OpenAI just dropped a Sora nature documentary — check out the fake hybrid animals

AI video showing flying pigs
(Image credit: OpenAI Sora/AI generated by Don Allen II)

OpenAI’s new Sora video is a parody of a nature documentary, depicting an array of bizarre hybrid creatures that couldn’t exist in the real world.

The new video “Beyond Our Reality” was created by Don Allen III, a former DreamWorks Animation creative and now a multidisciplinary artist focused on AR and XR content.

It is the latest in a series of videos made using Sora but by professional artists, musicians and creatives including a rain-soaked music video

Beyond Our Reality promotes a fictional new series that covers animals such as the fox crow, the giraffe flamingo and a flock of flying pigs.

“I feel like we are unlocking a new era of creative storytelling that we have never been able to imagine collectively before! Stay curious and creative,” Allen said of using Sora.

What is Beyond Our Reality?

The video is a trailer for a new fictional eight part nature series, going through what to expect from each episode and showing footage — made by Sora — of those weird creatures.

Some of these creations are incredibly disturbing including the bunny armadillo and the reptilian-roo. Sora created ultra realistic footage that looks like a real nature documentary.

Allen says Sora allowed for the “boundaries of imagination” to be extended “bringing to life a few creatures I have dreamed up.” He described the Sora footage as blurring the lines between reality & fantasy.

“I tried to ground my outputs in something kind of familiar like animals, but also something that was currently impossible in biology, these hybrid creatures,” he added.

A new kind of storytelling

Best Netflix documentaries

(Image credit: Netflix)

These types of visual effects aren’t new. We’ve had documentaries on Netflix depicting what creatures on another world might look like, as well as others showing dinosaurs made by Sir David Attenborough himself.

The big change is in access to the effects. Creating visual effects on the scale of those shown in Beyond Our Reality isn’t cheap, especially getting them hyper realistic as we see in the video. 

What Sora, and other tools coming along such as Higgsfield, or even those already available allow for is more people being able to add VFX flare.

For example, Sora could enable some of the very talented YouTube or TikTok creators to add a dose of unreality to their sketches, skits and creations — as long as they label it as AI.

With Sora I feel I can tell stories at a scale I didn’t think was possible before.

Don Allen III

Allen wrote: “As we step into this new era, I understand the apprehension surrounding the rapid evolution of our creative industries. I really think Sora offers a different kind of visual canvas, expanding my creative possibilities and complementing my different creative crafts.”

“I have always been a one-person creative studio, so there were inherent limits to what I could create alone,” he added. “With Sora I feel I can tell stories at a scale I didn’t think was possible before.”

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?