Sonic The Hedgehog in 360

Karlil Wilson

 

Article Blog Submission

 

JOU 497

 

04/12/18

For this article submission I chose to review something that I actually am interested in. I am interested in and love anime. Anime is a passion that I have and I someday hope to work for a company like funimation or toei animation. The anime I chose to review is Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog is anime whose video game franchise took over his existence. I grew up watching and playing Sonic the Hedgehog so it was really cool for me to experience something like this in 360.

The producers and publishers of this video was Sasso Studios. This company focuses purely on Sonic animations. They posted this production on their YouTube channel. Their channel has a little under 250,000 subscribers and the video itself has well over 4 million views. They also had a little over 25,000 likes on the video but also had a little under 2,000 dislikes.  I think the piece was successful based on the number of views, likes and the number of positive comments I saw on the video. Most of the comments were people who were surprised that something like this was even possible and were trying to understand how it was done.

This video was only one minute long so there was only one storytelling technique that they used was the introduction technique. Their strategy was to introduce the intended audience of what was going on at that exact moment and have the audience try to imagine what would happen after the introduction. This technique in m opinion was very successful because after the video ended abruptly, I was wondering what was going to happen next.

The story was about how the main character Sonic and his friends Knuckles and Tails working on an invention in a garage. Tails being the engineer of the three man team, built a robot and named him Metal Sonic. The robot was supposed to be just like Sonic. Everything between the two was supposed to be similar and in some ways Metal Sonic could even be seen as superior. The purpose of Metal Sonic was to help them fight off their enemies in any future battles.

The story sort of had a structure. The video wasn’t long at all so it was hard for them to even have a story structure. The story structure went from a beginning introduction and then a cliffhanger. Tails introduced the new invention with confidence. Sonic was very skeptical about the project but willing to give it a chance but Knuckles was not confident in the project at all. Tails ordered Metal Sonic to shake Knuckles hand and once Knuckles reached his hand out, Metal Sonic went out of control. The robot flew around in a craze until eventually Knuckles punched him and he finally stopped and shut down. After that, the video ended.

The video did use a bit of emotion. The emotion this video used was excitement and wonder. While experiencing this video you get a sense of adventure which helps progress the excitement emotions. It was very experience driven. In this 360 video, you were metal sonic. You got to look around and see your environment. You were able to see the different emotions of the characters. You got to actually experience the struggle of the characters trying to shut you down while you were going haywire.

I do believe this video was appropriate for VR. It gave Sonic fans and fans a great interactive, adventure and action-packed experience. The only weakness of this story was the cliffhanger at the end of the video, other than that, it was an amazing experience.

Super Bowl LII streamed in 5G, 4K Virtual Reality

super bowl ratings-eagles patriots-nick folesWe’ve seen sports being broadcast in virtual reality, and it has grown in popularity over the last year or so.

The NCAA Tournament has been broadcast in its entirety the past two years. NBA games are broadcast in virtual reality each week, and its popularity is growing immensely. NFL games are also regularly produced in 360-degree video. As of late, even the MLB has joined the movement, implementing the technology in several live games this season and last season.

But none of the previous broadcasts came close to the experience a select few got to experience during Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. 20 individuals, to be exact.

It started as a project back in November, where Verizon Wireless placed two 4K virtual reality cameras in Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium to test the equipment and connectivity to see if the massive Super Bowl event could handle it with how many people would be in attendance. It thrived, so they ran with it.

The end product? A virtual reality broadcast of Super Bowl LII in unreleased/exclusive  5G connection on 4K cameras.

Never been done before. No one else has this technology, but these 20 individuals got to test it out before everyone else. The testing took place in New York City at the official Verizon Wireless headquarters. They had to take turns with the equipment in a “stress test” to see just how much this technology could handle in the biggest stage, and it passed with flying colors. It was inconvenient with limited equipment to start with, but it became clear this was the future of sports virtual reality.

They got to see the event in crystal-clear video and audio quality, no lag, no connectivity issues, nothing. They got a better look at the Super Bowl than the 67,000 people that paid money to be in the stadium, and the 103 million television viewers across the nation. They got the best of both worlds as a sports fan.

And it wasn’t even some ridiculous headset/equipment that costs a couple thousand dollars. All they used was a single Google Daydream headset equipped with a Samsung Galaxy S8. That’s it. Incredible quality for the cost just about anyone can afford. Again, this is the future.

The in-your-face experience a fan in the stadium gets, from the comfort of your own home. Not the poor quality we see with some other virtual reality technologies/production, or even the “decent” quality we see from some of the other major productions being released. This was a full head above the competition.

