Gone to Water

Gone to Water

Art direction + Ui/UX Design for virtual reality app

The project
Gone to Water is an immersive VR documentary that exposes the largest urban oil drilling site in the US – Los Angeles, California, Tongva Land.

Co-directed by Marin Vesely, Cat Ross, and Nick Wilson, the work involves over 30 collaborators. Balancing the contributions of so many, our team went with a maximalist, illustrative art style based on real-locations. We implemented a contrasting minimalist User Interface to keep the eclectic work easy to navigate.

Pre-Production: Concept

Co-director Cat Ross and I drafted a concept art deck based on moodboards and idea mapping in Miro.

We created 4 discrete art directions, and commissioned concept art based on these options.

We created location and character briefs for each scene, including imagery and descriptions. The location briefs were paired with an art direction for concept art.

Production: Graphics

Based on concept art and technical experimentation, we developed a surrealist style that uses landmarks and real-life references to reinforce its origin. The hazy color pallete, reinforced by the sky in each scene, and the repeated whispy VFX weave the surrealist style throughout the work. Things like the Hollywood sign, a massive shipping port and UI clues keep the viewer grounded in the Los Angeles environment admist the highly-stylized visuals.

The User Interface

Designed and built in Unity for a virtual reality interface. Includes in-game overlays, main menu, navigation with controllers, language options and bilingual subtitles.

The main menu provides a clear opportunity to learn about the project and adjust basic settings.
The user is directed here after watching each chapter.

Interactive ArcGIS Map

Open source data supports the stories of frontline community members. Users activate map data layers using right-hand game controller and the menu attached to the left controller. Using the right controller, you can point and select the organge columns to teleport.

Character Name & Title Overlays

Because this is a documentary, it is important that we include the names of each character the user enounters. These names are displayed in an easy-to-read fashion in world-space, and dissapear after the first 15 seconds of seeing the new character.

Visit www.lovedeathdesign.com for more information.