Thin Ice VR

A Monkeystack and Shackleton Epic Expedition production, Thin Ice VR is  20-minute world-first historical re-creation documentary VR experience presented by Tm Jarvis AM supported by the South Australian Film Corporation, Screen Australia, Adelaide Film Festival, Torrens University, Kathmandu and One Ocean Expeditions and Documentary Foundation Australia.

Thin Ice VR, currently in production for release in 2021, will offer an unrivalled immersive experience that will leave viewers in no doubt about the devastating effect of climate change.

100 years ago, Shackleton was on a mission to save his men from the ice, now we must save the Antarctic ice from man.

Thin Ice VR delivers the most compelling and immersive film experience ever produced on the subject of climate change. It offers a highly personal experience and literally put its audience in the centre of the story.

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.

Back to Our Work

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.