Creating the VR Forklift Experience

CertifyMe.net is an online Forklift Certification program and we were asked to create a VR experience in relation to forklift driving.
We came up with the idea to create a video that highlighted three scenarios that commonly lead to disaster when learning to drive a forklift.

The 360 Degree video would be a marketing piece to drive awareness for the brand.

Using the Google Cardboard platform required us to custom design an App for Apple and Android along with designed the branded Cardboard Headsets.

Influenced by a German forklift safety video where the characters were always getting injured, we knew we wanted this video to be fun and show what not to do when operating a forklift.

We went through various drafts of characters, and experimented with different forms of violence and injury. We found that the crash test dummy was an excellent way to have our characters fall apart and yet prevent the need for blood and realistic violence.

We created two characters, Gary and Joe.

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Gary is the older, experienced supervisor who was always in the wrong place as the wrong time.  Joe is the trainee who never gets it right the first time.

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We looked at different textures of clothing and hair types.

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We built the environment in 360 degrees and mapped out where we wanted the scenes to take place. Keeping in mind, we were not building for a single camera but a 360 degree space.

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Rendering for this piece was quite long due to the fact it was a 3min video in 360 degrees. It required a lot of optimization of the files to render efficiently. It started off rendering at 20-40mins per frame until we could optimize it down to 16 mins. As a comparison, a similar HD render would be 5mins per frames.

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Every warehouse needs cat.

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Music & Sound

Music and Sound played an important role in creating the drama and humour of these stories.
An original composition by Nate Kohrs was incorporated for comic and dramatic effect.
The Creative Director and Producer couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be the voice of Gary and Joe. Dana channeled her inner 20 year old man to create the pained sounds of Joe as he falls apart.
Sound Design was finally added to the mix by Sounds Tricky. We like to imagine him tearing up his studio to cretae the crashes.

App Development

At the time we started the project, Apple didn’t allow 360 degree video with the cardboard mode to play through the YouTube App, (which is now does). This is why we originally decided to design an App to host the video. It also gives the video a nice easy access home on your phone as opposed to searching for it through YouTube.

When developing the app there were a few things to consider. For example, how does it work, are we designing for VR or do we need it in 360 video playback, is there positional audio etc.

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Cardboard

For the full package, we also designed the Google Cardboard to be branded with the CertifyMe.net logo and branding.

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After months of designing, animating, rigging, RENDERING and more RENDERING we have our final 3min animate VR short. It’s available on the App Store or Google Play.

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