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Animmersion UK uses gaming technology to bring the Woodsmith Project to life

Animmersion UK, the Teesside-based digital visualisation specialists, has completed a significant project with multinational mining company Anglo American to develop four interactive games based upon its Woodsmith Project, the multi-billion pound polyhalite fertiliser mine being developed on the North Yorkshire coast.

The augmented reality and three interactive PC games were originally piloted during Scarborough Science and Engineering Week, which was attended by more than 2,000 youngsters from the area together with 30 local, regional, and national employers.

The four interactive games focus on farming with polyhalite, the processing of the mineral, an augmented reality mining experience, and a cyber security challenge produced in conjunction with GCHQ.

They will now be incorporated into Anglo American’s education outreach programme, which aims to equip disadvantaged students to achieve their potential and promote STEM careers across the North Yorkshire coast.

The games will be used at careers fairs, school presentations and community events to offer students an insight into the engineering behind the Woodsmith Project, the specialist skills and careers needed at the company, and how polyhalite fertiliser will help drive more efficient and sustainable farming.

Andi Liddell, a director of Animmersion UK, said: “Each game creates an engaging scenario that gives young people an insight into the skills and critical thinking required within the science and engineering sectors.

“They encourage problem solving, creativity, and collaboration – delivering a more focused, stimulating and enjoyable learning experience.”

Anglo American Corporate Relations Director, Gareth Edmunds said: “Ingenuity and innovation is at the heart of the Woodsmith Project, and we adopted the same approach with these games. Working with local companies is something we try and do wherever we can, so it was great to be able to work with Animmersion on this high tech project.”

Richard Adams, Anglo American’s Education Outreach Manager added: “Resources such as these really bring the various aspects of the STEM curriculum to life, which is so important in broadening children’s horizons and helping inspire ideas about what they could achieve in the future.”

Business benefits of animated video

Animated videos are increasingly used as a strategy to successfully market products.

As a tool, they can be used to promote, explain, share, and emphasise concepts, ideas, and products in an immediate, interesting and engaging way.

As consumers tend to research products before they commit to purchase, animated video is an accessible medium through which to present a product or service and how it operates, which can include customer reviews and website links.

The immediacy of consumer engagement with animated video can also help raise click-through and conversion rates, and as animated videos with graphics require minimal updates, and changes can be executed rapidly, they can be a an efficiently cost-effective way to market a product. Because viewing a professional video engages consumers for longer on a website and Google’s algorithm uses the time visitors spend there when determining search rankings, it should reduce the bounce rate and assist with search engine optimisation – enabling a business to rank higher Google searches.

If the animated video used to market a brand is entertaining as well as informational, people tend to view the brand positively. Video clips which offer effective and entertaining communication between brand and consumer encourage client loyalty. It could be argued that when consumers perceive that a company ‘cares’ their loyalty increases. By entertaining and engaging with the viewers they may appreciate it as a sign of investment and ‘concern’ for them which, in turn, engenders loyalty whether conscious or unconscious.

What’s more, the limited human presence of animated video can actively minimise the chance of discrimination or bias as the generated characters can be tailored explicitly to fit the product and service requirements.

In plain sight, animated video can be used to elicit favourable emotions and connections with a consumer as it provides a direct audio and visual interaction. This can be used to boost brand image, reinforce existing and create new relationships.

Used creatively and purposefully, animated video can be a powerful marketing tool. High quality graphics and professional production is key. Done well, animations can be extremely effective in scaling up businesses.

Why invest in VR learning and development?

The total value of the market for VR business equipment is expected to increase from around £622 million to around £3.2 billion by 2023 and it has already made headway in retail, medicine, aviation and even law enforcement.

As with most new technologies, as they develop, the cost of using them descends from astronomical to realistically affordable which means it is becoming increasingly feasible for companies to consider using virtual reality for corporate training.

Gaining momentum as a practical, affordable and advanced tool for learning and development, many businesses are starting to recognise the benefits of using virtual reality, and as the use of VR expands, the cost of headsets continues to fall.

Inevitably, creating a customised VR training programme requires a proportionally significant initial investment, but this can be mitigated by longer term cost savings over traditional training methods as the cost of educational tuition, external speakers, or ongoing training costs and expenses are moderated.

As VR training is in reality benign. For example, patients or police officers are not actually at risk and planes don’t really crash during training so trainees can be effectively taught how to handle a situation in multiple scenarios designed to be as authentic as possible – without coming to actual harm and with the concomitant opportunity to learn and gain from subsequent 2-way feedback, risk-free.

Research shows that the retention rate when developing skills or learning new information is 75% when it is done through VR. Through the traditional route of presentation and lecture, retention is around 5%, which increases to around 20% for a PowerPoint presentation or computer. This is because VR provides multisensory input, meaning that the information is gathered through more channels and is more likely to be retained by the learner’s optimal approach.

It can be the case that some people using VR experience symptoms of motion sickness due to their brains receiving conflicting signals regarding movement in their surrounding environment and their body’s position in relation to it. However, advances in headsets mean that they can increasingly offer faster displays, thus decreasing the speed of latency, which in turn, helps with feelings of motion sickness.

Choosing a company that specialises in immersive digital experiences means that customised learning, development, and training programmes provide the opportunity for unparalleled user engagement.

