David Attenborough, the 89-year-old naturalist widely acknowledged as Britain’s most beloved TV presenter, is taking the dive into virtual reality.
Wired reports that “First Life,” a documentary exploring the origins of life in prehistoric oceans, is debuting in June this year at the Natural History Museum in London.
Attenborough will narrate the show, similar to his previous television documentaries — though unlike his previous work, a virtual reality headset is required to get the full experience.
The documentary is being developed by production studio Alchemy VR, and Attenborough told the tech publication that he found virtual reality “a wonderful experience… There are no limits to what can be created and what stories can be told.” And “First Life” won’t be Attenborough’s only foray into virtual reality: He says “we’re working on a number of projects — the next of which will be released later this year.”
Attenborough says he will be “travelling not only round the world but also back in time to build a picture of what like was like in that very early period.
Viewers will be able to look around and have the camera follow their gaze in real time.
Prehistoric creatures will leap out of the screen (or headset, technically) at you.
The imagery is rendered using 3D animation software, based on 450-million-year-old fossils.
Many of the creatures depicted look totally unlike anything alive today. “You can make that animal really come to life,” Attenborough says, “really come out of that rock and move.”
Watch the full trailer here:
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