The Details

Austella were commissioned to create a 3-minute pre-rendered CGI 360 experience for British Gas, highlighting the government initiative to provide every home in the UK with a smart meter before 2020. The experience was to be delivered through both the Android (Google Play) and iOS (iTunes) stores for both Apple and Android Smartphones. Customers were sent a cardboard VR headset in the post, whereby they could scan the printed QR code that would initiate the app download. The experience was also exhibited to staff across British Gas offices worldwide.

The Process

Unlike Android, Apple Phones do not have a native 360 video player. iPhones 7 and below also do not play 360 videos on YouTube (now supported on the later iPhones), the client estimated roughly 17% of their customers were therefore using Apple Smartphones that would not be able to view the experience. This was enough for them to consider cancelling the project. The task was 2-fold – firstly to create a pre-rendered experience that combined the complexity of CGI animations, motion GFX and 2D cinematics; secondly create an iOS 360 video player that could be embedded into a Unity app alongside the CGI experience.
The experience itself was a pre-rendered fly-through of a typical home, led by their enigmatic penguin character, Wilbur.
As with many of our experiences, the process involved the development of a storyboard and script. The script was recorded by a professional voiceover artist which became the yardstick by which we timed the flow through the house.
The house, character and various furniture props were all created in Unreal Engine 4, with Adobe After Effects completing the experience by embedding 2D camera footage to augment the message.

The Results

92 %

Users rated the app 'excellent' or 'very good'

5300 +

Users reached

The Experience

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