Do you like penguins? Do you like VR? Do you like penguins and VR? Well you are in luck.

You can be transported to a sub-antarctic penguin colony to immerse themselves in the lives of penguin species, thanks to a new 3D 360-degree film; Walk with Penguins, for BirdLife International’s “Protect a Penguin” global campaign.

Richard Grimmett, Director of Conservation, BirdLife International, said: “BirdLife Partners across the globe are already working to tackle some of the threats to penguins, but the size of the challenge demands that efforts are redoubled. Using 3D 360 film, we can get people closer to penguins and give people that magical feeling of being with them – and ultimately that can lead to a greater support for their conservation.”

During the five-month project to capture penguins in their native habitat, the Visualise production team travelled to the remote Falkland Islands in November 2016 (during the breeding season) and filmed incredible scenes using the Google Jump stereoscopic camera system in 3D 360, which provides unfettered, intimate action with penguins and their offspring.

According to their team, filming proved a major challenge, using untested camera rigs, including Google Jump and Visualise’s own stereo nodal slicer rig, on precipitous cliff faces and in remote environments with no infrastructure. The team had to balance the necessity of getting near to the penguins, to ensure great 360 shots, without upsetting the birds in their natural habitat. Pretty badass, if you ask me.

Will McMaster, Head of VR at Visualise said, “This film is one of the first nature documentaries created in stereo 360. While most 360 film is shot monoscopic, and therefore has no depth, stereo 360 means that the viewer can see the physical depth of the scene. This means that audiences will be able to feel even more like they’re there, like they could almost reach out and touch the penguins, rocks and the sea. We hope this unique level of immersion will provide an emotional connection with audiences and generate greater support and donations for the campaign.”

Tom Ffiske