Cinematographer and developer Matt Workman breaks down how he used a mix of real-world camera equipment and 3D knowledge in Unreal Engine to set up an indie virtual production studio in his house. He talks about his remote collaboration workflow as well. Learn more at http://www.unrealengine.com/film-tv
I’ve already written about how movie houses are often giving up on greenscreen and using giant LED displays along with game engines (like Unity) to control what is displayed based on camera movement. It gives much more realistic lighting, better sight lines, no green-screen removal artifacts, and a host of other benefits.
Orbital Studios is one of the houses doing this kind of work. They have some good videos on their website.
They’re definitely still defining these production environments and using some interesting things like Quasar lighting to create light zones around the actors:
Dinner Party is a VR movie experience that tells the story of Barney and Betty Hill, an American couple who claimed they were abducted by extraterrestrials in a rural portion of the state of New Hampshire from September 19 to 20, 1961. It was the first widely publicized report of an alien abduction in the United States. Their story was adapted into a best-selling 1966 book The Interrupted Journey and a 1975 television film The UFO Incident.
Now, it’s been turned into a VR movie experience. You start by going into a real world 1960’s era dining room set, sit at the table, don your VR goggles, and watch the experience in 360 around you.
Information about how they created the experience:
I remember seeing this originally way back in the day – and I’m still a little baffled why this hasn’t caught on in the age of gigantic TV’s. Probably because head tracking isn’t exactly perfect just yet? While not as immersive as a full VR headset, this does provide a full vr experience without the headset, glasses, or any other intrusive headgear.
Johnny Chung Lee (at Carnegie Mellon at the time, now at Google) used the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), to accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space. By Johnny Chung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University. For more information and software visit http://johnnylee.net
I just upgraded from the older HTC Vive to the Oculus Quest 2. The Quest’s wireless operation without needing all the cables and sensors around your room was a huge improvement. One big shortcoming, however, is the 1 meter USB-C cable. It is ok for charging, but far too short for using the PC connected VR Oculus Link functionality.
The Quest II gets about 2-3 hours on battery. This is ok in many cases, but I definitely could kill it in a heavy gaming session. You can buy additions like the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap with battery that doubles your battery time – or go as far as the VR Power 2 that can give you up to 8-10 hours.
But for PC VR, you need a data cable. The longer official Oculus Quest II cable is 16ft/5m long and has a great angled attachment with velcro – but runs a eye popping $79. There are alternatives, but you need to get a high quality cable that does both power and data. Enter Android Central that gives you a bunch of great options.
In the end, I went with the TNE 16ft Link Cable for Oculus Quest 2/Quest VR Type C Cable for $18. It also has the side mount plug with velcro strap like the official one. It has fit and worked perfectly so far, and I also have about $60 to spend on games.
Shibuya is trying something interesting to deal with the annual gathering of Halloween revelers during COVID. They’re making the event, concerts, fan groups, color pages, and lots of other activities free online.
You can attend events for free online and even attend the festivities in VR:
Japan has never traditionally celebrated Halloween. During the 1990’s, a bunch of Halloween loving foreigners started wearing costumes and riding the ring trains around Tokyo. Unfortunately, drunken behavior cause the police to ask the riders to disembark (please don’t be one of these ugly tourists – I don’t care how cool you think you are. It’s rude to go to another country and act like that).
Revelers soon started gathering in the neighborhoods around the train stations and the street parties grew and grew. Shibuya soon became one of the major stops for these festivities – and has grown to be the focal point. Unfortunately large amounts of trash, drunken disturbances and destruction have become all too common. Which is really unfortunate since it could be such a good chance for people to have fun and share some cross-cultural exchange.
DCS World is one of the most amazing flight simulators out there. The hyper reality and complexity of just getting your plane off the ground is well known. Modders and modelers sell hyper-realistic models for the game like the F/A-18C Hornet shown here. In the high-fidelity cockpits, literally every button/switch/knob is clickable. It’s not just for show either – people claim they can start up the real planes by learning it first in DCS.
One user has cleverly combined some augmented reality in their setup.
If you like this, you can check out some of the amazing fun folks have in this game. Check out the Youtube channel for the Grim Reapers. They have interesting, and often hilarious, skill competitions – like their AAA/SAM evasion canyon run.
Nova is an “untethered VR motion simulator,” making virtual reality games and training programs feel more real by rotating in any direction. Their 5.9 foot diameter sphere, which has been compared to a “human-sized hamster ball,” weighs about 1,100 lbs and simulate vehicles of all sorts by being able to move 360 degrees in any direction.
These units are too expensive for the home gaming market, the company leases each Nova unit with ongoing maintenance and upgrades, at a cost of $150,000 US Dollars per year. Eight360 is working with defense forces, mining and forestry industries, where vehicles cost millions of dollars, accidents are a very big deal and training needs to encompass tilt angles.
Check out some current and future developments in the world of VR.