We wanted to create and implement mini-games and challenges to engage the users.
When playing VR games, people like to be put in the skin of someone else, doing things that they would never do otherwise.
We decided that the main narrative of the experience would be the following: being a Cathay Pacific flight attendant in-training and complete tasks related to the job.
When time comes to land, the user becomes the pilot and takes command for the last step of the flight. Eventually, the user turns into a tourist and can choose to discover either Hong Kong or Washington through immersive 360 content.
As on our previous Air Canada experience, we used photogrammy for many assets in this project, especially food elements.
The most challenging assets to scan were the flight attendant jackets. The bigger the objects, the more difficult the scanning process usually is. After many tests, I came up with a cheap setup that allowed a flawless scanning of the assets.
The jackets were put on a manequin and stuffed with bubble wrap, put on a turn-table in front of a green screen and lit with a simple setup. I stuck some stickers on the jackets to help the scanning. I then replaced the green screen with a white background and fed the pictures to Reality Capture (photogrammetry software). The jackets came out perfectly as ultra-high quality models and textures and were later retopologized and optimized for engine integration.
Stereo 360 videos
The last part of the the experience was actually bringing user to their chosen destination, which could be either Hong Kong or Washington. We went on location to record an array of landmarks in 8K stereo 360, with the state-of-the-art Kandao Obsidian R camera. I picked the right hardware for the job and took care of the Washington production as well as the whole post-production. The challenge was to maintain the image quality while optimizing the files for playback in realtime engine.
In this experience, we put a strong focus on interactivity. Many elements of the cabins were interactable, which greatly participates in the feeling of presence that a true VR experience must provide. The highlight of the experience being the dinner time, we took care in making every element interactable, wether the cutlery, the glass or the napkin, the user is able to grab everything. He can even grab the salt and pepper pods and pour some over the dish, as well as slice the dishes in parts and bring them to his mouth.
To kickstart the launch of its new A350-1000 plane and the opening of its Washington route, Cathay Pacific organized a 3-day event in Hong Kong. There, the visitors were invited to come in a replica of the plane and try our VR experience. Over these 3 days, hundreds of visitors immersed themselves in the experience and everyone of them had fun pretending to be a flight attendant in a virtual plane, completing tasks, food challenges and piloting the plane from the cockpit.
I recorded footage from the VR experience and eventually created a PR video of the event.
In the end, this project was successful with hundreds of visitors trying the experience at the Hong Kong event. The experience itself is an improvement
Once again, polished VR experiences prove to be an impactful and compelling way of advertising airline companies and their cabin offers.