Technicolor's Frager Explains How Technical, Engineering and Artistic Communities Will Co-Develop a Realistic Immersive Experience of Life on Mars
What will mainstream life on Mars look like for colonists when the human population on the Red Planet reaches one million inhabitants? That is the question that Brian Frager, Lead VR/AR Experience Producer at the Technicolor Experience Center (TEC) will be wrestling with as HP's "Mars Home Planet" reaches out to the creative, technical, design and engineering communities to build a comprehensive virtual reality environment of life beyond Earth.
Led by HP and NVIDIA®, the "Mars Home Planet" project is a joint effort with the TEC that is designed to challenge professionals in architecture, design and engineering with envisioning what the future of Mars will be like as a rapidly evolving human population center.
In a podcast interview for journalists, Frager points out that this project is particularly well suited to the creative and technological opportunities presented by immersive media.
Listen to the Podcast Interview with Brian Frager
"Virtual reality is such a visceral medium. It really allows you to imagine how the planet can be inhabited by humans. You can look around to see what kind of structures would need to be constructed to maintain life on Mars at scale," he says.
Working with research and footage of the Mars surface that has been captured by NASA, the project will make it possible for consumers to interact with the objects and see in a realistic manner what a day in the life of a Mars colonist would be like.
"We are targeting a point in time – after initial colonization -- when Mars would be terraformed and habitable. The objective of the project is to explore what kind of technological and design innovations would have to be in place to sustain a large human population on Mars. We are using this project to anticipate and work through some of the challenges these people might face, and explore the innovations that could be harnessed to live as a community in this environment," he says.
The Technicolor Experience Center is going to play a critical role as this project evolves through three distinct phases.
"During the first phase, we have been working very closely with HP to create early concept frames of what life could look like for people in the context of transportation, city planning and the framework of the entire colony. We will be coming out with models to offer initial inspiration for the community of artists, engineers and architects to run with.
"After this phase, the TEC will provide community management support to review the 3-D models that will be submitted for game engine integration. This is important because it is going to take some tailoring to run these high-end models in real-time.
"In the final phase, the TEC will carefully select specific models from the community, which will serve as the basis for issuing challenges for developing a variety of immersive and interactive experiences. We will offer development support in order to ensure that users -- consumers -- can get into a high-quality virtual environment and see these Martian concepts come to life," he says.