Meet Your New President: Photorealistic Trump Takes Office in VR

by Joe Durbin • January 20th, 2017

One of the best things about virtual reality is its ability to transport us to locations we would otherwise never be able to experience. This could be the surface of Mars, the top of Mt. Everest or, for me, just about any modern roller coaster (those height limits need to be amended I swear). Today, one more out-of-the-way locale is being brought into the realm of digitally accessible tourism: President Trump standing in the oval office of the White House.

That’s right, the seat of American power has been recreated with photorealistic detail in a new virtual reality program for the HTC Vive. Users can strap on their headsets and find themselves standing where few men have lived to tread. Oh, and there’s one more surprise waiting inside as well: President Trump himself.

This entire piece is titled Wide Awake and it was created by MacInnes Scott — a firm that specializes in what they call “the future of performance”.

Wide Awake was created using a unique digital process that MacInnes Scott calls “maximum resolution”. According to the studio “MacInnes Scott’s proprietary digital human ‘maximum resolution’ replication system utilizes HTC Vive’s room scale and Epic’s Unreal engine to render the character and environment in real-time 3D.”


According to MacInnes Scott, Wide Awake‘s overall narrative is as follows:

“It’s 2AM in the Oval Office. The phone is ringing but nobody is picking up. President Trump is vigilant against the encroaching darkness. His focus is intense. Is he leaning against his desk in contemplation, or pushing off towards an unknown future?”

This particular installation was made using a Trump body double that was scanned using photogrammetry. That base avatar was then painstakingly sculpted and fine-tuned by the artists at MacInnes Scott to create the hyper realistic figure you can see above. No detail was overlooked down to the pores on our latest president’s nose.


This type of meticulously crafted realism is becoming a hallmark of MacInnes Scott’s VR work. It is releasing Wide Awake now on Vive for free through the Viveport content service. It will also be making a music piece titled Grace and a Navy SEAL experience available soon as well.

Readers in the greater New York area will also be able to see Wide Awake at the VR Society’s Art In VR exhibition with Sotheby’s in New York City this June.


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