Bluesky 3D Imagery Brings Global Warming Sea Level Rises to Life

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Immersive story telling company Sairo has used high resolution aerial photography and 3D mapping from UK aerial survey and mapping company Bluesky International to illustrate the impact of global warming on rising sea levels.

Working with Lancaster and Morecambe College, Sairo Studios, a creative agency specialising in content for AR, VR and Metaverse, has produced an educational film, ‘Rising Tides Climate Change in Morecambe Bay’, which demonstrates the effect of predicted sea level rises from different perspectives. The 360-degree video is being shown in the College’s immersive Igloo theatre.

“We worked with Lancaster and Morecambe College to create a localised education piece exploring the impact of climate change,” commented James Ascroft, co-founder and CEO of Sairo Studios. “We utilised large-scale photogrammetry models from Bluesky, which we imported into Unreal Engine to design and build weather simulations. This was then exported as a 360 video the students could immerse themselves in.”

The Bluesky data package used by Sairo to create the Rising Tides output included high-resolution, 5cm map accurate aerial photography covering the whole of Morecambe, including the famous Stone Jetty. Bluesky also supplied highly detailed LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging captured by aircraft mounted lasers) data to provide geographically accurate 3D terrain data. The Bluesky data was complemented with drone imagery captured by Christians Survey and Inspection Solutions and terrestrial scans of smaller objects.

Ralph Coleman, Chief Commercial Officer at Bluesky, said, “Geospatial solutions are a valuable tool in the fight against climate change. Our geospatial datasets provide accurate visual indicators of the situation, past and present, helping us to see patterns for the future. It helps inform decisions, shape policy and, importantly, affect change. Projects like this video from Sairo, provide credible predictions on the devastation that we could be facing, and this will help us make change now and work to reduce the future impact of issues like flooding.”

In order to create the most photorealistic output, Sairo used the gaming engine Unreal to render the source data. Plug-ins were required to simulate the desired output in terms of water (rising tide levels and flood water), green infrastructure, specifically trees, and the 360-degree experience. Sairo also applied the Scan Cloud platform to increase its computational power required to render the experience.

Rather than just a simulated digital environment demonstrating water level rises, the Sairo team also worked with TAB Music to score the track, Joshua Haworth who contributed Foley (everyday) sound effects and Jon Carter from the RSPB who narrated the film. The 360-degree video has already been viewed by hundreds of students in the North West region as well as local stakeholders and businesses.

Sairo Studios is a leading creative agency specialising in immersive technologies. It focuses on creating immersive content in innovative ways, helping to build bridges between businesses and the new the digital realities in which they exist within Web 3.0. Sairo has worked with the Department for Education and the Home Office as well as Ribble Valley Borough Council, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery and the Prince’s Trust.