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With the loss of many familiar, real-life experiences throughout 2020 and 2021, designers turned to immersive, 3D experiences to move beyond the monotony of rectangular Zoom grids.

As described in Editor X’s Web Design in 2021 report, the New York Times’ research and development team offers a view of how environmental photogrammetry — patching together tens or hundreds of photos into a 3D image — can reconstruct physical spaces to allow readers to experience them as though they were there.

Image: Frog

Designers are steadily eroding the boundary between real and virtual worlds.

“From a storytelling perspective,” the editors noted, “this allows us to direct how a reader sees or moves through the area after we’ve captured it and creates endless possibilities for framing and guiding the story.”

The trend toward immersive virtual experiences can be captured in other ways too.

Set to the music of electronic musician Richie Hawtin, the Prada SS 2021 Fashion Show took place online, without a live audience. Chandelier-like arrays of video cameras captured the fashion models at the center of the show, which was viewable on a live feed or as a VR-rendered recreation.

The video game sets and human-like avatars of Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert “Astronomical” and the Tiger Street Food Virtual Festival also embody a trend likely to continue in 2022 — designers steadily eroding the boundary between real and virtual worlds.

Image: Frog


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