Making of Intelligent Forest

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Projecting the digital future onto the northern forest

The Intelligent Forest project was inspired by research and development done at Metsä Group. In recent years we have developed a useful range of digital services for forest owners. It’s clear to us that digitalisation will transform the forest industry and enable new, increasingly intelligent forest management and harvesting solutions. The world of the future must run on renewables, not fossil based materials. Smarter technology and precise data gathered from the forests gives us a greater insight into our renewable resource in ways that benefit our business and the surrounding ecosystem.

We wanted to raise interest in our industry and operations through modern, meaningful communication, by presenting the digital era of the forests and the innovations connected to it in a way not seen before in the industry.

The creative idea for the film was based on visualizing the real data from the forests in ways that abstract and simplify the already-existing intelligent tools and methods we use in forest management and wood supply – and turning them into animated graphic themes.

Making of intelligent forest

Design process from real life inspiration to projected graphics


Bringing the data into life

The chosen graphic themes were developed to portray the simplest possible form of the forests' data. Visualizing such things as forest growth, data flow, traceability and the optimal use of every part of the tree.

As we had a natural canvas for the project – the northern forest – we needed to create a way to visualize the data in a way that would fit smoothly on the surface of the trees. Applying movement to the graphic elements made them wrap around the trees naturally.

Making of intelligent forest

The majority of graphics used in the film were done live "in camera" using two powerful projectors and specialized software. Each of the projection mapping graphics were shaped and edited live during the setup of the scene from a larger graphic animation. We chose this approach to ensure that the graphics would fit perfectly into the surrounding forest and trees.


Making of intelligent forest

Projectors and software used to project the graphics onto the trees

Making of intelligent forest


How the film came together

The film was made in part to promote online articles interviewing experts on forest-based bioeconomy, circular economy, forest management and digitalisation. Therefore the film needed to communicate the message through a strong and rational script, while the visual side would be more expressive, stunning and portray the northern forest in a light not seen before.


Making of intelligent forest

Frames from the Intelligent Forest film storyboard

The film was shot over eight days in a commercial forest near the community of Karkkila in southern Finland. The production was done during dawn and dusk hours to achieve the optimum light conditions for projection mapping.

The goal was to create as much as possible using the real light from the projectors onto trees in the forest. To highlight the beauty of the natural environment in a new way we avoided generating graphics and effects afterwards with computers. In the scenes where we did use post-production it was strictly due to specific demands of the story and the technical limits of the projectors.

See a selection of images from the filming below.


The project was created and directed in collaboration with creative agency hasan&partners, filmed and produced by 3Hund with key images photographed by KoskiSyväri.


Read and learn more about our intelligent forests.

Virtual forests are here, and digitalisation is paving the way for intelligent wood products. Read more about how professionals in the field see the future of the forest industry.