Thin Ice VR

A Monkeystack and Shackleton Epic Expedition production, Thin Ice VR is a 20-minute historical re-creation documentary VR experience presented by Tim Jarvis AM.

Working with Tim Jarvis AM since the project’s conception back in 2018, Monkeystack has produced Thin Ice VR – from sending the expedition team to Antarctica right through to creating the virtual environments ready to be discovered upon putting on a headset.

This film offers an unrivalled immersive experience that will leave viewers in no doubt about the devastating effect of climate change. This project fits right in the middle of our lens to produce positive social consciousness projects that entertain, engage and educate audiences. It also ties together our skills in storytelling, interactive, experiential, animation, live-action production and simulation.

Thin Ice VR celebrated its world-premiere presented by the South Australian Museum and Adelaide Film Festival in November 2021, followed by its inaugural season at the Museum from November 2021 to February 2022.

Visit the Thin Ice VR website

In a project produced and designed by ABC – Behind the News, Torrens Valley University and Novus Res, our animation team contributed to this world-first VR project to bring the Kokoda story to life like never before.

The experience sends students back to 1942 with a first-hand experience of the famous Kokoda Track campaign where they can pick up weapons, run through the battle fields and witness the victories and failures first hand.

Monkeystack was brought onboard to populate highly detailed, photogrammetrically created scenes with believable soldiers with the final product processed to work in a real-time VR environment.

As this project came into the studio with significant time constraints, it was crucial to work efficiently using a range of software programs to deliver quality work within tight timeframes.

First, we tackled character modelling using Zbrush and Substance painter to create a set of believable CG soldiers. Using captures of the original uniforms, hats, backpacks and boots, our experienced team of character animators brought the soldiers to life with realistic, real-time animated actions. By using a mix of motion capture for more generic movements and hand keyed animations for more specific actions, we’re able to streamline the animation process while still delivering a quality outcome suitable for VR.