Cannes Lions

Big Bang App

GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE, Paris / GOOGLE / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Idea

Join Tilda Swinton and CERN scientists on an epic interactive journey through the birth and evolution of the universe - in mixed reality. Go back in time 13.8 billion years and discover how space, time and the visible universe came to be.

See the universe form in the palm of your hand. Witness the formation of the very first stars, our solar system, and the planet we call home. Immerse yourself in the primordial mystery of the early universe in space and watch events unfold around you, in your own physical environment.

Learn about the microscopic building blocks that make up everything - and everyone - we know, and find out if we really are made of stars.

See our solar system come together and hold the Earth in the palm of your hand.

Find out how we are made from stars, take a #StarSelfie and share it.

Execution

GA&C partnered with a multifaceted team of creative technologists and developers who worked round the clock to seamlessly combine technology and design.

• The UI design was directly animated in Unity.

• We used Unity dev writing compute shaders for the 3D real-time animation.

• Machine learning was used to detect the hand in both open and close poses.

• Nexus Studios' Head of Interactive Arts, Luke Ritchie oversaw the entire development as senior Unity developer working across iOS and Android.

For the hand detection we used YOLO, converted to Tensorflow on Android and CoreML on iOS

The core application was built in Unity, making extensive use of compute shaders to model all of the individual physical elements.

The Star Selfie is a single volumetric fragment shader

We began by prototyping visual elements to see how far we can push the hardware we were supporting, and experimenting with computer vision and machine learning techniques to detect hands opening and closing. CERN were very involved and we were determined to get the physics right, so there was a lot of back and forth between our developers, our design team and CERN in order to get it looking good, feeling good, and scientifically correct.

GA&C oversaw the full app development process and in parallel worked closely with Tilda Switon and CERN to create a compelling narrative for the experience.

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