What just happened? The Weather Channel has once again used mixed reality to illustrate a natural disaster. After a video showing the dangers of storm surges that could be produced by Hurricane Florence was broadcast last month, the channel has used the same technology to visualize wildfires.
In the video, presenter Stephanie Abrams is shown standing on a similar circular platform seen in the storm clip. Surrounded by the computer-generated forest and wildlife, Abrams explains how 80 percent of fires start from human activity, with embers from a campfire or a tossed cigarette leading to widespread devastation.
"As the climate warms, the danger is only getting worse," says Abrams. "Wildfire season has become a year-long threat, burning twice the area now than in 1970."
As with the previous videos, the clip was made in partnership with augmented reality company The Future Group using the Unreal Engine video game platform to create the graphics in real time.
Abrams made a Facebook post showing how her part in the video was created by filming the meteorologist against a massive greenscreen wall.
The Weather Channel says these immersive mixed-reality videos can “improve the public’s understanding of weather phenomena and its impacts on their daily lives.”
While the videos are undoubtedly scary, they can help viewers better understand the danger associated with these disasters compared to traditional methods. And with so many inclined to share the impressive clips among family and friends, they can educate more people on what to do if natural disasters strike.