3D Visualiser/Animator

Role description:

Working as a member of the 3D Team to develop, design and produce high resolution imagery and animations for industry, be it for marketing, training or other purposes. Delivery can vary from pure animation to implementation into AR and VR, mobile and web applications. Typically animations are in relation to a client’s product or services and as such we do not require a character animator.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following skills and personal attributes:

Skills:

  • Capable of making commercial animations for industry
  • Knowledge and understanding of 3D Studio Max, After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere
  • Motivated, problem solver with great communication skills
  • Excellent time management, ensuring deadlines are met
  • Ability to work autonomously or collaboratively as part of a wider team
  • Organised, methodical and able to document and share best practice
  • Comfortable working alongside Technical Development Team to export assets.
  • Ability to interpret client briefs to create written storyboards

Personal Attributes:

  • Creative Flair and attention to detail
  • Strong Visualisation skills
  • Collaborator and team player
  • Self-motivated and pro-active
  • Problem solver
  • Excellent communicator
  • Drive for excellence and best practice in their work
  • Curiosity / Creativity
  • Personal drive – keeping up to date with industry developments and continually developing skill base though personal and professional projects and developments

While qualifications are important to us, we are more interested in seeing great examples of your work. Please be prepared to supply links to your Portfolio should you be successful in the initial stage of your application.

To apply or discuss this role in greater detail, please send your CV and links to your portfolio to auklrecruitment@animmersion.co.uk  Please include subject header: 3D Visualiser/Animator

Unity Developer

Job Type: Permanent / full time

Location: Teesside / Remote Working

We are looking for an experienced UNITY developer, with a focus on VR, to become an integral part of our immersive development team delivering projects across the real-time spectrum including VR, AR & more. The ideal applicant would be highly motivated and proactive, with minimal requirement for supervision and eagerness to stay up to date with the latest software and hardware trends.

  • Collaborate with artistic and technical team leads to deliver real time interactive projects to a very high standard.
  • Help define, implement, and troubleshoot our technical VR development pipeline with guidance from our technical team lead.
  • Work with our other UNITY developers to continually improve and optimise our existing internal frameworks and tooling for creating first class interactive content.
  • Keep on the pulse of new immersive technology and contribute to R&D projects.
  • Work directly with clients and the Animmersion team to deliver quality in everything we do.
  • Be able to showcase excellent planning and prototyping skills, with the ability to manage time constraints and work to a fixed budget.

Qualifications & Experience

The role would suit an experienced and confident UNITY developer with great communication and organisational skills, a passion for optimising and enhancing development pipelines and an eye for technical and creative detail.

  • minimum 3 years Unity3D work
  • minimum 3 years C# programming
  • good understanding of shaders and lighting
  • Experience using git
  • A strong portfolio demonstrating previous UNITY experience.
  • A passion for real-time graphics
  • Experience with the UNITY XR interaction toolkit and cross platform VR development (META/OCULUS/PICO/HTC)
  • Experience with 3rd party plugins: Playmaker & VR interaction framework
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving ability.
  • An obsession for great user experience.

Great to have

  • Experience of WEBGL UNITY deployments
  • Experience of AR/MR/XR
  • Experience with real-time raytraced rendering.
  • Experience with VR specific optimisation
  • Experience with basic 3D modelling (to prototype)
  • Experience with Unreal Engine and other similar platforms
  • Are we missing anything? What else have you got that would impress us?

To apply or discuss this role in greater detail, please send your CV and links to your portfolio to  auklrecruitment@animmersion.co.uk .  Please include subject header: Unity Developer

Technical Artist – Unreal Engine

Job Type: Permanent / full time

Location: Teesside / Remote Working

We are looking for an experienced technical artist to become an integral part of our immersive development team delivering projects across the real-time spectrum including AR, VR & more.

  • Collaborate with Artistic and Technical Leads to deliver projects to a very high standard.
  • Design workflows of art production specific to the needs of individual projects, supporting junior team members and assuring quality.
  • Develop great content yourself for a variety of XR and interactive experiences.
  • Keep on the pulse of new immersive technology and contribute to R&D projects.
  • Help define, implement, and troubleshoot our technical and 3D asset development pipeline.
  • Work directly with clients and the Animmersion team to deliver quality in everything we do.

Qualifications & Experience

The role would suit an experienced developer with great communication and organisational skills, a passion for optimising and enhancing development pipelines and an eye for technical and creative detail. The ideal applicant would be highly motivated and proactive, with minimal requirement for supervision and eagerness to stay up-to-date with the latest software and hardware trends.

  • Several years of experience operating at a high level in an equivalent role.
  • A strong portfolio demonstrating previous commercial experience.
  • A passion for real-time graphics with an excellent demonstrable understanding of Unreal Engine and Blueprints.
  • Strong 3D modelling skills.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and collaboration skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving ability.
  • An obsession for great user experience.

Great to have

  • Experience of game development
  • Experience of VR/AR/MR/XR development
  • Experience with the Substance software suite.
  • Experience developing in Unity or C# scripting.
  • C++ coding skills.
  • Experience with real-time raytraced rendering.
  • Shader creation.
  • Are we missing anything? What else have you got that would impress us?

Drop us a line

To apply or discuss this role in greater detail, please send your CV and links to your portfolio to  auklrecruitment@animmersion.co.uk .  Please include subject header: Technical Artist – Unreal Engine