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VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?

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Oliver Peters
VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 14, 2016 at 11:29:56 pm

Obviously VR is going to be a big deal here at NAB. Adobe has tossed its hat into the ring with integrated tools in Premiere Pro. OTOH, Apple is more stand-off-ish, even on the consumer side. My thoughts are that it's a cool trick and will have a niche market, just like stereo 3D. But it won't become the next great mainstream storytelling method. The main hindrence is that it requires the glasses, like 3D. Clearly Apple doesn't seem to be bolting this into X that anyone knows of and the tools exist via Dashwood. Thoughts.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 12:06:50 am

3D was a different way to view conventional screen content. VR is a whole different beast and I see it as successfully competing for attention, not a gimmick add on to existing entertainment media.

Like nuclear fusion it has been 'ten years away' from being something for over thirty years now. I had a professional VR demo a few weeks ago and I can see it has commercial and entertainment potential finally. Latency is now so low as to not matter. Images are not longer blurred or flickering. Interactivity is much improved and I really think it will take big chunks out of peoples entertainment time because it is now cheap, really good and impressive.

It's not for everyone but for gamers and stay at home kids who don't watch broadcast TV or go to the movies, it will be a big thing. As content providers, we all have to know about this tech as it has finally arrived. I don't expect it will be significant for me but I don't think it is a gimmick.


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Noah Kadner
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 3:51:29 am

Hoping it will go somewhere. But yeah at the end of the day it's still goggles which only a certain percentage of consumers can actually stand.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops


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Claude Lyneis
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:43:38 pm

Actually, Fusion has be 30 years away for the last 60 years, but the analogy is a good one.


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Michael Horton
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 6:28:47 am

We are making 360 Video a big part of this years SuperMeet. Not because we think it is here to stay, but because we think its something you need to know. We are calling the presentation "Can you Tell a Compelling Story in VR and 360° Video?" We hope someone can. We haven't seen it yet.

Michael Horton
lacpug
http://www.lafcpug.org


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Gary Huff
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 4:38:47 pm
Last Edited By Gary Huff on Apr 15, 2016 at 4:39:49 pm

[Michael Horton] "We are calling the presentation 'Can you Tell a Compelling Story in VR and 360° Video?'"

Betteridge's law of headlines.


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Michael Horton
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 4:50:08 pm

I guess I should of said I have not see it yet not WE.

Michael Horton
lacpug
http://www.lafcpug.org


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 6:22:42 pm

[Noah Kadner] "at the end of the day it's still goggles"

We're just chit-chatting here, but I'm waiting for the first self-appointed pundit no-it-all to say that they're not interested until they can do it without glasses.

This really is something though. It's not content that you can enjoy "just as well, or even better, in 2D." It doesn't exist in 2D.

I'm also not convinced that narrative is going to happen any time soon. We've just now gotten to the point of the first truly POV movie and it's AWFUL.

Remember the whole idea of branching stories in interactive TV? Well, it's real, it's compelling, and it's called a videogame.

The VR stuff that blows me away is like the New York Times VR app: stroll through the streets of New York, be in the middle of a Paris vigil, things that really take you somewhere.

For now, I'm thinking that VR is to Viewmaster as movies are to photos: same general idea, but in motion. And I'm up for a visit to the gardens at Versailles or diving a coral reef than I am a linear narrative.

I'm not the one to ask though. I still adore 3D, so I'll refrain from trying to extrapolate outward from my enthusiasm.

YET.

lol


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Herb Sevush
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 7:45:28 pm

VR is the 3D of today and the Quadraphonic Sound of tomorrow. Given my grouchy old man aesthetic this opinion should not surprise anyone, but I will hang my hat on my early and frequent disdain of 3D TV. I do think VR has an audience, but not one that requires my services, and I wish Adobe had spent more time on plugging the holes in Ppro rather than adding meaningless features for a market that doesn't yet exist.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 10:08:25 pm

[Herb Sevush] " I wish Adobe had spent more time on plugging the holes in Ppro rather than adding meaningless features for a market that doesn't yet exist."

One certainly hopes that it's not an either/or, that Adobe has enough engineering resources to take this on...

...but in the scheme of things, the egg always comes first.

I think this is the 20th anniversary of the time I first saw HD at NAB. What a fgjking joke that was! Looked terrible, insanely inexpensive, no content, no distribution channel, NOTHING.

As late as the turn of the century, people were still adamant that it was a niche market. Certainly no way to deliver it over cable a couple of years AFTER the turn of the century. CAN'T BE DONE.

Until it could. And yes, ironically, rabbit ears still produce the best HD BY FAR, but it took a solid 15 years from "The Year of HD" at NAB to translate into genuinely widespread HD, which 20+ years later, is by no means ubiquitous. But is it "here"? Indubitably.

So the question isn't, is it here YET? The question is, might there be a THERE there in 20 years? It seems ridiculous to bet against it.

Heck, by that standard, we're only 6 years after "The Year of 3D" at NAB, in 2010. That means we're at LEAST 10 years away from knowing what we've got, and probably more like 15.

One clue: the cost in manufacturing currently-capable 3D is virtually zero, so it's basically included free with most 4K TVs, even if the manufacturer doesn't mention it. So Gen 1 tech is commoditized, now it's time to look at 3D 2.0. We have another 10 years to get there.

Throw in HDR, which as Mark Raudonis notes, is AT LEAST as compelling as HD, and I'd argue maybe moreso.


