Shipwrecks! The Immersive Experience
Shipwrecks! The Immersive Experience is part of a multi-platform program from PBS Wisconsin. The Immersive Experience contains two VR experiences and a 360 video. The other parts of Shipwrecks! are a documentary and an educational game.
I worked with a team to create graphics for the Immersive Experience that felt like they were part of the same family as the documentary and game but also had a unique identity. I worked closely with the art director for the overall project to make sure elements I made matched what he made and envisioned for the project. I also collaborated with video and VR creators to make labels and icons for those aspects. This was a large project that included a lot of people working closely together to create a really exciting end product!
The title was designed by Brian Lorbiecki and animated by me.
VR User Interface
This is the first of two VR experiences, this one following the sinking of the SS Wisconsin. The VR software used to create these experiences had several built in icon sets. I used them as a starting point to make an icon set that matched Shipwrecks! branding. The map on this screen was created by Yuwei Li and the title designed by Brian Lorbiecki. The 3D model was created by a small team of artists and 3D modelers.
This is the second VR experience which gives a deep dive into the wreck of the SS Wisconsin. The icon set is the same one I created for the sinking. I made the map to match the one for the sinking. This 3D model was also created by a small team of artists and modelers.
360 Video Graphics
When designing the pop-up labels for the 360 video, I did research and found that one problem with graphics in 360 videos is how easily a viewer can be facing the wrong direction and miss a graphic. To solve this problem, I made animated sonar-inspired rings to draw the viewer in the direction of the graphic. The labels were designed to feel both historic and high-tech, to fit with both the historic nature of the shipwreck and modern diving technology.
Custom VR Headset
One of the thank-you gifts for donating to PBS Wisconsin after the launch of Shipwrecks! is a custom VR headset. I designed this headset, with the title and anchor created by Brian Lorbiecki. The Shipwrecks! team had the initial idea of the headset looking like scuba goggles, since the series is also about modern diving. I used that as a starting point to create something that would tie in with the project's branding and be fun for people to use and watch others using. Promotional images of the headset were needed before they arrived in-studio so I made the above mock-up by photographing a sample I had.
VR headsets were a new item for PBS Wisconsin to send out as a thank-you gift and new for many audience members so it was important to send the headsets with clear printed instructions on how to assemble them. I wrote the copy, illustrated, and designed the layout for the headset assembly instructions and wrote the copy, designed the layout, and created QR codes for the instructions on how to access the Immersive Experience. Both sets of instructions went through multiple rounds of user testing and revisions based on user feedback. The result is something that can be reused for future projects, with only the page with content links needing to be updated.
Social Media Filters
To promote Shipwrecks!, I created a video filter using Spark AR Studio. This filter can be used either vertically on mobile devices or horizontally for Zoom calls.
Below is a series of animated GIFs that I made as options for social media promotion. They can be added to Instagram Stories, Slack custom emoji, and more. The anchor was made by Brian Lorbiecki, everything else was done through frame-by-frame animation. One thing I noticed during testing of the 360 video was people counting the fish, which I thought would be fun to use in a couple animated stickers. (These GIFs are looping and the last thing on this page so if you have sensitivity to looping short animations, you can scroll back up or return to the home page.)