Pixel Artworks to launch world first mixed reality experience using 8th Wall WebAR platform and Unreal Engine

‘The Butterfly Trail’ allows visitors to release magical, digital butterflies from their chrysalises and hold them in their hand

Pixel Artworks, the immersive experience studio, has created The Butterfly Trail, a mixed reality experience that has multiple world-first technology features and is due to launch on the 5th September 2023 at Outernet London, the immersive entertainment district in the heart of London, near Tottenham Court Road. The Butterfly Trail will guide visitors through intrepid explorer Professor Peter Pelegrin’s Botanical Workshop and into his Glass House, where they can interact with the experience without the need for a special device, headset or downloaded mobile app — just the browser on their smartphone.

The Butterfly Trail, which opens to the public on 5th September, contains several world-first, mixed-reality moments that push the boundaries of immersive design. The first is part of the interactive ‘Metamorphosis Machine’ experience which starts with a skills-based slingshot game, built in partnership with Aircards on 8th Wall’s WebAR platform. The experience launches from within Outernet’s 25K native resolution ‘Now Building’, which features the most advanced wrap around screens in the world spanning 23,000 sq feet.

The audience are immersed in a spectacular mix of rendered and real-time animated content. After successfully releasing magical AR butterflies from their chrysalises, the audience can activate the Metamorphosis Machine with their smartphone, triggering real-time animations on the machine displayed on the screens. Pixel Artworks created the rendered and real-time Unreal animations as well as the first of its kind communications interface between Unreal and the 8th Wall AR experience, developed in partnership with Aircards.

A second ground-breaking first feature developed by Aircards is a new WebAR hand-tracking feature which enables the audience to hold a magical butterfly in the palm of their hand or on their finger. With on-device image and video capture of the hand-holding moment, the audience can download and share their experience online or direct to their camera roll.

Professor Pelegrin’s Botanical Workshop and The Glass House spaces both feature a 32-channel spatial audio mix which was created in partnership with Gramercy Park Studios. This is the most complex spatial mix yet to be deployed at Outernet and provides an intriguing, complimentary soundscape for the visual experience.

Lastly, Pixel Artworks further support the mission to create magical and measurable experiences by collaborating with Aircards to deploy Metalitix, an innovative spatial analytics platform that measures visitor interactions in both the virtual and physical environment. The results gathered will help our understanding of how people engage with the experience and will influence the future of how immersive experiences are created.

Featured image: The Butterfly Trail / Pixel Artworks