During the renovation of the Viennese Prater, the idea for a new attraction was born: a motion ride that takes visitors on a flight through this magnificent city and lets them experience several of the city's unforgettable sights in a very unique way. A motion ride is an attraction in which visitors stand on a hydraulic platform in a closed room. A film is shown on a large screen - in this case a flight through Vienna. While visitors are watching the film that completely fills their field of view, the platform moves synchronized to the movements being viewed on the screen and gives the viewers the feeling of standing on a flying carpet.
The flight was christened Vienna Airlines, has become very popular and offers a completely new flight experience with its breathtaking flight maneuvers, showing even native Viennese new aspects of their hometown. The question is always asked how this spectacular flight imagery was created because even a helicopter is not able to fly between houses and so close to structures, as is done in the film. The entire flight is in fact virtual! The makers simply created a digital version of Vienna!
Whereas the planning phase was relatively easy, the challenges lay in the actual production process because it became obvious that the flight route through and over most of Vienna would bring a great part of the city into view of the camera - an incredible number of buildings, monuments, landmarks, streets and fountains! Because the film for the motion ride was supposed to be photo realistic, all models had to be modeled and textured accordingly. Several low-poly objects were also created to get a better feel for the project’s dimensions. The team of artists then made their way through Vienna and photographed all key areas the camera flight would show and photographed all buildings that would appear in the film. The photographs were used to create the textures. The team was glad that all foliage had already fallen off the trees and that clouds had covered the city – resulting in almost uniform lighting conditions - which made texture creation much easier. The overcast conditions meant that the photographs of the buildings contained almost not shadows. If the sun had shone, stark shadows would have been cast, which the team would have had to tediously remove. This would have meant several hours of retouching in an already tight schedule.
Finally, the team turned its attention to the first high-res object, the Urania building. This is where the film was to start and this location would also be used for the film's establishing shot. This was also the starting point from which the rest of the production was created. At the same time, the flight route was fine-tuned and adapted to the topography.
Another challenge was the camera's flight along the planned route, which had to be completed in a single take, without cuts or transitions. The entire flight was then divided into sections that were subsequently fine-tuned. The renderer and computers were pushed beyond their limits, which meant that the Project had to be sent to a render farm. This made it possible to render the film as desired and enabled the team to meet the production deadline.
Vienna Airlines Motion Ride Viennese Prater:
Making of “Vienna Airlines”:
See Vienna from an entirely new perspective at the Viennese Prater