a pixelated street

Waymo 360° Experience

Let’s go, Waymo. Framestore was proud to partner with Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and Google Creative Lab on the Waymo 360° Experience, a short film that picks up viewers for an interactive spin in Waymo’s highly anticipated self-driving vehicle. In development since 2009, and now making up the only fleet of fully self-driving cars on public roads, Waymo proved the ideal subject for a 360° journey; giving the wider world an invaluable insight into our driverless future through seamless pairing of live action and graphic elements.

a pixelated street

Framestore’s William Bartlett and Mike McGee co-directed the film, shot on location in Arizona by Framestore’s live action unit, led by David Hay. Briefed to showcase the feel of travelling in a Waymo car, and to uncover some of the mystery surrounding Waymo's technology, the team utilised 360° camerawork to great effect, allowing viewers to put themselves within the vehicle (either through YouTube or a compatible headset like Google Cardboard). The all-access view works to illustrate the range and depth of Waymo’s sensors, whilst shedding light on both the interior and exterior of the modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, in a prime example of state-of-the-art storytelling.

top view of a google car capturing cars

On the road, Framestore worked with a combination of bespoke 360° camera rigs and drones to capture the requisite array of shots. The team was able to capture footage across authentic traffic and junctions to show Waymo’s intelligent behaviours in action. The challenge of 360° shooting, as always, came in the technical choreography of the shoot: balancing exposures and syncing activity across the camera’s multiple lenses. It was also critical to capture the optimum canvas on which graphics could be overlaid to fully demonstrate what Waymo ‘sees’ all around it.

aerial view of a street with cars highlighted with blue boxes

In post, there could be no errors. The camera system had captured footage across four sides at once; the stitching therefore needed to be spot-on to combine perfectly with data from Waymo’s drive. Once stitched, the scenes were tracked, before the illustrative design elements, which were designed by Google Creative Lab based on real-time data from Waymo, were layered in.

The resulting film is now live and accessible through Waymo channels, educating global audiences about a new era of transportation. Of course, for Framestore’s team, the biggest thrill came in a demo ride in a real-life Waymo vehicle; we’re assured, the future (of transport) is speedy, intelligent, and bright.

top view of a google car capturing cars in a car park


Creative Leads, Google Creative Lab
Xavier Barrade, Graeme Hall, Tom Seymour
Director (Framestore)
Team Lead
Charis Levonleigh
Liam Thompson
Pawasut Chatmaleerat (Baz), Juan Alonso, Reece McFarlane
Junior CG
Reke Onamusi
Motion Designer
Nicola Gastaldi
Head of Production
Andy Kinsella
Live Action Producer
David Hay
Executive Producer
Heather Kinal
Paint and Roto
Sam Osborne, Hasan Khan
CG Technical Support
Andy Nicholas
Production Lead
Karen Slade
Executive Creative Director
Steve Vranakis
Jeff Brown
Lead Nuke
Matthew Thomas, Christian Baker
Marcus Duprat, Valerio Di Napoli, Aleksandr Uusmees, Jane Sun, Oz Dolphin
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