ATLAS - Residency in Taiwan - 5 - FEATURES VR

There are many new features in the ATLAS VR chapters created during the residency in Taiwan.

These new features were inspired by our discussions with the spectators of the previous exhibitions (Kaohsiung, Mons, Rennes)...

Here's a small preview...

The design of the 3D universes has been completely updated.

Celestial cartographies, depths and verticality, new islands (Taiwan and Belgium), colorimetry, dynamic lights...

To switch from the real space to the imaginary world, we are now literally swallowed up by an imaginary map that comes off the wall ...

We therefore switch from a map in 2D format, which becomes a 3D environment in volume, without feeling the transition from one to the other.

Marie designed the wooden Kaohsiung map that is used as a playground for Hololens users.

The viewers can now create a kind of vertical Towers of Babel, the sort of architecture that we hadn't thought of at all at the time of creation.

This is probably the most exciting VR feature since the beginning of ATLAS.

It's totally redefining the feeling of space.

You can see it in the reactions of the viewers: before, they used to spend most of their time looking at the ground. Now they use all the space around them.

All these screenshots are from a "photo-session" in virtual space with our young beta-tester Tom.

Visitors are now offered the opportunity to take 360° pictures of the VR experience.

We were interested in bringing back photographs of these virtual worlds using analog techniques.

Vivienne and Doris from the Vintage Wet Plate Collodion Studio (Pier2 Art Center / Taiwan) gave us a workshop about Van Dike brown printing.

The paradox resulting from the mix between a technique dating back from 1895 and virtual reality seemed interesting to explore, and should lead to new chapters for iPads.

We now have a brand new chapter taking place between Mons and Taiwan, using portals between different worlds: between the physical world (the exhibition of real models) and between the natural environments filmed in Taiwan: the Alishan forest 阿里山, the ocean...

Challenge: how to grow our houses in stereoscopic 360° videos?

We had to develop a special stereoscopic workflow using Houdini and After Effects.

The new immersive features of After Effects helped us a lot: we can see the results of the graphical manipulations in real time in the headset.

Taiwan and Belgium are the two new islands that have appeared on the ATLAS map.

On Taiwan, there is a reference to Calvino where four languages are mixed together to form the map of a city...

And an ocean-island, where you can grow cities on stilts.

We can now grow cities underground, in caves, inside trees...

These new features have been developed with Saïd Betmurzaev, who has been working on the ATLAS code for several months now, but also with the help of the team from the Taiwanese company XAC.

They worked notably on a customised LOD system for ATLAS, which reduces the need for calculations.

We hope to be able to continue working with them in the coming months.

The residency was an opportunity to have access to new equipment for photogrametry (3D scanning).

We were able to implement a new, much more accurate photogrammetry workflow.

Here are 4cm seeds with a lot of details.

With our previous workflow, it's impossible to imagine scanning such complex objects.

We hope to be able to use this new workflow in the future for scanning houses, and thus gain in accuracy (scanning houses on stilts were a big problem for us until now).

That' s it for a quick overview of the new features. To try them out, the world premiere will take place at the NewImages festival in Paris from 10 to 14 June 2020...

One of the great pleasures of ATLAS: flying over its own cities using the bridges.


ATLAS - Residency in Taiwan - 1



Marie-G. Losseau & Yann Deval


Museum Lab,

FEDER/Wallonie/En Mieux,

la Ville de Mons

Kaohsiung Film Archive,

Kaohsiung VR FILM LAB,

Forum des Images,

NewImages Festival,

Bureau français de Taipei

Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan,

Kaohsiung City Government,

Bureau of Cultural Affairs,

Economic Development Bureau

the STARTS Residencies Project

as part of the STARTS program of the European Commission


Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

STRP Festival

Wallonie-Bruxelles International

Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale de Molenbeek Saint-Jean



Microsoft Innovation Center Belgique

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VERTIGO is funded under the H2020 European STARTS initiative, innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS promotes the arts as catalysts for efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services, and processes.