The Story of The Lightbox Virtual Reality Project

30 January 2018

Last week The Lightbox published our first foray into virtual reality, and what an exciting journey it's been to get here! On this week's blog we're taking you back through the months to show you how it was made.

April 2017

The Lightbox put in an application with South East Museums Development Programme to attend a 'Museums Hack Day'. There, along with five other regional museums, we would have the opportunity to meet with digital experts to discuss digital solutions to a challenge we wanted to address. Our challenge was to attract a younger audience - and we earned our place at the day!

June 2017

Museums Hack Day had arrived! The Lightbox team set off to Southampton Solent University to see what the day would bring. We had the opportunity to collaborate with some really talented people from digital industries - including Chloe Poulter from IBM, Sam Allen from Sam Studios, Dave Slater from Infoaktiv and Professor Graeme Searle from University of Southampton.

We discussed the importance of getting out of The Lightbox to 'disrupt' the daily routines of our target audience, who are nearby but might not be aware of The Lightbox. And so the hashtag #ThinkOutsideTheLightbox was born. 

After a day of brainstorming, we pitched our idea, Dragons Den style, to the panel of judges. There was funding to get the idea off the ground at stake, so this was serious business. And, dear readers, we won! Here we are moments after our heroic victory. 

Following on from the Museums Hack Day, we had a few months to develop the idea and put it into action. We soon contacted Apache, a virtual/augmented reality development studio whose clients include major Hollywood studios such as Disney, Warner Bros and Paramount! Next stop for Apache - The Lightbox!

November 2017

Using a special cameria rig called the GoPro Omni, a fully synchronized 6 camera array shoots footage from multiple angles simultaneously.

The resulting footage, taken across the building and in Turner in Surrey, was stitched together and edited to produce the final piece, and we started releasing video stills to tease the launch event in January.

January 2018

It was time for our launch event! With four Samsung Gear VR headsets in tow, we set up our stand in Woking Shopping for people to experience The Lightbox in virtual reality. Once they put the headset on, it was like being in the gallery!

Hundreds of people tried out the virtual reality video throughout the day, many of whom had never visited The Lightbox in person. Watch the video above to see what you missed.

Want to see Turner in Surrey in person? Visit before it closes on 4 March.

More information

This project was made possible by funding through the Creative Digital Industries and Museums Project delivered in partnership by: the South East Museum Development Programme, supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Southampton Solent University, Digital South and Creative Network South.

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