MANRRS Fashion Show: Behind the Scenes in 360

This video gives an inside look behind the scenes of the annual University of Kentucky MANRRS Fashion Show. It follows the schedule of the models on the day of the show and gives a brief look into what it takes to put together a successful production.

You get a chance to see the work that goes into walking down a runway. It is not as effortless as most models make it seem.

Shot and edited by Ivan Rome.

Jurassic World: Blue (Behind the Scenes)

In our first weeks in class, we watched the first Jurassic World experience using the Oculus Rift.  The experience was extremely immersive, and it made me wonder how it was done.  I wanted to explore what went into the decision making and the production for the project which led me to this video.  The video is a behind the scenes look as to what goes into the second Jurassic World VR experience, Jurassic World: Blue.

The video gives you a brief look into the motion capture process, which is quite entertaining.  You get to see the motion capture stage and how it is set up, the technology that is used and the props used to assist the team in creating a virtual experience. The image below shows the crew working to set up a shot on the motion capture stage providing a glimpse into how the set looks.

The crew works to set up for motion capture.

A part of the work I found very interesting is the fact there are actual humans doing the acting for the animated dinosaurs. In the video, you get to see the actor mimicking the actions of real dinosaurs, rolling and trotting around.  It is an interesting experience; however, you don’t get to hear any comments from the actor.  I would like to see another behind the scenes look following the actor and getting to know what process the actor goes through to get into character. Below is an image of the actor in action.

Co-director, Paul Raphael, works with actor to capture scene.

Although you do not hear from the actor, the video provides some explanation by the creative staff.  Felix Lajuenesse and Paul Raphael, directors of Felix & Paul Studios help to explain the thought process of the directorial staff.  They describe how they work together and how Felix governs most of the creative aspects of the shots while Paul focuses more so on the technological aspects of each shot.  They show the themselves talking to actors and how they take their visions give the visions direction and work towards a final product.

Sebastian Sylwan is also a part of the crew. He is the Visual Effects Supervisor for the team and Chief Technology Officer and he talks about working with ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) to ensure the experience is transformed from what Paul and Felix are trying to create into animation.  Glen McIntosh is the Animation Supervisor from ILM.  He talks briefly about how the team works to create an organic feeling.  He says the key for an immersive experience is never cutting giving insight as to how to create true immersive experiences in VR.

A look at the animation process.

The only problem with the behind the scenes video is the lack of detail.  I would have liked to have more detail into how the processes work. The information given was general rather than in-depth.  There were no step-by-step explanations or descriptions of the equipment used.  It seemed rather rushed and left me wanting more elaboration.

Other than the desire for more information, I felt the video was very interesting.  It is short and to the point, but provides a perspective viewers could not get from anywhere else.

Jurassic World: Blue is available for Oculus Go and Oculus Rift.  A link to the experience can be found below:

Songbird: a virtual moment of extinction in Hawaii – 360° video (Story Review)

The Guardian released Songbird: a virtual moment of extinction in Hawaii on July 30, 2018.  It is a virtual reality experience set in Kauai, Hawaii in 1985.  The experience traces the footsteps of scientist, Dr. Jim Jacobi, and recreates his interaction with the last ʻōʻō (songbird) ever existing on earth.  Lucy Greenwell is the director on the project and Anetta Jones is the producer. Francesca Panetta, who is executive editor for virtual reality at The Guardian, is the executive producer on the project. Finally, Federico Fasce is the lead developer and creative technologist for the video.

A glimpse at The Guardian post.

The story is experimental, for it is an instance where there is no actual footage to go along with the audio, so an animated version of what the actual footage would have been is created.  The footage puts you into a part of history that no longer exists and makes it feel real with the use of natural sound and documentary-style narration.  There are times, however, the video can start to buffer and the graphics can get a bit blurry, so make sure your internet connection is strong when you are watching the video or you will have grainy footage and the birds will become indistinguishable from the background.

Personally, I had difficultly loading the video even when I had strong connection.  The video would not load on my phone, for my phone was not equipped with the latest update.  Therefore, if you are trying to watch the video on your phone, make sure your phone is updated to ensure optimal performance. If you are viewing it on your computer, your computer must also be updated to ensure optimal experience. I would also advise giving the video time to load prior to watching it as well, for the video is a bit long.

Though lengthy, the project is an example of great storytelling scripted appropriately for virtual reality.   It takes you on a realistic journey.  There is a conflict, for you are following Dr. Jacobi in his search for the last songbird, while at the same time you realize the songbird is searching for a songbird as well or its species will die out.  The way the story is told in the video evokes emotion from viewers and causes the viewers to empathize with the songbird.  Not only does the viewer empathize with the songbird, but it causes the viewer to look at the bigger global issue of bird extinction.

Along with great natural sound, the story utilizes insightful audio from Dr. Jacobi to describe the things he experienced first hand.  The path of the scientist can’t be explained by the narrator since the narrator was not there at the moment in history in 1985.  I also enjoy the use of captions in the video. The opening captions create a setting for the video and explain to the viewer what is about to be viewed.  The closing captions give insight into the problems that still face the bird population and what the issues stem from.

At around 2:00 of the video is an example of great use of interview clips to tell a story. Dr. Jacobi gives background knowledge from experience that only he can provide.

Above is an example of a caption used in the video.

Altogether, I believe the story is well-executed.  It is a well written, interesting story.  Being eight minutes, it is a little long, however I feel the story is entertaining and captivating enough to keep viewers engaged.  It is a good example of how virtual reality can be used and a glimpse as to where virtual reality may be headed in the future.

360 Video Tour of Gatton Student Center

If you have not been to the new student center… do not worry! We have got you covered. This tour will give you a 360 experience of what the new student center is like. In the video you will get to see the some of the new dining areas, the social staircase, movie theater and even some of the new office spaces. The video gives you a small glimpse of how the student center is set up just so you don’t feel lost when you get there. Hope you enjoy!

Photographer/Voice Over: Grace Colville

Editor: Ivan Rome