This video is a cover of the song “Shallow” from the movie A Star Is Born originally performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, now performed by Elena Guerra, True Morse, and Stuart Morse. The idea for this story is to highlight the usage of the GoPro Fusion’s built in spatial audio software. This means the video has 360 degree ambisonic sound that makes the viewer feel truly immersed in the environment because the sound is tracked based on source locations during filming.
For more information on how to edit and process ambisonic sound through Premiere Pro, I recommend following this video tutorial
For my second blog post, I’ve chosen to write tutorial on how to use spatial audio in the GoPro Fusion 360 camera. I utilized this feature while filming and producing my final project for the semester, in which I filmed an acoustic cover of the song “Shallows” from A Star is Born with a three part band. GoPro describes the spatial audio feature as an ability to keep a 360 experience as immersive as possible. If the video a user is watching used the spatial audio feature, it will keep the audio placed with the source, no matter which way the viewer is looking in their headset/magic window. For example, if someone is talking in front of the viewer, but then the viewer turns their head to the left, the audio will now be stronger in the right ear as opposed to being balanced like it was before. This is because the source of that audio is now to the right of the viewer. Doing this creates more accurate spatial awareness to the environment for the viewer.
As long as you are using a GoPro Fusion camera, this feature is incredibly easy to use. Just like the GoPro software is able to stitch 360 videos automatically, it is able to create spatial audio automatically as well. Once you film your clip, you’ll need to connect your camera to the GoPro Fusion software to get ready to render it. Once you’ve found your selected video and trimmed it to the section you’d like to render, click “Add to Render Queue” and a pop up window will show more options for your outputted video. These options include where you’d like to export your video to (I always choose editing so it just sends the file to my hard drive), the resolution, and your “preferred sound setting” this is where you click 360 Audio to ensure the spatial audio feature is used.
After this, all you need to do is click “create the render queue,” then “render all” in the bottom right corner, and wait for your video to be complete! To get the best understanding of the spatial audio, headphone or headset use is recommended so the audio is better placed.
I’ve included links to some videos I’ve found online that take advantage of the spatial audio feature, including the video GoPro links on their website that highlights the effect very well in a controlled anechoic chamber. I have also included a short rough edit clip of what we filmed earlier today to give a sneak peek on how I will be using the feature.
For this blog post I have decided to review Disney Spring’s VR experience called The Void. I was recently in Orlando for a job interview and spent some time at Disney Springs. When I saw they had a VR experience, I had to check it out. The Void describe their business as a chance to experience “hyper-reality” a “whole-body fully immersive VR experience.” Tickets for each experience were $29.95 a person and I went in with a team of 3 other people.
What the Void does is blend actual reality with a virtual reality experience. When you walk into the building, you choose what story you want to experience, and an employee escorts you to that part of the building. The best way I could explain what comes next is if you blended laser tag, an escape room, and virtual reality. I chose to experience the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire story. They suited me up with a haptic vest, headset, and a fake blaster and sent me into the experience. This was different than anything I’ve ever remotely experienced in VR. The location you walk into is pretty much a blank environment that mirrors what you’re seeing in your headset. You can reach out and feel the walls, open doors, you can feel wind rushing past you, different temperatures, and even rumbles beneath the floor you’re standing on.
Since you’re equipped with a haptic suit, you feel like you are truly immersed. In the Star Wars story, you are written into the story as an undercover agent for the Resistance disguised as a storm trooper. There are multiple rumble packs on the chest that vibrate when you’re being shot at or get pushed. The blaster I was given worked pretty much like a controller where I could pull a trigger and shoot down enemies as I made my way through the story. The headset can track your movement throughout the environment through motion sensors on the front of the eye piece. It can even see your hands and track where you place them in the area around you.
The headset itself is a modified version of the Oculus Rift. This is the starter they use for all of their headsets. However, these are customized for The Void and include the extra advancements that go along with what is needed to connect the environment to the scenes in the virtual world.
This is where I see the future of VR being really successful. The Void is a third party that has partnered with Disney in both Anaheim and Orlando, but they’re centered outside of Salt Lake City. They also have an insane amount of locations in heavily tourist popular destinations like Santa Monica, Las Vegas, and Toronto. Based on the popularity of escape rooms, I can only see growth for this company as they have the ability to franchise in more and more cities. There is a limited amount of stories you can have in one location and some could consider that a drawback, but I see that as a better business move because as you phase older experiences out and newer experiences in, it brings returning customers back. The experience wasn’t perfect. There were moments where you felt a little like you were walking around blind because you had to find an interactive element in the room, but the headset could always keep you in the general area. Above all, this was something I have never experienced anything like and I’m excited to return again when I live in Orlando this Fall.