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VR application for viewing stereoscope photos

How Onix brought history to life using VR technology

The Onix team was tasked to build a VR solution that would fully immerse users in history by allowing them to view 19th-century stereoscope images. This case study highlights how we've managed to bring history to life by preserving style and depth effects of antique photos that people can view on various platforms.

Entertainment

Industry

4 specialists

Team size

USA, Chicago

Location

3 months

Project duration

Challenges

In the last century it was common to spend an evening viewing stereographs or stereoscope images (3D pictures) of various locations, events, and people. Our client discovered that the local library revealed a collection of these in its archives including stereoscope photos. He wanted to create an application that would allow people to view antique pictures and got in touch with us with this idea.

Our team was faced with the task to bring viewing stereoscope photos experience into a VR environment and thus bring history to life.

The Onix team was responsible for:

  • Follow a proven development process to ensure high-quality and productive work

  • Collect and analyze requirements to deliver top-tier VR solution

  • Develop a VR solution that allows viewing stereoscopic photos in a fully-immersive environment

  • Create a separate rendering technique for the left and right eye that uses the same photo

  • Enable viewing stereograph photos using VR on as many platforms as possible

  • Preserve the style of antique photos

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Our solutions

Our goal was to create more than just a photo viewer VR application. We built the VR solution that contains hundreds of antique photos, several review modes, and historical references that are educational and entertaining. We also enabled a VR viewing photo experience on various platforms, guaranteeing correct app operation on the selected VR platforms.

The Onix team developed special shaders for the VR rendering process and created an optimized pipeline for 3D models to ensure high performance on all devices. We created a unique 3D environment that allowed us to preserve the photos' depth effect and style. Moreover, our specialists had to retouch the images by hand, which was quite a painstaking process. Preserving the unique visual style of those times allowed us to bring history to life and fully immerse users in the 19th century.

The Onix team offered the following solutions:

Set up an efficient development process to create a robust VR solution with a unique user experience

Ensured the correct functioning of all app features on the selected VR platforms: iOS/Android (Cardboard), Google Daydream, Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift/Go/Quest, Microsoft Mixed Reality

Built a unique 3D environment that allowed us to preserve the unique visual style of antique photos

Developed a shader that adds depth effect for the left and right eyes to create a sense of presence

Retouched photos manually ensuring the image integrity in stereo mode and placed them in collections/categories for the user's convenience

Provided carefully crafted music of that era to reach a fully immersive atmosphere

Core technology

Results

We helped our client bring historical places into a new dimension by creating an excellent application for viewing not just historical photos, but stereoscopic ones.

The Onix team has managed to preserve the unique style of photographs from the Wild West, World War I, Prim London, the American Civil War, and many more. Now the app contains hundreds of photos that are placed in specific categories. Users can play the app on various devices using the 360-degree view. Using our solution, users can fully immerse themselves in the era of those times by viewing antique photos, reading historical references, and listening to related music.

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