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Wallace & Gromit Join the AR World with ‘The Big Fix Up’

Augmented reality experience from Aardman and Fictioneers consortium introduces their innovative new storytelling technology platform, using Unity tools, backed by UK government funding.

For the first time ever, Wallace and Gromit will bring fans directly into their adventures via The Big Fix Up, a first of its kind, story-driven experience that promises to bring the iconic characters together with state-of-the-art augmented reality technology.

Partnering with multi award-winning animation studio Aardman, Fictioneers, a consortium of British companies, including Potato, Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games, with research support from the University of South Wales, is producing an exciting augmented and mixed reality experience featuring Wallace & Gromit and backed by funding from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). 

Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up, will bring Wallace & Gromit alive in an entirely new way, while creating a cutting-edge new platform for storytelling. Rendered in CG using the latest technology, the experience will let fans interact with and get closer than ever to the comedic duo. The experience will be rich and multi-layered, realized through innovative new AR technology.

Later this year, audiences can join Wallace and his faithful hound as their latest business venture, Spick & Spanners, takes on the contract of a lifetime: to ‘Fix Up’ Bristol; fans will be invited to download a free app and play along at home, as an employee, and for the first time ever, step directly into the world of Wallace & Gromit.

The story will play out in a variety of different types of media: multi-user AR gameplay, new CG animations, in character phone calls, comic strips, Extended Reality (XR) portals and more; all brought together in a mobile app, used as a ‘window’ into their world.

The new Wallace & Gromit story is an entirely home-based experience, accessible to all with a recent smartphone. The Big Fix Up is set in the city of Bristol, the home of Aardman, but people from all across the UK will be able to take part in the full end-to-end adventure, which will see Wallace, Gromit, and a cast of new characters appear in their very own homes.

In addition, thanks to 3D mapping platform, Fantasmo, Fictioneers will bring together an unprecedented city-scale augmented reality experience, which will see Bristol city center come to life at home.

Chosen by UKRI as part of its Audience of the Future program, which is a key part of the Government’s Creative Industries Sector Deal, announced in March 2018, Fictioneers was awarded a multimillion-pound R&D grant to explore and pioneer cutting-edge immersive experiences. Now, working with Aardman, the consortium will bring a brand-new Wallace & Gromit augmented adventure to fans.

Susan Cummings, co-founder of Fictioneers and managing director of Tiny Rebel Games, said, “We’re thrilled to be working with our friends at Aardman to deliver the first augmented Wallace & Gromit story. We, at Fictioneers, are on a mission to innovate storytelling with our groundbreaking methodology. It is a rare privilege to be able to do so with some of the most beloved animated characters in the world and to give fans the first opportunity to join in Wallace & Gromit's story.”

Aardman’s Merlin Crossingham, creative director of Wallace & Gromit, commented, “Aardman is a multi-faceted creative studio and is just as happy with classic film making as it is with new and emerging technologies. Wallace and Gromit’s heart and soul is in stop-motion, but they have often dabbled in the cutting edge of tech, and this is one of those occasions. We are delighted to join forces with the amazing folk at Fictioneers to take Wallace and Gromit on a new adventure in such a groundbreaking way.”

With a heavy focus on R&D, Fictioneers has sought out the most cutting-edge AR technologies and partners to realize its ambitions. This includes working with Unity Technologies, which powers more than 60 percent of the world's AR and VR content, with its new MARS product and AR Foundation toolkit, giving creators the power to build mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) applications that interact with any real-world environment. The Unity team’s technology and support have enabled Fictioneers to bring contraptions and environments to life and give them intelligent, dynamic behavior.

Jamie Innes, product lead at Fictioneers, will be sharing the latest project details as part of Unity Technologies’ keynote at Augmented World Expo on 27th May at 4:20 UK BST. Find out more here.

Source: Fictioneers