$1,561
pledged of $25,000 goal
25
backers
35days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, August 24 2018 12:00 AM UTC +00:00.

The HydrousBy The Hydrous
First created
The HydrousBy The Hydrous
First created
$1,561
pledged of $25,000 goal
25
backers
35days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, August 24 2018 12:00 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Join us at The Hydrous (a 501c3 non-profit) in creating a beautiful and compelling 360º underwater VR experience to share the magic and the science of the ocean with everyone. 

We have been working on this project since June of 2017, and, in early 2018, collected footage in Palau and in the Philippine coral reef exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. For underwater footage, we used the leading underwater VR cameras- the VRTUL1 and VRTUL2. For above-water footage, we used the Yi Halo

We have finished production and are fundraising to complete post-production. Our Quiet Campaign rose $25,000 in June 2018, and now we are raising an additional $25,000 through this Public Campaign. If we hit this mark, we are on track to complete this short, live action 360° film by Spring 2019.

The ocean is over exploited, under protected, and out of mind. Too few people have the opportunity to explore marine environments such as coral reefs, which are rapidly degrading. This 360/VR film is therefore designed to take the viewer on an immersive, underwater journey to generate awareness, scientific understanding, and empowerment to protect our beautiful and threatened ocean.

How often do you get to explore other worlds? (Still image taken from 360º video collected at Blue Holes in Palau.)
How often do you get to explore other worlds? (Still image taken from 360º video collected at Blue Holes in Palau.)

Why VR for Science Education and Ocean Immersion?  

Virtual Reality is a unique venue to share ocean environments like coral reefs, which few people get to experience. In addition, leading research suggests that VR is a promising medium for immersive, interactive science education and has the potential to increase empathy towards complex environmental issues

Marine biologist Dr. Erika Woolsey (Hydrous CEO, National Geographic Explorer, and Executive Producer on this project) presenting on the use of VR for ocean education at the National Geographic Explorers Festival in Washington DC, June 2018
Marine biologist Dr. Erika Woolsey (Hydrous CEO, National Geographic Explorer, and Executive Producer on this project) presenting on the use of VR for ocean education at the National Geographic Explorers Festival in Washington DC, June 2018

Distribution 

The film will be submitted to festivals and will be widely available to view on platforms like YouTube and Facebook. In addition, it will be featured in the Hydrous Ocean Education Kits for middle school classrooms.

Themes: Science, Love, and Magic in the Ocean

The structure of the film is similar to a dive profile. The viewer dives in at the beginning, descends, explores the reef, and ascends towards the end. Our goal is to immerse the viewer and show them the beauty and complexity of these ecosystems (as well as the threats they face), introduce them to people that rely on coral reefs, and share a strong, science-based message of ocean optimism. 

Behind the Scenes

Testing the VRTUL2 in a pool in California
Testing the VRTUL2 in a pool in California
All our equipment for Palau (minus SCUBA gear)
All our equipment for Palau (minus SCUBA gear)
The field team
The field team
Rick Miskiv filming moorish idols with the VRTUL2
Rick Miskiv filming moorish idols with the VRTUL2
Wildlife we captured in 360 includes sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, reef fish, and corals
Wildlife we captured in 360 includes sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, reef fish, and corals
Lifting the camera back onto the boat
Lifting the camera back onto the boat
Filming inside of the Cal Academy coral exhibit with the VRTUL1
Filming inside of the Cal Academy coral exhibit with the VRTUL1

Team

Erika Woolsey, PhD: Executive Producer
Erika Woolsey, PhD: Executive Producer

Erika is a marine biologist, a National Geographic Explorer, and CEO of the Hydrous

Jason McGuigan: Director of Land Based Photography, Co-Producer, Post-Production Supervisor
Jason McGuigan: Director of Land Based Photography, Co-Producer, Post-Production Supervisor

Jason is a virtual reality specialist and the Chief Creative Officer of Horizon Productions, with over 20 years of experience in designing across all mediums with dozens of local and national awards to his credit. 

Rick Miskiv: Director of Underwater Photography, Co-Producer, Special Consultant for Palau & Dive Operations
Rick Miskiv: Director of Underwater Photography, Co-Producer, Special Consultant for Palau & Dive Operations

Rick is a photographer / filmmaker, designer, educator, and the founder of 22 Degrees, an eco-minded outdoor gear company. 

Csilla Kozma Andersen: Producer
Csilla Kozma Andersen: Producer

Csilla is a VR/AR producer who has worked on the production of multiple immersive experiences, including Disney Star Wars: The Last Jedi, One Republic music video Kids, NASA NBL Space Walk documentary, and Heroes art dance piece. 

Technical Advisors:

Casey Sapp: Production Advisor, VR Camera Developer
Casey Sapp: Production Advisor, VR Camera Developer

Casey is the creator of the first Underwater 360 3D cameras and has been a leader in underwater production since 2015.

Matt deJohn: VFX Advisor
Matt deJohn: VFX Advisor

Matt is a VFX Supervisor specializing in VR/AR and stereoscopic 3D. He has been involved with groundbreaking VR experiences and helped design the leading underwater VR camera system.

