### Virtual car crash reality
Car crash simulators are not especially new, but recently Fisheye was approached to make one that is somewhat more ‘immersive’ than previous versions. When the Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde (the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Engineering) supplied Fisheye with the brief for this project, we knew it would be the perfect job for us. It was a job which would involve our whole team: the design team, set builders, technicians, the content creators and more.
In consultation with the client, our writers established various scenarios which the film crew took (literally) “off the beaten track”. Multiple cameras were placed on the car, and sequences filmed of the vehicle coming to a sudden stop with the brakes slammed on. These images were combined with studio shots of the car and actors inside it, all filmed against a ‘green-screen’ background. Our post-production team then added some extra touches using after effects and 3D animation. The result is a very moving VR simulation that truly allows the viewer to experience what it’s like to slam on the brakes in an unexpected traffic situation.
Whilst the traffic films were being made, Fisheye’s design department was drawing up plans for the lorry carrying the simulator. The main challenge was to keep the whole unit within a maximum weight, such that every single component of the design had to be listed, weighed, and the total recalculated right throughout the design process. A sliding mechanism for the ‘drivers seats’ was designed, and the whole puzzle started to take shape.
Once the empty lorry was delivered, the Fisheye workshop crew leapt into action to build the housing for the simulator. A separate technical area was constructed, and the floor, the furniture, the screens and the seats were carefully made, assembled and fixed inside the vehicle.
The technical team took over in the final stage of the project. They calculated on the basis of all the parameters involved what the outcome of the crash scenarios would be under various conditions. The braking distance, the reaction speed of the ‘driver’ and the outcome of the potential crash were all brought into alignment with each other. Based on these calculations, the experience of the simulation is very different if the viewer brakes too late, compared with braking on time.
### Seeing Is Believing
If you want to know more about how this project came about, check out ‘the making of’
VR-Mobiel – The Making-Of from Fisheye