A bit of progress on VMI visualization using the latest version of Cesium for Unreal. Mainly working on lookdev and accurate geolocation of assets. These are unmodified renders straight from Unreal, running in real time – so quite impressive. Still – there are glitches and issues to be sorted out, a fair way to go yet.

As I work on these, I’m beginning to develop a real sense of the island – even though I have never been there.

The back story is that I’ve been trying to get there for the last 10 years through the Australian Antarctic Division’s Arts Fellowship program, assiduously applying every year since 2011. I’ve been short-listed almost every year, only to be pipped at the post nearly every time. I actually succeeded in 2013/2014 – only for the trip to be cancelled at the last minute thanks to the ‘A’ factor – AAD resources had to be diverted to some urgent operational concerns, so the trip was cancelled and not offered to me the following year.

It’s a pity as it would have made it all so much easier to create an accurate VR photogrammetric model of the research station – but the method of selecting projects is opaque, highly competitive and all you can do is keep applying and hope for the best. Perhaps one day I’ll swim there, or if I ever win lotto I’ll afford to go on a cruise ship. In the meantime I get there in imagination and am grateful for the access to data and materials from scientists, expeditions and research collections.

Anyway, what is emerging for me is a much stronger sense of the island emerging from the sea floor – Macquarie Island is, of course, deeply unusual geologically as it is one of the very few places on Earth where ocean bed is raised above the seas:

Macquarie Island is an exposed portion of the Macquarie Ridge and is located where the Australian Plate meets the Pacific Plate. The island lies close to the edge of the submerged continent of Zealandia, but is not regarded as a part of it, because the Macquarie Ridge is oceanic crust rather than continental crust.

It is the only place on Earth where rocks from the Earth’s mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level. These unique exposures include excellent examples of pillow basalts and other extrusive rocks.[17] It also is the only oceanic environment with an exposed ophiolite sequence. Due to these unique geological exposures, it was made a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1997.[12]


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.