Social video art project created with virtual reality and volumetric capture
LESSONS OF AUSCHWITZ
The project is internationally recognized with awards and included in the shortlists of prestigious festivals (Emmy, Reddot, Webby Awards and many others) – all thanks to the unique synergy of history, storytelling and the creative use of innovative technologies.
The Lessons of Auschwitz project is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Nine Moscow high school students visited the Auschwitz memorial and expressed their emotions in VR drawings.
The project has become a powerful social experiment demonstrating that history can be told, retold and rethought by the young. Digital art and digital technology truly strengthen the connection between the generations.
There’s nothing more inspirational to me than seeing Depthkit used to convey socially important stories. Lessons of Auschwitz artfully combines creative technologies into one powerful experience, achieving a transformative journey into a terrible history. The combination of Depthkit and visual effects conveys an emotional connection between the viewer and the students’ emotions as they experience the past
James George CEO & Co-Founder Scatter, creators of Depthkit
Time passes by and the voices of those who witnessed the war get quiet. The new generation grows up without the witnesses of history. Children don’t hear the stories about the horrors of the past. That’s why nine school students became the participants for our social experiment.
The Lessons of Auschwitz project is dedicated to remind everyone about a very important task – bridging the gap between the generations.
WORLD HISTORY TRIBUTE
The topic is tied with the history and filled with the events of past years.
In order to convey these memories most deeply and touching we embodied them in a new visual format, where new immersive instruments and touching music merge into a full contextual experience.
Students of the Moscow school visited the memorial at the site of the Auschwitz camp and expressed their emotions about those events in the virtual reality format.
Such impressions are difficult to describe in words. That is why we gave the students new tools that allow them to express such deep experiences.
The drawings were made with the Tilt Brush tool – an application for creativity in VR format.
NEW APPROACH TO SHARE EMOTIONS
We filmed the drawing process using Volumetric capture technology – a technique for capturing three-dimensional space that allows you to convert images received by the camera into 3D. The most effective technology for filming was a combination of Azure Kinect camera and DepthKit software.
Voluminous imagination of students was recreated with different effects that reacted to sound waves
The music for the project was created by Petr Termen, a composer playing on the oldest electronic instrument in the world – thereminvox.
Sound vibrations of the instrument create a piercing effect of crying. It reflects all the pain and horror that everyone gets while thinking about Auschwitz.
In the final video we combined the images of students, their drawings and melody of thereminvox.
In order to combine this tech stack we ran many experiments with different approaches: – body capture and 3D overlay – photogrammetry – 2.5D capture
Unity was the main tool that we used to work in real time on combining 3D graphics and effects.
It is the 3D real time work based on Unity that allowed us to create the video in virtual and augmented reality.
The experiment with AR and VR platforms was aimed at creating a better immersion effect, where the viewers could find themselves within a video and therefore could relive all the emotions of the authors themselves.
CHOICE OF IMMERSION
Learn more about our experiments, which we run while realizing the project: