5D Global Studio & OptiTrack Visualise Al-Baydha World Building

OptiTrack motion capture is in use supporting real-time visualization for the Al-Baydha project, developed by 5D Global Studio in partnership with the University of Southern California's World Building Institute and the Al-Baydha Development Corporation. Al-Baydha, a 700 square kilometre region in Saudi Arabia and home to nearly 3,000 tribal Bedouins living as settled inhabitants, is an agrarian community on the verge of collapse due to livestock overgrazing.

The goal of the Al-Baydha project is to help the community to establish a permanent, sustainable community infrastructure that can be maintained through future generations. 5D is showing the Al-Baydha project pipeline at the FMX Conference in Stuttgart, Germany from 5 to 8 May 2015.

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5D specializes in world building by combining digital design, virtual experiences and interactive techniques in order to fully visualize the context surrounding a project, problem or challenge - and ultimately arrive at the best approach. For the Al-Baydha project, 5D is conducting real-time design visualization in Unity, recording and watching progress with Oculus Rift VR headsets and virtual camera rigs.

These devices are tracked in real-time via OptiTrack's Prime Series cameras and Motive software. Combined, the system enables users to traverse a virtual environment, interacting with structures, animals, and other humans to see how new sustainable initiatives like permanent housing, an agricultural rainwater collection system, and an agricultural co-op would be implemented.


Because part of poverty is reliance on someone, it was agreed that all work done at Al-Baydha has to come from the local population. However, the groups involved in designing and building the project lacked a common language. They now rely on images and symbols to communicate and a real-time virtual spacein which to solve the problems they encounter, where they can expand, collapse, rotate, alter the world they are creating very rapidly.
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"World building is a good choice for the Al-Baydha project, because it allows the villagers and stakeholders to see and interact with the planned infrastructure and community before they sign on," said Alex McDowell, Creative Director, 5D.

"This gives government officials more confidence in the proposed plans, and strengthens the community's commitment to the project when they are able to get a virtual glimpse of the future and see how the proposed sustainable homes, farm and community centres might look. OptiTrack is convenient and manageable for users, and very low latency, a key attribute for tracking in real-time and building a successful interactive, immersive VR environment."

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Optitrack said that 5D's demonstration at FMX of their utilization of motion capture for sustainability problem solving will illustrate to attendees how engineering originally developed for entertainment applications can make an impact on practical challenges. www.optitrack.com