[David Lawrence] "VR is a highly personal experience that can't be shared the way we share movies. I think it's much more like reading a book."

That's the key.

I wasn't being facetious when I invoked Viewmaster. *I* hold it in MY hands. When I'm done, I take it out of my hands, and put it in your hands.

The reason why I think it won't work for narrative just yet is that it takes out the narrator! The whole point of narrative, editing, everything we do is look HERE.

The point of VR is, look AROUND.

And it's compelling because I'M doing the looking, not you. I'm looking at what *I* want to see.

Now, there IS a way to combine narrative with audience-driven perspective, and as I noted, it's called a video game. A "true" narrative is still gonna require some kind of UI overlay to tell me that I *can* look around, and that I'm not going to miss something important that my $20 million movie star is doing or saying behind me.

That's the other problem. I'm SUPPOSED to be looking at specific people doing and saying specific things at specific times. It's the OPPOSITE of self-guided narrative-lessness.

Where it starts to get interesting is in 2nd screen and supportive (aka "carry along") content. The kind of thing that you watch on a fan site or an old school DVD extra.

Walk through this character's house. Here's what it's like to do a stunt dive through a 4th floor window onto an inflatable blue cushion. Walk around the soundstage to see where we've placed the cameras and lights for this next scene.

VR makeup trailer for Walking Dead, anyone? VR trip to Andy Serkis' mocap stage? In the recording studio with (insert the name of your favorite non-lame musician here).

THAT kind of thing gets super-duper compelling. I'd pay for some of that.

Here's the thing. Even if you aren't willing to spend $16 on Google cardboard (WHICH WORKS), no kidding, go to your favorite app store and look at the NYT VR app. See what's there. It's just a start, but a substantial one.

For one example, you may not want to stand in the middle of vigil in Paris, but think about the possibilities for extending the empathetic reach of humanity! I can LITERALLY stand with the people of Paris. I can LITERALLY walk with war orphans in Sudan and the Ukraine!

I think of empathy as the fundamental human characteristic, the basis of every relationship and every civilization. So I'm less excited by the idea of new kinds of narrative than I am by TRANSPORTATIONAL TRANSFORMATION.

That by GOING to a new PLACE, and connecting with immersive experiences beyond my own, I deepen my engagement with the entire human community.

Yeah, utopians are always wrong, always. And I'm definitely speaking from my roots as an activist documentarian, who believes that utopian visions are still the only ones worth being guided by.

(Documentarians who claim not to be activists are either lying to you, or lying to themselves. Avoid them at all costs. Dystopian documentarians are just boring, because they're all saying the same thing.)

But I honestly believe that anything that adds more strands to the fabric of human experience is miraculous.

BTW, here's a great story about the first VR editor at any publication, the VR editor at NYT, Jenna Pirog.

While Pirog is the only full-time staffer devoted to VR, she works with about 30 colleagues from the Times’ newsroom, video, marketing and graphics department to create the films that live on the NYT VR app.

Pirog sits in the magazine’s pitch meetings to figure out which stories could use a VR component, asking the question: “Where can we take them that will be surprising and informative?”


Holy crap! That sounds like actual news! Like maybe the only part of the NYT that still cares about that! LOL

All this said, feel free to ignore my stuff about the evolution of the human organism. What it CAN do is ultimately irrelevant to what it DOES do.

I do think, though, that the MEDIUM of VR is driven less by NARRATIVE than by TRANSPORTATION. I want this to PUT me somewhere, and I want it to turn me loose. Let me look around.

This still requires authorial intent at some level. Jenna Pirog knows what the story is...but the point isn't for me to be guided by her view of what the story is. The point is to be put in PLACES, with PEOPLE, and let my own story be shaped by these other people.

So, coming full circle, it's not the next horizon in narration to me. It's the next horizon in documentary, in the most exalted AND most mundane senses of the word.

National Geographic has a VR film of an active volcano. Better than the chupacabra nonsense on their TV channel, for sure. Very enriching. The kind of stuff I wish they'd been doing all along.

But screw that. Put me on the stage with Madonna, STAT! Crowd surfing at Coachella, here I come! LOL


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Andrew Kimery
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 10:19:36 pm

Tim,

I agree with what you are saying about narrative and video games. Video games also have the advantage of being, well, a game which can allow the game creators to indirectly direct the action via things like game objectives and play mechanics. VR for gaming I can see taking off because it puts the player 'in' the game like never before and more and more gaming is done as a solo experience (even if you are playing on line). The old days of 3-4 friends all getting together and gaming side by side have dwindled mightily with the rise of Interent gaming.

Speaking of 360 degree filmmaking putting the viewer in the middle of a foreign places, below are two travel shows that I think would be awesome from a 360 perspective. The first is a show that puts the viewer in a first person perspective walking tour of cities around the world, and the second is all areal photography of States in America (one State per episode) with a narrator telling the history of the State.

Somewhere Street
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/somewhere/

Aerial America
http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/aerial-america/701


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Herb Sevush
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 10:36:21 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I think this is the 20th anniversary of the time I first saw HD at NAB. What a fgjking joke that was! Looked terrible, insanely inexpensive, no content, no distribution channel, NOTHING."