The two cameras were called BlackMagic 4K URSA, and in order to handle the 5G technology, they had to use 800MHz bandwidth on Verizon’s 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum. It allowed for an on-field experience, as well as a fan/stadium atmosphere experience. However you wanted to watch the Super Bowl, you were able to.

Obviously this won’t replace fan participation at live sporting events, but for those struggling financially or simply like the home experience more, the technology is there for absolutely incredible virtual reality from the comfort of your own living room at a low cost.

321-Launch App

 

The app I decided to do a review over was the 321-launch app. It is a free app for Apple and Android products that will put you in control of a rocket launch anywhere in the world. The app uses your camera and a flat surface for you to start your building process. The app will give real high-definition 3D models of launch pads and a Space X Falcon 9. The app uses AR, to allow for you to be the director of your own rocket launch. Here is a link to see how the app works.

As a kid who at one-point thought going out of space was just the coolest thing in the world, this app caught my attention. This is just another way we see the advancement of AR in the 21st century. For the millions of us who will never be able to work on a rocket launch or ever be a part, this gives you an up close and personal view of how this entire project works.

A plus on this app was how it talks you through and gives insight on what you are doing, as opposed to you just going and doing the project. Each step in the app process has a voice going along with the video, as you will be able to hear and see in the video below.

As I played with the app for a few days I noticed a glaring problem. As you see below, I would have this message pop up, no matter what type of surface I used the it for. I also have pictured below the different surfaces I used as well. Over the past week I tried and tried and got the same result every time. A flaw I see in the app so far is that it has trouble finding or recognizing flat surfaces. With that being the most important part of the app, I struggled to enjoy and explore the possibilities of the app over the week.

A picture of what would pop up on my phone for a week.
One of the surfaces, a desktop.

 

 

 

 

Another surface, the floor in Grehan.

Overall, I believe that the app is pretty cool. Another cool piece on the app is that it gives you a chance to be apart of live experiences that will only occur on launch days. To have the ability to create your own rocket launch is one of the coolest things I believe are out there, and this will give people of all ages an opportunity to be the newest member of America’s space team, anytime you want.

Moza Guru360 Air (Gimbal)

MOZA Guru 360° Air Camera Stabilizer

Price

  • $799.00

Built for VR Cameras

The MOZA Guru360 Air is a 3-axis gimbal that is handheld. It is designed
for VR cameras to capture steady 360 videos. It combines
advanced stabilization technology, and intelligent software to bring you an immersive content in the VR world. With the same payload capacity, it works
well with all VR 360 cameras.

App

The Moza Assistant software app provides an easy control system. Which allows proper tuning and calibration right from your phone.

Frame

  • Lightweight aluminum
  • Mounts any VR cameras
  • No limits to capture at any angles

 

Specs 

  • Gimbal Weight: 5lbs
  • Tilt Axis Rotation: ±360° continuously
  • Roll Axis Rotation: ±360° continuously
  • Yaw Axis Rotation:±360° continuously
  • Battery Life: 6-8 hrs

What Gimbals can do for you

For an awesome example of how this product works, check out this Gimbal Facebook video.

 

 

Best VR Gaming Apps of 2018

VR is a rapidly growing medium in the gaming world. Every year we get closer and closer to a totally immersive gaming experience. This year at the International Consumer Electronics Show there were hundreds of products that will soon be flooding the market. Everything from VR/AR goggles all the way to haptic gloves that allow you to touch. However, with brand new products on the market come extremely high prices. Fret not! You can get some VR experiences right on your smart phone and an exceptionally cheap headset!

Two of the best VR gaming apps I’ve experienced are Zombie Shooter VR and Google Expeditions both in the Android and iOS app stores absolutely free.

Zombie Shooter is an immersive shooting game that puts you in a post-apocalyptic world. It tests your speed and reaction time. When you put on your headset you can choose your weapon and begin the game almost immediately. To shoot the zombies you simply look at them and (I do a little head nod but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary) and the gun will shoot at whatever your target is. The game is not as easy as it would be on the PC, however it is immersive enough to give us a feeling of what is to come in the future as VR and smart phones become stronger. The app implements a freemium system. During the whole trial period, you can play absolutely free!

Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world. It allows the user to get up close to historical land marks, dive under water with sharks, and even visit outer space. It’s built so that classrooms and small groups could use it as a teaching tool. It allows teachers to act as guides to lead the classroom through collections of 360 and 3D images. There is a growing list of over 200 expeditions and each one is a curated set of VR imagery along the way.

For all VR apps, it is best to use a VR headset of some sort. The Google Cardboard viewer or even a headset from amazon should do the trick. This will allow people to experience VR without breaking the bank. When VR goes mainstream it’ll be as simple and as cheap as any other mainstream device.