This is Bears Ears

This is Bears Ears is an interactive film and our first collaboration with Patagonia. The film documents Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35-million-acre preservation in southeastern Utah home to thousands of sacred Native American cultural sites as well as world class rock climbing, mountain biking and trail running. We worked closely with the amazing team at Patagonia to design and develop a site that showcased the beauty and diversity of our newest National Monument.

Our approach

Stories of a sacred place untold

This is Bears Ears is divided into three parts: the story of the peoples who live there, the recreational activities that take place there, and how people can get involved in protecting this natural expanse. We designed a minimal user interface that recedes when not in use to focus on the natural beauty of Bears Ears National Monument. In contrast to the minimal design, the site featured vivid videography, imagery, and iconography.


VR Experience

Immersion, anywhere

The VR stories are a huge component of the site experience, allowing you to explorecultural relics or join in on adventures on the beautiful mesas. We used Google technology for the mapping and VR. This allowed for amazing bird’s eye views transitioning into awesome VR escapes.

We knew that most people would be viewing the site on their phones, so we wanted the experience on mobile to be amazing.  We were able to leverage onboard mobile hardware such as the gyroscope and motion detection to give users a complete VR experience no matter where they were.


The tools that bring it together

Our goal was to make use of Google APIs as much as possible, as Google partnered with Patagonia on this project. For video, we utilized the YouTube API as their quality detection and streaming support are exceptional. To enable VR functionality within the player, we included a video.js extension that maps the 360 video onto a sphere inside WebGL, giving the user control of the camera through the gyroscope movements.

The Google Maps APIs provided standard satellite view for the map-based navigation and custom tiles for the large panorama of the petroglyph wall. We also used a custom Google Earth tool to create hi-res video fly-ins to each location.

Filmography  Duct Tape Then Beer

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