Here's why I don't think HD and 3D are comparable. Every film maker who had to work with standard def video knew it was sh*t, especially if it was NTSC. Interlacing was sh*t, resolution was sh*t, dynamic range was unbelievably sucky. There had to be something better and for years the main thing slowing it down was the lack of agreement on what the new standard was going to be - there was no question about needing a new standard. It was a problem waiting for a solution.

Photographic 3D has existed for over 100 years. It never caught on. 3D movies have existed commercially since the late 40's, and that novelty never caught on. 3D has been waxing and waning in popularity since the days of Wyatt Earp and there is no reason to believe that pattern won't continue for the next 100 years. While the implementation is incrementally better there is nothing really new about modern 3D - all the benefits and all the problems are exactly the same since they made Dial M for Murder and 13 Ghosts when I was a kid.

As for VR, I think it's different than 3D in that it is genuinely new and I believe there is a market for it - in gaming especially - but I don't think it helps you tell a story, and if it doesn't help tell a story then I, for one, am not interested in it, and I don't think it will justify the money being thrown at it.

As for Adobe, I think software improvements are a zero sum game - if engineers are working on VR they are not working on putting an eyedropper in the Lumetri color wheel. There are only so many coding hours in a day.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Chris Harlan
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 5:58:27 am

[Tim Wilson] "The reason why I think it won't work for narrative just yet is that it takes out the narrator! The whole point of narrative, editing, everything we do is look HERE.

The point of VR is, look AROUND.

And it's compelling because I'M doing the looking, not you. I'm looking at what *I* want to see.
"


I disagree a wee bit. Certainlymuch of the joy of VR is the ability to look around where you want to, but I think its pretty easy to direct attention in that environment. I'm positive that well directed scripted content can be exciting in VR, and that your eyes can be easily driven to where they're supposed to go. Imagine being in the center of the set of The Big Bang Theory or in an office space on Parks and Rec and comic mayhem is taking place on all sides of you. I think it would be fun to be swiveling back and forth, caught in an argument between Leslie and Ron.

I saw some great demos today at NAB over in the relatively meager "virtual reality pavilion." I'm hopeful for VR, far more so than I ever have been for any kind of 3D.


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 6:34:52 am

[Chris Harlan] "I think it would be fun to be swiveling back and forth, caught in an argument between Leslie and Ron.

I saw some great demos today at NAB over in the relatively meager "virtual reality pavilion." I'm hopeful for VR, far more so than I ever have been for any kind of 3D."


You have my attention. :-)

re: Parks & Rec, fair enough! Putting me in the middle of a story might be cool.

re: NAB, Tell me more!

What was the pavilion like? What was there? What makes you say it's meager?

Sorry to pester, but I've obviously got some feeeeelings about this. :-)


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Chris Harlan
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:04:03 am

I only spent an hour there today. I'll probably go back by tomorrow. I think "meager" because I was expecting more concentration. But really, VR and 360 were scattered in small doses around the show. I saw a terrific demo from a company called Koncept VR.



Here's the video that was at center of the VR as a 360 video:

http://www.konceptvr.com/portfolio-item/rocket-launch-360-delta-iv-nrol-45/

And here's a fun device that you wear that basically takes the subwoofer track off of a 5.1 mix and turns it into a palpable vibration.



Also, a good presentation on VR tools from a company called Mettle:



Really, there's VR and 360 all over the show, but in little pockets.


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Steve Connor
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:06:02 am

[Tim Wilson] "Sorry to pester, but I've obviously got some feeeeelings about this. :-)
"


New 360 Video forum coming soon?


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:10:56 am

[Steve Connor] "New 360 Video forum coming soon?"

Yes, great idea! Tim?

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

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Andrew Kimery
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:46:32 am

[David Lawrence] "
Yes, great idea! Tim?"


I think creating a new forum is a virtual lock if Tim thinks its time as come around.


I'll show myself out now. ;)



-Andrew


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 2:19:45 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "[David Lawrence] "
Yes, great idea! Tim?"

I think creating a new forum is a virtual lock if Tim thinks its time as come around.

I'll show myself out now. ;)"


No need. As the Good Book says, "Let the one of you who is without pun cast the first groan."

Here ya go: VR (Virtual Reality)/360º Video

THIS one, I'll happily rename. LOL Much lower barrier for a forum with no traffic. yet :-)

As with most of the new forums we start (including this one), this new one is a "dynamic" forum, which pulls the keywords "VR" and "virtual reality" from anywhere in the site. Once it starts generating organic traffic, we'll turn off the "dynamic" nature, and let it rise or fall as it will. Again, like this one.

As a result, the only thing in that forum right now is this thread (co-located), an assload of NAB press releases, and a thread from the Business forum which I can summarize as "I don't see a way to make money from this yet." LOL

I've culled most of the threads that were sucked up by the keyword mechanism, but there may be a few extraneous ones that sneak in until I refine it.

So it's a little barren just yet, but it's there. :-)


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Steve Connor
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:04:46 am

[Chris Harlan] "I disagree a wee bit. Certainlymuch of the joy of VR is the ability to look around where you want to, but I think its pretty easy to direct attention in that environment"

This one uses model Gigi Hadid to direct your attention!







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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 9:02:18 pm

There's a ton of hype and a ton of money being invested in VR right now. We're talking many billions of dollars being spent and in projected returns. It's a total frenzy, one of those rare moments in tech that comes along every couple decades or so. (Blame Facebook for buying Oculus for $2Billion. Crazy.)

