City of Adelaide: Adelaide Christmas Cracker Trail

The City of Adelaide asked us to produce a festive AR experience as a fun, engaging and highly accessible single point of digital contact between Adelaide’s Christmas Festival and visitors to the City of Adelaide.

We created a trail of 14 City of Adelaide Christmas Festival locations, from North Adelaide to the Christmas Village at Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square), and developed it into a gamified AR experience that visitors to the city could easily download to their smartphones and see and play in Adelaide through festive-tinted glasses.

Adelaide Christmas Cracker Trail pillars were installed at each location, complete with QR codes to download the app to iOS and Android devices, unique in-app scannable codes, and ground detection and decal alignment technology to take the user through an augmented reality experience based upon the festive event planned at each location.

The user (big or small) can play with pulling digital crackers, popping baubles and enjoying the jokes, facts and games within, utilizing face-tracking technology to create fun, bespoke selfies to save and share, and interacting with their surroundings via the phone screen – from decorating Adelaide’s Giant Christmas Tree, posting a Christmas letter at the Town Hall, seeing Santa back on Grote St, or taking part in a rubber duck race that appears in the Rymill Park pond.

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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.

Visit the Thin Ice VR website

After almost seven months of forced closure due to the pandemic, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute celebrated reopening its doors and 30th birthday celebrations with the exhibition ‘Atnwengerrp – Our Apmere, Our Place’.

Monkeystack were commissioned to produce an interactive 360 experience of the entire Atnwengerrp (pronounced A-NOONG-a-pa) exhibition space for Tandanya, complete with photography of each artwork that we digitally rehung as part of the immersive gallery.

We augmented the space to give the viewer a sense of intimacy, the dark gallery space emphasised by the illuminated monochromatic artwork, digitally capturing the physical space’s specific lighting design.

Users can browse the gallery at their own pace accompanied by a music experience created by Jimblah, an indigenous Australian hip hop artist from the Larrakia nation, interacting with individual artworks to see the piece in high definition and text information including Artist profiles, specifics on the piece and the option to enquire for purchase.

Monkeystack was commissioned by 57 Films to produce a 360 Virtual Reality tour of Riverland Wine as part of a South Australian centric collaboration brought to life thanks to the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, alongside key stakeholders including Wine Australia, Riverland Wine, University of Adelaide, Martins Brand House and 57 Films.

Riverland on the Verge leads the way as the future of tourism, using VR technology to transport travellers into the heart of South Australia’s iconic Riverlands, inspiring the viewer to make their virtual experience a reality.

Users can experience Riverland on the Verge by simply downloading the free app from your usual App Store and ordering a headset for free from the official Riverland on the Verge site.

As part of the Hedonism exhibit at MOD. (Museum of Discovery at the University of South Australia), Monkeystack produced F.A.B.L.E, an AR led experiential game about consent that visitors navigate via a phone app.

Welcome, Operative, to F.A.B.L.E. – aka the Federated Association of Believers, Leaders, and Explorers. Your mission is simple: teleport on board this foreign spaceship and connect with the alien. As you explore this new world, there are protocols to follow. Make sure you check in with the alien as you go, follow the principles of consent, and achieve a two-way flow of information that will benefit both of our races.   

Commissioned by MOD., Monkeystack set about creating an AR triggered app-based experience inspired by early 90s game graphics that is played by moving through the room. The experience can best be described as Barbarella meets the Muppets!

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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.

The VR visualisation of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R and the fictional apartment of a young engineer is an internal project that we undertook as a studio to push the graphic rendering and interactive capabilities of VR headsets.

The viewer is placed within a highly detailed apartment complete with cinematic lighting and sound design where they can move within the environment and interact with a series of objects.

This approach to building interactive worlds in XR is one that we are constantly refining and employing with other VR projects. From an industry training and education perspective, we want to enable people to better navigate environments and objects and familiarise themselves with their function or specification while in an immersive, low-risk environment.

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