360 Video Experimentation


The Idea: At ITP, we spent the semester experimenting with a very new technology – live action 360 video. We used Ricoh Theta’s and six-camera GoPro rigs, stitched with Autopano software, and used Premiere for video and audio post production. Working with fantastic group members, I produced three works that give some examples of what can be achieved with live action VR.

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Not viewable in 360 here. Go HERE for full youtube experience.

The Execution: I worked with Nick Hubbard and Natalia Cabrera to shoot some footage at Chelsea Pier Skatepark in Manhattan. We used the six-camera GoPro rig. We experimented with changing speeds in VR. Time lapse (for sped up footage) does not work in VR, because the stitching software cannot find consistency. Slow motion, however, looked fantastic, as long as we brought the individual footage into Premiere, rendered out in slow motion, and then stitched together.

For the second project, I worked with Dalit Shalom and Rebecca Lieberman on a 360-audio mapped experience. It’s 360 audio, no visuals. So, if you’re wearing a headset, you can look around, and audio will get louder or quieter depending on where you’re looking. This is a simple, but most well executed idea in my ITP career: experiencing a schizophrenic attack. We researched extensively, and I consulted with a friend who endured these to make it as accurate as possible.

Finally, I worked with Natalia Cabrera and Michael Weber to explore another possible use case of live-action VR: live concerts. Can we get on the stage and mimic what is feels like to be performing on stage? We worked with well-known comedy act The Skivies and recorded a holiday show at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. The result is an incredible immersive experience with mapped audio that feels more like being on stage than in hearing it from the audience.

YouTube Preview Image

Not viewable in 360 here. Go HERE for full youtube experience.

Going Forward: The music industry has already caught onto 360 video and virtual reality experiences, though live concerts in another interesting way to utilize the medium. Skateparks and other adventure sports scenarios offer exciting viewing experiences, especially as the action goes right by the viewer. And the medium gives a very unique way to experience something you may not otherwise get to: like suffering from schizophrenia.

Technology used: GoPro 360 rig, Ricoh Theta S, surround sound audio, Autopano, Premiere