says Rasmus Ramstad CEO of The Viking Planet.

Speaking of the production, Steve Jelley, Joint Managing Director of Hammerhead and Dimension said, “It was a pleasure to work with both RSA and The Viking Planet to create this epic VR drama. Volumetric video brings a realism and authenticity to the characters which is crucial when you are delivering a story that relies on accuracy. Our team at Hammerhead has delivered one of the most ambitious and ground-breaking VR experiences that has ever been attempted. The scope of what they’ve put together would be considered daunting to most, but our talented team exceeded every challenge they faced.”

"The Virtual Viking – The Ambush’ project is a terrific example of the kind of immersive experience that challenges the future of storytelling."

Luke Scott | Ridley Scott Creative Group CEO

Ridley Scott Creative Group CEO, Luke Scott said “RSA Films is continually looking for innovative ways to tell compelling stories. Through collaborations such as this unique volumetric capture experience we explore and embrace new technology to match our storytelling ambition. The Virtual Viking – The Ambush’ project is a terrific example of the kind of immersive experience that challenges the future of storytelling. It is one thing to be a passive audience, it is quite another to be at the heart of the action.”

Immersive content studio Hammerhead built the Viking experience in Unreal Engine, creating historically accurate props, weapons and boats, and animating a mixture of traditional game characters alongside volumetrically captured actors to create an intense battle.

The ‘Virtual Viking – The Ambush’ VR experience will be available to the public at The Viking Planet Centre Oslo, opening June 21st, 2019. The 1,600 square metre interactive entertainment and education centre will redefine the future of immersive entertainment, using VR with motion-platform chairs, holograms, interactive screens, and a 270° cinema to create a virtual portal to the era of the Vikings.

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