I spent the fall deeply immersed in this stuff working with one of the big players in the scene and am still involved. My personal observations:

This is a whole new medium. It's real and it's not a flash in the pan.

It's way over hyped and won't make nearly as much money as people think. ($21Billion? Nope!)

It's not a storytelling medium like filmmaking. It's something completely different.

Some techniques that work with filmmaking work in VR and some totally don't. We need a lot more benchmarking and experimentation.


[Oliver Peters] "My thoughts are that it's a cool trick and will have a niche market, just like stereo 3D. But it won't become the next great mainstream storytelling method. The main hindrence is that it requires the glasses, like 3D."

I agree the glasses are a huge barrier. It'll never be like going to a theater enjoying a film with your friends (or watching together at home). VR is a highly personal experience that can't be shared the way we share movies. I think it's much more like reading a book.

I really dislike the term "Virtual Reality". I think it sets the bar for reality way too low. For 360 filmmaking, I prefer the term "immersive filmmaking". It's about creating a sense of presence, not about trying to make the Holodeck. Chris Milk's documentaries on VRSE are good current examples.

Nobody knows what they're doing. Anyone who claims to is either bluffing or doesn't know what they don't know ;) It's the wild west and the field's wide open.

There's no better time to experiment and try weird new stuff. It's a fun and exciting time!

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
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facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


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Steve Connor
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 9:07:44 pm

[David Lawrence] "It's not a storytelling medium like filmmaking. It's something completely different.
"


I'd love you to be wrong about this, It's been a while since we had a new way to tell stories


[David Lawrence] "It's the wild west and the field's wide open.

There's no better time to experiment and try weird new stuff. It's a fun and exciting time!
"


Yee ha!


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 15, 2016 at 11:02:03 pm

[Steve Connor] "I'd love you to be wrong about this, It's been a while since we had a new way to tell stories"

I don't think it really works for the kinds of stories we tell as filmmakers. It's for something different we're still figuring out. It's for stuff that wouldn't work as film.

My favorite examples for Google Cardboard are:

Squarepusher - Stor Eiglass:
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/app/id990583315
Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.warprecords.squarepushers...

I love Squarepusher's music so I'm biased but this one is pure fun in Cardboard. Everyone I've shown it to has a big grin on their face by the end.


Chris Milk/Vice - Million's March
https://vrse.com/watch/id/31/

You can watch this in a web browser but when you watch in Cardboard, it's like you're there, standing in the middle of it. You really feel it, it's different then watching a documentary.


Nonny de la Peña - Kiya
This piece is available in the Sundance collection on the NYTVR app.
http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2015/nytvr/
https://www.idfa.nl/industry/tags/project.aspx?id=54eceae3-6ae7-4a6e-bd90-6...
https://www.ted.com/talks/nonny_de_la_pena_the_future_of_news_virtual_reali...

Nonny de la Peña's been experimenting with VR as a journalistic medium for years. I think it's interesting stuff.

These and many other examples appearing every day give us a taste of something I think is genuinely new. I don't think it's the next Hollywood scale industry, but I also don't think it's a fad. Have you had a chance to play with it? Curious what you think.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
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Tom Sefton
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 16, 2016 at 9:41:09 am

I can see a big market for it, particularly as it becomes more and more possible to utilise VR and 3D VR via a smartphone and a cheap headset.

We've just assisted with a 3D VR music video which is due for release May 1st so hope to have something to show then.

As a storytelling medium the potential is huge, particularly for historical projects - like being immersed in a battlefield or inside Pompeii or whilst the pyramids are being built. The mix of CG with live action for 3D VR is going to be incredible, especially as the new lytro camera promises to change everything about CG work...

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Gary Huff
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 17, 2016 at 10:57:37 pm

[David Lawrence] " don't think it really works for the kinds of stories we tell as filmmakers. It's for something different we're still figuring out. It's for stuff that wouldn't work as film."

Bingo.


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 12:03:52 am

I've been thinking about this a lot since this thread began, and will be writing about it in the context of what's shown at NAB...but this is what I keep coming back to.

Narrative filmmaking is narrative in the sense of Go HERE, look at THIS, the story is structured like THIS. No matter how far those barriers get pushed in whatever avant garde direction, that's what it comes down. The camera points one way. What's behind the camera is by definition OUT of the story.

In 360/VR, the story is being told in every direction. The story IS being able to see in every direction. The narrator has been removed.

That's not to say that some clever person won't figure how to create a 360 degree environment AND tell a story, with a UI that gives you some idea where in the environment some key elements of a variety of storylines are playing out -- oh wait, they have. We call them videogames.

But for "video" content, rather than "videogame" content, I don't see anything beyond immersive shorts as achievable...but the achievement in those so far can already be spectacular. I definitely think these will be by far the most fruitful avenues for the foreseeable future, and I don't think that's at all a bad thing. Quite the contrary. I think that's the BEST thing.


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Michael Horton
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 12:11:47 am

"Narrative filmmaking is narrative in the sense of Go HERE, look at THIS, the story is structured like THIS. No matter how far those barriers get pushed in whatever avant garde direction, that's what it comes down. The camera points one way. What's behind the camera is by definition OUT of the story. "

At the SuperMeet we intend to cover this very specific thing. How do you get people to look where you want them to look?

Michael Horton
lacpug
http://www.lafcpug.org


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 12:36:27 am
Last Edited By David Lawrence on Apr 18, 2016 at 12:37:02 am

[Michael Horton] "At the SuperMeet we intend to cover this very specific thing. How do you get people to look where you want them to look?"