Science Advisors:

Dr. Rebecca Albright (California Academy of Sciences), Dr. Ruth Gates (University of Hawaii), Shayle Matsuda (University of Hawaii), Dr. Grace Young (Oxford University), Allison Fritts-Penniman (California Academy of Sciences)

Field Team:

Dave Greenberg, Bob Concannon, Okorie Puryear, Vaughn Hester, Cecilia Dobner, Pete Niesen, Andrea Murchie, Glenn Bucksbaum, Richard Barnden, Matt Boyle, Paul Collins, Ford Castillo, Rozer Tatsuo, Steve Lindfield, April Peebler, Charley Peebler, Dakota Peebler, and Aliyah Tadao.

Rewards

Digital 3D coral models, collected around the world
Digital 3D coral models, collected around the world
360º underwater photospheres of coral reefs
360º underwater photospheres of coral reefs
Cardboard viewer (will be Hydrous branded) to view 360º content from your smart phone
Cardboard viewer (will be Hydrous branded) to view 360º content from your smart phone
Ocean-friendly aluminum water bottle (26 oz)
Ocean-friendly aluminum water bottle (26 oz)
Hydrous VR T-shirt
Hydrous VR T-shirt

Look to the right for descriptions of other rewards, including film credits, events, and workshops. 

Risks and challenges

If we reach our fundraising goal, we are on track to complete the linear, 360º film by Spring 2019. Unforeseen factors that may delay the project include changes in personnel and unexpected expenses. We currently have a committed team and have outlined a clear budget and timeline, so don't expect to run into these issues. If the project is delayed, we have a strong community and proven fundraising record that will ensure completion.

We are planning to extend this work by adding interactive elements and CGI to provide greater immersion and agency into the experience. The creation of this will require a separate fundraising effort on a separate timeline.

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    Underwater 360º photospheres

    A digital package of 360º underwater images collected on coral reefs in the Maldives and Japan.

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    • 360º underwater images
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    Coral reefs digital package

    A digital package of:

    1) 3D coral models (.obj files) collected with underwater photogrammetry on Hydrous expeditions around the world. These models can be viewed and edited on a computer and 3D printed. This package includes models that are not currently open access. You can view some of the models here: https://www.thehydro.us/3d-models/

    2) 360º underwater images collected on coral reefs in the Maldives and Japan.

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    Hydrous water bottle

    A Hydrous-branded reusable (and ocean friendly) water bottle

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    Hydrous VR Package

    A Hydrous-branded VR viewer (similar to Google Cardboard) that you can use to view content on your smart phone. We will also provide the digital file of the 360º demo reel of our film.

    Includes:
    • Hydrous VR viewer
    • Immerse demo reel
    • 360º underwater images
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    Hydrous VR T-shirt plus VR Package

    The T-shirt worn by the Hydrous crew during their Palau expedition (XS-XL) plus VR package.

    Includes:
    • Hydrous T-shirt
    • Hydrous VR viewer
    • Immerse demo reel
    • 360º underwater images
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    Hydrous Happy Hour

    Attend the annual Hydrous Happy Hour celebration (August 16 in downtown San Francisco), view our work-in-progress VR film, and receive a VIP gift package. The event will celebrate art, science, and technology for ocean education, and is a unique opportunity to hang out with a great community of scientists, educators, designers, and ocean enthusiasts. Beverages and appetizers will be served.

    Includes:
    • Hydrous T-shirt
    • Hydrous water bottle
    • 3D coral models
    • 360º underwater images
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    VR Filmmaking Workshop

    Join an online VR filmmaking workshop with VR expert Jason McGuigan (Director of land-based photography, Co-Producer, and Post-Production Supervisor) and Marine biologist Dr. Erika Woolsey (Executive Producter).

    Includes:
    • VR Filmmaking Seminar
    • Immerse demo reel
    • Hydrous VR viewer
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    Invitation to Viewing Party

    Join us and the Hydrous community at our viewing party in the San Francisco Bay Area to celebrate the completion of our film. Be one of the first to see it!

    Includes:
    • Invitation to Viewing Party
    • Immerse demo reel
    • 3D coral models
    • 360º underwater images
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    "Thank you" credit

    Receive a "Thank you" in the film credits for your support. Plus an invitation to the viewing party.

    Includes:
    • "Thank you" credit
    • Invitation to Viewing Party
    • Immerse demo reel
    • 3D coral models
    • 360º underwater images
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    "Special Thanks" film credit

    Receive a prominent "Special Thanks" in the film credits, plus an invitation to the viewing party.

    Includes:
    • "Special Thanks" Credit
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    • Immerse demo reel
    • 3D coral models
    • 360º underwater images
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    Associate Producer Credit

    Receive a prominent "Associate Producer" Credit in the film.

    Includes:
    • Associate Producer Credit
    • VR Filmmaking Seminar
    • Invitation to Viewing Party
    • Immerse demo reel
    • Hydrous VR viewer
    • Hydrous T-shirt
    • 3D coral models
    • 360º underwater images
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