Pixel Artworks to launch ‘The Butterfly Trail’ mixed reality experience at Outernet London

Immersive experience studio, Pixel Artworks, has created ‘The Butterfly Trail’, a mixed reality experience, due to launch on 5 September at Outernet Londonthe immersive entertainment district in the heart of London, near Tottenham Court Road. The Butterfly Trail will guide visitors through explorer Professor Peter Pelegrin’s Botanical Workshop and into his Glass House, where they can interact with the experience via the browser on their smartphone.

The Butterfly Trail  contains several mixed-reality moments. The first is part of the interactive ‘Metamorphosis Machine’ experience, which starts with a skills-based slingshot game, built in partnership with Aircards on 8th Wall’s WebAR platform. The experience launches from within Outernet’s 25K native resolution ‘Now Building’, which features wrap around screens spanning 23,000 sq feet.

The audience will be immersed in a spectacular mix of rendered and real-time animated content. After successfully releasing magical AR butterflies from their chrysalises, the audience can activate the Metamorphosis Machine with their smartphone, triggering real-time animations on the machine displayed on the screens. Pixel Artworks created the rendered and real-time Unreal animations as well as the first of its kind communications interface between Unreal and the 8th Wall AR experience, developed in partnership with Aircards.

A second ground-breaking feature, developed by Aircards, is a  WebAR hand-tracking feature, which enables the audience to hold a magical butterfly in the palm of their hand or on their finger. With on-device image and video capture of the hand-holding moment, the audience can download and share their experience online or direct to their camera roll.

Professor Pelegrin’s Botanical Workshop and The Glass House spaces both feature a 32-channel spatial audio mix which was created in partnership with Gramercy Park Studios. This is the most complex spatial mix yet to be deployed at Outernet and provides an intriguing, complementary soundscape for the visual experience.

Lastly, Pixel Artworks has collaborated with Aircards to deploy Metalitix, a spatial analytics platform that measures visitor interactions in both the virtual and physical environment. The results gathered will help the studio’s understanding of how people engage with the experience and will influence the future of how immersive experiences are created.


“It’s wonderous to think you can step into nature in the heart of London and hold butterflies in your hand,” said Tom Burch, Managing Director at Pixel Artworks. “Launching The Butterfly Trail at Outernet, one of the UK’s most visited attractions, with such innovative experiential technology, helps us break creative boundaries with audiences looking for new, exciting immersive experiences. This is the next generation of experiential entertainment, demonstrating the potential of AR when seamlessly integrated with imagined, immersive worlds, elevating our everyday experiences to new heights.”