Our research (as well as various articles I've seen lately) point to two promising techniques:

1) Directed sound - Spatialized audio tells the viewer when something interesting is happening outside their field of view and what direction to turn to.

2) Directed movement - Viewers naturally lock onto and follow intentional movement around the 360 space. This suggests a choreographed type of direction ala the "oner" for the 360 space may be useful.

The more we experiment, the more we'll learn.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 1:14:29 am

[David Lawrence] "The more we experiment, the more we'll learn."

I'm counting on you to once again be leading the way. :-)

I agree that it's going to be interesting to see how to introduce authorial intent, but I think it's also going to be interesting to see the extent to which authors can create environments untethered by narrative.

I know you remember Myst. You could spend YEARS in that thing without engaging with it as a game. It was a world that rewarded EVERY kind of exploration, or none.

So I think that THIS is the challenge. Not for the narratively inclined to find ways to shoehorn traditional storytelling structure into a medium not made for it, but for letting storytellers getting out of their own heads, to let themselves be shaped by the new medium's new possibilities.

Which I know is exactly what you're pursuing, David. I'm speaking more generally.

But I do continue to maintain that, for the time being anyway, the most compelling uses of 360/VR are to put us in new PLACES to let us explore, rather than to slip us into story streams that "ideally" approach conventionality.

Hence my immediate interest in the documentary potential: while no less authorial intent than narrative storytelling, and in some ways exponentially more, but also very much open to simultaneous parallel worlds. :-)


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 2:07:59 am

[Tim Wilson] "But I do continue to maintain that, for the time being anyway, the most compelling uses of 360/VR are to put us in new PLACES to let us explore, rather than to slip us into story streams that "ideally" approach conventionality. "

Agree 100%!

We're mostly interested in exploring 360/VR as a medium for what my colleague Michael Naimark calls "Thereness".

It's not surprising there's a lot of interest in adapting narrative to VR. Early stuff usually starts on familiar grounds. But we think the more interesting stuff is at the margins, especially in the area of interactive representation of place.

I think if you want to tell a filmic story, you should make a movie. It's hard enough to do that well! :) VR/360 is a different kind of beast.

_______________________
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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 3:32:13 am

[David Lawrence] "We're mostly interested in exploring 360/VR as a medium for what my colleague Michael Naimark calls "Thereness".

It's not surprising there's a lot of interest in adapting narrative to VR. Early stuff usually starts on familiar grounds. But we think the more interesting stuff is at the margins, especially in the area of interactive representation of place."



Freakin' A! I knew I could count on you man! I'll take two! LOL


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Walter Soyka
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 1:05:55 pm

[David Lawrence] "It's not surprising there's a lot of interest in adapting narrative to VR. Early stuff usually starts on familiar grounds. But we think the more interesting stuff is at the margins, especially in the area of interactive representation of place."

We've been working on a couple of VR projects with real-time engines. I like your line about making it up as we go along, because the first things we tried were big failures. It's easy to approach VR with a bunch of assumptions from years of experience in another medium, and it's important to identify and address those latent premises.

One of the preconceptions we're trying to break is the whole idea of "audience." For lack of a better term, we've been calling the person wearing the headset a "user" or a "participant."

I think the distinction is important. An audience member or a viewer is a passive recipient; in VR, the participant is a co-creator of their own experience. You can build a world around them, but they control their own perception of it. Delivering a successful VR experience involves trusting your participants to find something interesting moreso than forcing them to look where you want them to.

Our best "storytelling" tool so far has been encouraging exploration and rewarding curiosity -- a luxury we have in interactive VR that you don't have in 360 video in the same way.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Nick Meyers
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 12:02:09 am

i saw a dozen or so VR works at a film festival last year.

of those, only two stood out for me:
Millions March was one,
Clouds of Sidra was the other. I'd recommend seeking it out.


nick


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Robert Olhsson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:14:17 pm

The hype is because computer sales are in the toilet and silly-con-man valley desperately needs some way to make people's computers obsolete so they can sell people more powerful replacements.


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Steve Connor
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:44:52 pm

[Robert Olhsson] "The hype is because computer sales are in the toilet and silly-con-man valley desperately needs some way to make people's computers obsolete so they can sell people more powerful replacements."

Apart from it works on phones and soon it will on games consoles. Yes you need a fast PC for the best VR, but if it takes of it will be at the mid-end of the market


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:49:31 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:51:36 pm

[Robert Olhsson] "The hype is because computer sales are in the toilet and silly-con-man valley desperately needs some way to make people's computers obsolete so they can sell people more powerful replacements."

I'm obvs on board with the hype, but I don't agree with this at all. Nobody's talking about new computers, Premiere Pro is supporting it with updates being fed through your existing subscriptions, and consumers can get in with the cell phones they already own and some Google Cardboard. I'm all-in for $16 and free delivery from Amazon Prime. You can get super-nice rigs for under $40.

In fact, I'm struck by how LITTLE incremental new revenue will be generated by this. Even the multi-camera rigs are inexpensive, and access to multiple GoPros or Blackmagic Cinema Cameras is easy. Even renting multiple Alexas is not unusual for productions that are renting any. This is all doable for a fraction of the cost anybody was ever talking about for 3D.

