Virtual reality is starting to gain traction; especially in the computer-generated world. With virtual reality video, viewers are able to experience spaces in 360 degrees. When the Children’s Advocacy Center approached the Delack Media Group team about helping with this project, we couldn’t wait to get started!
So, how does it work? Before we film anything, we worked with the Children’s Advocacy Center on scripting and storyboarding the video. For this project, we wanted to take viewers through the Children’s Advocacy Center as if they were a child going through the experience. To lend continuity between scenes, we also scripted a few scenes that were professionally narrated with a voiceover. We wanted the video to be as realistic as possible. So, we had an advocate and a forensic interviewer from the Children’s Advocacy Center play the roles of…well, what they do everyday. We also hired two additional actors to play the roles of mom and daughter.
Once we had all of the planning out of the way, we went into production mode. We needed to capture the video in 360 degrees. This requires a specially-equipped 360-degree camera. The camera we used has 8 cameras on it. Each of them captures video at 4K resolution. Most TVs on the market are 1920x1080 resolution. So, we’re capturing this video at nearly 4X the resolution of what most monitors are even able to display. It also captures images in 3D. So, when a viewer sees the video, they’ll be able to tell depth in the shot. Most 360-degree videos are flat 2-dimmensional images.
The camera is placed within the room (or outdoor area you want to film) and is triggered by a remote. One of the challenges was ensuring crew members (or CAC employees casually walking through the office) were not appearing inadvertently in the camera image. Filming in 360 degrees is definitely different than the 2 dimensional world in which we’re used to filming. In a typical 2D filming world, the crew stands behind the camera so they’re not seen. When you have a 360-degree camera filming, all extra personnel had to clear the entire area. So, we would hide behind walls or in hallways where we wouldn’t be captured by the 360-degree camera.
All of the audio is captured separately by an audio operator and paired with the video in post production. All of the video files from the camera are captured on a memory card and transferred into the computer for the next stage: editing. Through a proprietary software, all of the cameras images are then stitched together to make one seamless image.
Once all of the video footage is edited on a timeline, it is exported to the appropriate dimensions and specs. The video file is then either uploaded to an online host (YouTube, etc.) or to a smartphone. In order to watch the video, viewers will need to have a smartphone or VR goggles. With a smartphone, once the video is played, viewers can move the smartphone around and see the entire space in 360 degrees. Wearing VR goggles allows the viewer to experience the video hands free, look around the space and see exactly what the camera saw at that moment in time.
We’re just getting started with virtual reality technology. Using this technology in nonprofit applications has so many benefits and we’re glad we could be a part of this project.
The completed 360 video will be ready to view in mid-October. To schedule your viewing of the video, please contact Simone Wheeler: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Wed, September 20, 2017
by Hollie Ross