Walk with your feet in the water, on a dream beach, with always perfect weather… This is what Arizona State University now allows you, except that everything is fake, or rather virtual.
The videos of this virtual beach, with the astonished reactions of its visitors, have makes the buzz on social networks the last days. L’Arizona State University (ASU) acquired a state-of-the-art immersive video complex last October: le MIX Centerlocated in Mesa, in the middle of the desert, intended to house the best studios in the world of virtual reality and video game creation.
The Fake Dream Beach (Originally filmed in California Los Angeles) is in a local about 100m2 : it is an experimental studio of total immersion which will serve as much for students, television and cinema professionals, but also for the public who can already visit it.
An increasingly fine line between the real and the virtual
The use of virtual production for films and series took off during the Covid-19 pandemic. It combines real elements with virtual 3D elements which are then broadcast on huge LED screens. For the needs of films and TV series (like the 1899 fiction on Netflix), the movements of the cameras are synchronized with those of the images, which gives depth to the virtual setting and therefore even more realism. The special effects are done in pre-production and not in post-production. As a result, even the actors, or visitors in the case of the university studio, find it difficult to discern fiction from reality!
The Californian beach that has been “rebuilt” in a university building in the middle of the Arizona desert. © Chiemela Peter