Which is why, again, I feel like this is "realer." The storytelling is potentially disruptive, but production and consumption are anything but. As Steve notes, nearly everybody in this forum already owns all the computing juice they need.


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Robert Olhsson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 3:52:09 pm

I'm talking about the person being entertained and not production requirements.


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 5:08:54 pm

[Robert Olhsson] "I'm talking about the person being entertained and not production requirements."

And that's what I'm talking about too. No computer whatsoever. I spent $16 on Google Cardboard, strapped in a 1 year old cell phone, and am freaking out over how well it works.

Google Cardboard, $15.99 Includes nosepad! LOL And those are kinda top of the line. You can get 'em for under $10 with Amazon Prime free 2-day delivery.

If you're willing to live without Prime (WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? lol), you can get 'em for $1.99 and a buck fifty shipping. Not recommended, but srsly. You've probably paid this much just to get rid of the ads on some crappy game app.

Forget the computer. Forget the 3DTV (although I do have three of those. LOL) Easy. Cheap.

When I upgrade, I've currently got my eye on the Viewmaster model that David Lawrence recommended. The current version is $29.99. David recommended v2, which isn't out yet, but surely won't be that much more, right?

Oh yeah, so far all the content I'm watching is free...but I've definitely seen some things I wouldn't mind paying for.

Or am I still missing what you're talking about? Not the first time someone has said this to me today. LOL


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 5:50:35 pm

[Tim Wilson] "David recommended v2, which isn't out yet, but surely won't be that much more, right?"

My bet is it'll be $29.99 ;)

But you can get other v2 viewers on Amazon today (Cardboard v2 is built on the newer standard introduced at I/O 2015 and supports larger phones and a wider FOV).

See:
http://amzn.to/1MGbW5D

_______________________
David Lawrence
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facebook: /dlawrence
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Andrew Kimery
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 19, 2016 at 5:46:27 pm

[Robert Olhsson] "The hype is because computer sales are in the toilet and silly-con-man valley desperately needs some way to make people's computers obsolete so they can sell people more powerful replacements."

That's basically the business model around every product ever made. ;)


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Robert Olhsson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 4:39:42 pm

I hate to throw cold water on this but we've been here a number of times before over the past 25 years and it failed because the learning curve was too steep for the benefits.


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Walter Soyka
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 6:04:56 pm

[Robert Olhsson] "I hate to throw cold water on this but we've been here a number of times before over the past 25 years and it failed because the learning curve was too steep for the benefits."

There's a lot that makes this go-around on VR very different from the past, and I think that the acceleration in development and commoditization of components in mobile technologies is the most significant. The technology needed for truly immersive VR has just recently become available at modest price points.

But it's also certainly true that the hype cycle in VR is in overdrive. Cold water is necessary and very useful. I was extremely skeptical myself of the merit of VR before one of my partners really pushed me into exploring it in more depth.

Have you tried any current-gen VR experiences?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 6:09:29 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I was extremely skeptical myself of the merit of VR before one of my partners really pushed me into exploring it in more depth.

Have you tried any current-gen VR experiences?"


It seems worth mentioning in the context of this particular forum that I *DO* feel that non-users have a valid perspective to offer on a thing. LOL

But I want to underscore Walter's point. I haven't personally encountered anyone who's tried it and thinks it's hooey.

Perhaps not quiiiiite there yet, but there's a reason for the hype. This time around, It Just Works™. Not that it's necessarily trying to do too much, but I think that's GOOD.

But strap a current cell-phone on some $16 Google Cardboard, download the New York Times VR app as a start, and be prepared to be converted, at least a little.

Maybe call it "prepare to be prepared to be converted." LOL


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 7:56:13 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Perhaps not quiiiiite there yet, but there's a reason for the hype. This time around, It Just Works™. Not that it's necessarily trying to do too much, but I think that's GOOD.

But strap a current cell-phone on some $16 Google Cardboard, download the New York Times VR app as a start, and be prepared to be converted, at least a little."


It's funny, the first time I tried an Oculus DK2, I wanted to puke about five minutes into it. Had to tear that sucker off my face! And this was for the mellowest possible demo - a walk thru a quiet garden, LOL!

Then I was handed a Cardboard viewer and watched Clouds Over Sidra. Boom. It Just Worked.

The new Viewmaster is what really made me a believer. They've done a great job with interactivity and choosing appropriate content for the medium. I got lost for over an hour first time I played with it. That to me was a sign they're doing something right. BTW, I highly recommend the Viewmaster. It's cheap and well made. But don't get the current version. Wait until the release the recently announced version2 which be built on the newer Cardboard 2015 optical standard and adds a headphone port.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


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Walter Soyka
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 8:06:10 pm

[David Lawrence] "and adds a headphone port."

Speaking of which, just a few hours left:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/248983394/ossic-x-the-first-3d-audio-h...

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 8:14:03 pm

[David Lawrence] "Then I was handed a Cardboard viewer and watched Clouds Over Sidra. Boom. It Just Worked."

That's the irony. The simple way is (for now) the right way.

I posted an article earlier in the thread about the editor of the NYT VR - her favorite is good ol' cardboard.

I had no idea that ViewMaster was doing this, though! Because I mentioned ViewMaster further upthread too! It really does strike me as the model. Shorter pieces, place-focused ("Thereness!"), more about exploration, interaction, experience rather than linear story.

News we just posted: Videoblocks has added some 360 clips to their marketplace, and is soliciting more. Take a gander.

