From the beginning, it was clear that Air Canada wanted to emphasise the high-quality food they serve on board. But to model convincing 3D food is a quite challenging task, especially taking into account the need to sustain the illusion when shown in VR, where the user has a very good spatial perception.
We used photogrammetry to deliver a hyper-realistic replication of dishes. Photogrammetry is the technical process that allows obtaining volumetric information about physical objects and environments through capturing, measuring and interpreting photographic images and patterns.
Replicating organic elements such as food in photo-realistic 3D is not an easy task. Our human brain is very well trained to know how real food looks like, so it’s hard to trick it with a 3D replica of something we interact with so frequently in the real world. In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesised relationship between the degree of an object’s resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object. To a lesser extent, the risk here was that the same phenomenon would occur, at least in part, with 3D food. Our goal was to stay away from this ‘fakeness’ as much as possible.
To achieve a strong user immersion and to convey the client’s message, the food needed to look as realistic as possible, and that’s exactly why we used photogrammetry. The main purpose was to create truly delicious-looking food, in line with Air Canada’s superlative standards.