A Stunning VR Experience Explores the First Crystal Maker in Continental Europe
From November 18th – 26th, 2016, Le Carreau du Temple in Paris hosted “Hermès hors les murs,” an itinerant celebration of craftsmanship. At the event, first established in 2011, artisans from ten Hermès métiers met the public and share their expertise, experience and passion.
The craftspeople at one particular workshop stood out, and their story was waiting to be told. UNIT9 created a VR experience that brought to life the inner workings of Saint-Louis—the first crystal maker in continental Europe
UNIT9 combined two 180º scenes to create a 360º experience that took viewers through the process of making the Versailles Vase and the Tommy Jug. The products were made at different times of the day, but UNIT9 wanted to immerse the viewer into the action happening all around them, all at once.
UNIT9 created a simple Unity App so that viewers at the exhibition could use gaze control to initiate the experience on their own. And as they entered the workshop, UNIT9 included a custom ambisonic sound mix to make them truly feel like they were part of the process at every turn.
UNIT9 used a 6 Camera Rig for the interior workshop shots, and to make for a smoother experience, they leveraged a 10 kg Gyroscope stabilizer attached to a custom made rig for the trolley shots. To make a grand entrance, they attached a 7 Camera rig to a drone to give the feeling of flying from the hills toward the building.
One of UNIT9’s most challenging shots was the interior of the vase. Originally planned to be CGI, they wanted to showcase the product in the most realistic way possible. They used the smallest camera they could find, the Samsung Gear 360 camera, to get the detail they needed.
Through a long shoot in an extremely hot environment, UNIT9 captured the intricate process of making some of the finest handcrafted crystal—inviting guests into the world of artisans who perfect craftsmanship.