Of particular interest to me was CEO Joel Holland's observation that they know they're ahead of the market on this -- but they did it with 4K too, and that worked out just fine. :-) But it gives them a chance to move first, set the price, and try to shape the market rather than let "the market" "take care of itself" ie, not taking care of ME.

Anyway, I'm a fan of their boldness, AND a fan of their on-the-record acknowledgement that we're all just a little bit shy of being able to create new discrete revenue streams yet.


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 8:37:40 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Speaking of which, just a few hours left:"

Interesting, but gonna pass. ;)

Looks like they're putting a position sensor and HRTF calibration into the headphone hardware. I can see some merit in the HRTF sensor, but frankly, the position sensor makes more sense in the playback device because it needs to work with properly prepared audio content.

The idea that you would need headphones like these with an HTC Vive (like they show in the KS video) is completely bogus. The Vive is doing the audio spatialization. Same with Cardboard. You don't need special headphones.

With >$2million in pledges, they seem to be doing just fine. The VR hype machine is strong! ;)

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
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web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


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Ricardo Marty
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 18, 2016 at 8:58:19 pm

I just saw the film "Hardcore Henry" which in my opinion could be great shot with a system like you are talking about.

Hardcore henry was shot with a gopro camera fixed to a mask on the face of the prime actor. the film looks and feels like a first person shooter video game.

Now imagine with this camera on te head of the prime actor.. An experience never before felt

Ricardo Marty


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Gary Huff
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 22, 2016 at 12:51:39 am

[Ricardo Marty] "Now imagine with this camera on te head of the prime actor.. An experience never before felt"

Which doesn't work if you know that you can simply turn your head around and see the crew, including the safety units and everything needed to ensure that no one gets injured. Unless you're planning to paint all that out.

Otherwise you're talking about locking the viewpoint, which then turns the goggles into simply a virtual bigscreen like those devices you see advertised in Skymall.


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David Lawrence
Re: VR - slightly OT: Virtual Paradise - a 25-year-old VR radio documentary
on Apr 18, 2016 at 9:44:37 pm

[Robert Olhsson] "I hate to throw cold water on this but we've been here a number of times before over the past 25 years and it failed because the learning curve was too steep for the benefits."

[Walter Soyka] "There's a lot that makes this go-around on VR very different from the past, and I think that the acceleration in development and commoditization of components in mobile technologies is the most significant. The technology needed for truly immersive VR has just recently become available at modest price points."

Since we're talking about VR past and present (as well as sound), you guys might get a kick out of this radio documentary I co-produced with Jim McKee and Barney Jones of Earwax Productions in 1993.

We recorded most of the voices at Cyberthon - a 24-hour virtual reality event presented by Whole Earth Institute at (Colossal)Pictures Studios, in October 1990. It was a bit like a VR inspired Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. The idea was to gather a bunch of artists, philosophers, technologists, and celebrities interested in VR, create a playground with state-of-the-art VR demos, then turn everyone loose for 24-hours, while having ongoing panel discussions and documented conversations. I co-ran the Doc Squad. We were responsible for capturing all the chaos on video.

Three years later we finished this radio doc. We got an NEA grant (it was back in the days when they gave awards to individual artists) and funding from New Radio and Performing Arts. We aired on NPR and won some awards. But other than that, the piece has been dormant all these years.

With all the recent hype in VR-land, I recently posted it on SoundCloud to make it easier to share. 25-years later, it's amazing how different the conversations are now, even though the core universal themes are still the same. The piece is broken into topics, based on the common ideas that emerged in the transcripts. You can read the track (topic) list along with full production credits here:

https://soundcloud.com/dhl/virtual-paradise

There was one huge topic absolutely no one was talking about. It's probably the biggest thing driving VR today but back then no one mentioned it. Guess what that was!

The piece is ~30 minutes long and works best in one sitting. Think of it as a movie for your ears. Enjoy!



_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

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Paul Dickin
Re: VR - slightly OT: Virtual Paradise - a 25-year-old VR radio documentary
on Apr 19, 2016 at 10:06:23 am
Last Edited By Paul Dickin on Apr 19, 2016 at 10:36:46 am

[David Lawrence] "There was one huge topic absolutely no one was talking about."
Excellent piece of radio :-)

The one huge topic that most people knew nothing about in 1990?: The understanding of the neuroscience of cognitive awareness.
Daniel Kahneman was able to win the Nobel prize for Economics even though he had no grounding in economics through his analysis of the function of narrative storytelling at the heart of cognition and memory, and the inherent distortions that 'rational thinking man' - a non-existent construct - is inherently prone to.
David Eagleman, in this clip, talks about the mechanism the brain uses in its perception of 'reality', which is a dynamic modelling process.
"Moment to moment what we experience isn't whats really out there, instead its a beautifully rendered simulation…
Its called the Internal Model, and its vital to our ability to function."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3MSw2irv0-A#t=169...

Apparently there is six times more data flowing against the direction of visual input from the eyes when the brain is seeing, so what we 'see' is mostly derived from an internal model of 'reality'.
Truth 24 frames per second, but mostly when a 308º butterfly shutter is blacking out the light. And everything longer than about 3" is a 'story'…

In effect, what Descartes should have said was: I have an internal dynamic model of my place in the world, therefore I am.

