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Pushing the Boundaries of VR:

Behind the Scenes of Virsabi's Red Bull Cliff Diving VR Experience

Dive into a hyper-realistic VR replication of one of the world’s most daring watersports in Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2022. You will be thrilled by the adrenaline-fueled and high-quality replication of the competition in the new exhibition “Water – Breaking the Surface” at Red Bull Media World in  Verkehrshaus (Swiss Museum of Transport) in Lucerne, Switzerland. 

From the 27-meter plunge itself to the majestic mountains, crystal blue water, colorful boats, and cheering crowds, you’ll feel like you’re right there in the midst of the action. 

For Red Bull to fully immerse their target audience in the feelings of extreme sports and winner mentality, being at the forefront of technology is essential. The technology needs to push the boundaries of what is possible to deliver truly unforgettable experiences – just like the Red Bull athletes.

red bull virtual reality (VR) model characters

Take a plunge into the technical innovations that made the VR experience possible.

red bull virtual reality (VR) model characters

Take a plunge into the technical innovations that made the VR experience possible.

Pushing the boundaries from a technical perspective demands an extraordinary attention to details and creative mindset.  

From capturing the water’s behavior, to the atmosphere, the rocking boats, and the cliff diver’s movements, ensuring every flip, twist, and turn felt as realistic as possible, we had to explore the capabilities of available software and devices, and even our own skill sets.  

The challenge was to find a good balance in the content that would be both adventurous and fun, while at the same time being safe and practical at the exhibition site.

red bull virtual reality (VR) model characters
virtual reality (VR) studio work design

This project really let us delve into what the High Definition Render Pipeline in Unity can do with VR and XR. We obtained highly realistic rendering at a very high resolution using the Varjo XR-3. The video passthrough and XR features the XR3 makes available also presented at fun challenge of how to blend the real and virtual worlds. 

  – Tomas Mosgaard, senior XR Developer

Sound is a critical element in creating a truly immersive VR experience. For this project, we had plenty of reference material to draw from, but we had to carefully re-create a soundscape that matches that of the real cliff diving event to get the right atmosphere. The crowds, the music, the iconic sound of the bell, and many other sonic details had to be there in the experience, and sound as close to the real events as possible. 

  – Erik Sikstrm, audio & Innovation Lead

red bull cliff diving virtual reality (VR) jump

“We explored many different technologies in this project to help us create the best possible experience. We used a combination of Character Creator 4, ZBrush, Blender, and Substance Painter to replicate the likeness of the hero characters and the Swiss Alps. A lot of time, hard work, and passion have gone into this project. We pushed the VR technology to its limits, and we’re proud of the results.” 

  – Kostas katsinas, Lead Creative Artist

red bull virtual reality (VR) model character

“I used Character Creator to build the characters, and recorded mocap using the Rokoko smart suit and gloves and for the complicated task of the dive itself. I used Cascadeur, an animation tool that uses deep learning and physicsbased tools to help us create the most accurate dive possible. I edited and polished all Mocap data and the cascadeur animation inside Iclone and then finally implemented it inside Unity. 

  – David Schmidt, Senior Animator

red bull virtual reality (VR) model character
red bull cliff diving virtual reality (VR)

“I was responsible for creating the 3D environment for the Red Bull Cliff Diving VR experience as close to reality as possible. Based on a high detailed 3D scan, videos and photos of the cliff, I built all the assets one by one and optimized them for virtual reality. The combined use of the High-Definition Render Pipeline in Unity and the Varjo XR-3 let me push the quality of the textures I created for this project a lot. 

It was a very exciting project that let me make the user experience the feeling of being at the Red Bull event as the divers actually are.” 

  – Adrián Glassel, Senior 3D artist 

At the end of the day, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series VR experience is not only a technical masterpiece, but a heart-pumping thrill ride that embodies Red Bull’s brand values of pushing boundaries and living life to the fullest.

Virtual Reality experience of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere​

Felix Baumgartner’s incredible feat of jumping into the stratosphere from a helium balloon is now available for anyone to try in a Hyper Reality experience. The experience is open to visitors at Red Bull Media World in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne.

Want to know more?
Send us an email or call +45 3323 2203

Virsabi is a virtual reality studio.A technology house of developers and creatives, and one of the first Virtual Reality dedicated companies, offering business consultancy, advisory work and technical development for the utilization of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.

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