This whole new neuroscience-based way of thinking allows an understanding of the way in which VR can be effective, but I think its important to realise that the R in VR is misnamed… Maybe it should be VC, virtual cognition. ;-)



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David Lawrence
Re: VR - slightly OT: Virtual Paradise - a 25-year-old VR radio documentary
on Apr 20, 2016 at 11:55:19 pm

[Paul Dickin] "The one huge topic that most people knew nothing about in 1990?: The understanding of the neuroscience of cognitive awareness."

[Paul Dickin] "David Eagleman, in this clip, talks about the mechanism the brain uses in its perception of 'reality', which is a dynamic modelling process.
"Moment to moment what we experience isn't whats really out there, instead its a beautifully rendered simulation…
Its called the Internal Model, and its vital to our ability to function.""


[Paul Dickin] "This whole new neuroscience-based way of thinking allows an understanding of the way in which VR can be effective, but I think its important to realise that the R in VR is misnamed… Maybe it should be VC, virtual cognition. ;-)"

Great post, Paul, thank you. This is exactly the kind of meaty stuff that got me interested in VR to begin with! :)

I especially like Eagleman's example comparing the way a camera sees with the way we see the world. As Barlow says, we're "making it up as we go along".

As far as the big VR topic no one was discussing in 1990, I wish it were something this interesting.

But nope, it's something a lot more banal. Let's see if someone else can guess. ;)

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

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facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


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michael jacobson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 21, 2016 at 5:22:35 pm

That is a remarkably clever bit of kit. It takes a lot of the burden out of VR by reprojection. But more importantly it addresses the biggest issue with PC VR - the social aspect. Joining the inside and outside world on the sofa. That will drive a lot of consumers to a technically inferior but affordable VR setup for their own home. That is the difference between enthusiast VR and mainstream VR. Mainstream likes their sofas!


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Mark Raudonis
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:25:54 am

Here's my perspective about why "Classic Hollywood" storytellers are going to be less than enthusiastic about VR. Number one: Director's of Photography: No chance to be a hero here. "Great Cinematography?" Not so much. Framing: Irrelevant. Lighting? Ah... loved the way they hid the practicals.

Editors: Not much input here. Loved the way they cut from WS to WS.

Directors: More like a theater director (Stage). No much of a chance to flex their visual muscles here. More like herding cats than finely choreographed performances.

You may disagree with me, but because VR downplays the contribution of these classic Hollywood creative positions, it's my opinion that ultimately, it will NOT be embraced by Hollywood storytellers. Therefore, the success of this new format will rise and fall on the influence, acceptance, and creativity of the gaming world.

Just my thoughts.



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Tim Wilson
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:40:19 am

[Mark Raudonis] "...because VR downplays the contribution of these classic Hollywood creative positions, it's my opinion that ultimately, it will NOT be embraced by Hollywood storytellers. Therefore, the success of this new format will rise and fall on the influence, acceptance, and creativity of the gaming world."

I agree with you completely on why Hollywood won't adopt it for major storytelling, but I don't think gaming will have the last word. I'm looking at how powerfully it's being used for news and (VERY) short-form documentary and thinking that anything you can do in a couple of minutes is within reach. Maybe even narrative...but the more time I spend with it, the less I think so.

My additional reason for agreeing with you that movies are pretty much a no-go is the whole hot media/cool media split that Marshall McLuhan laid out in 1964, aka more recently, "lean forward/lean back."

We watch movies, whether in theaters, living rooms, beds, or buses, to say, "Entertain me." We lean back.

VR only works if you physically move something --your head, your hands, both, maybe even walk around. You might even be expected to pick stuff up. You lean in.

That obviously plays into gaming. I'm just saying not ONLY gaming...but most definitely NOT movies.

And to address folks further upthread, that doesn't make it not real. :-) That just makes it its own thing, which is already increasingly being monetized, which makes it as real as it needs to be.


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Todd Terry
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Jun 17, 2016 at 5:33:08 am

I generally roll my eyes a little quietly to myself when someone chimes in out of the blue in an old thread... but now I'm going to be that guy.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm one of those cranky oldschool guys that has a hard time being convinced about new stuff... heck, the fridge at work is still full of 35mm filmstock (not that we've used any in a while). And I like a few other people can't really stand 3D... give me 2D any day.

BUT....

I just finished directing a corporate project for a ginormous multinational company that uses VR in industrial applications, where users can see and walk through and interact with virtual versions of factories, plants, ships, industrial complexes, etc. Their applications specifically use the Microsoft HoloLens (which is the slightly lighter headgear) and the Daqri (which is the full bigass helmet). I'm not overly-impressed often, but the first time I put the gear on my own noggin and saw (and could walk around) objects in the room that weren't really there (but sure looked like they were... like they really really were), it was indeed a very trippy experience.

I have a feeling that many opinions on this will change once people have to opportunity to actually don the really high-end gear and see it in action. Although I have to admit, I do hate wearing 3D glasses... and putting on the HoloLens headgear or Daqri helmet was like that 10x. Hard to envision a way around that, though.

How will this all relate to our business.... who knows? But it will be interesting.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Walter Soyka
Re: VR - will it be DOA just like stereo 3D ?
on Jun 17, 2016 at 3:16:18 pm

HoloLens is stunning. You can check out their website, but you're right on that you have to try it to see what it's all about:
https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us

HoloLens is also augmented reality (AR) -- technically related to VR, but very different from a creative perspective.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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