The Man on Spire: 360 Video

The man on Spire  is a video that consist of a mountaineer who climbs the spire of the the World Trade Center. This video took place in of course, New York City. Throughout the duration of the video you can see the mountaineer climbing the spire along with being able to view all of New York City while doing so. Along with the mountaineer was filmmaker and photographer Jimmy Chin who was able to capture this amazing experience.

Throughout this piece, I think it was extremely successful. As a lot of people are scared of heights, this was an opportunity for people to see first hand someone tackle something that most would never do in their lifetime. Along with this 360 VR video, not only do you get the change to witness the professional mountaineer take on this task but you get to see the sunrise and sunset of the city the we may know as, “never sleeps”. Along with this 360 view you get to see someone climb one of the tallest buildings in the United States, remember, ONE of the tallest, not the tallest.

One of the unique ways in how the story is told in this prospective is how the 360 video didn’t begin straight from when the guy was climbing up the spire. But, the video started when the guy was on the ground in front of the world trade center. The guy was sizing up the building and getting ready which leads to the finishing of this 360 video in how the guy accomplished the things that he did accomplish throughout the day from start to finish.  So with that being said, there was a beginning, middle and an end.

Throughout the 360 video you can hear the mountaineer and filmmaker/photographer having casual conversations. From the conversations you can pick up on a little emotions evolving from the mountaineer but it wasn’t necessarily scared or frightening emotions  With this video, it would be labeled as more so location driven long with experience driven based off of the mountaineers experience and how he is a professional at climbing mountains, even though this was something unordinary for him to climb. Weaknesses of this story in my opinion came with the transition scenes from coming off of the ground and onto the spot of where they began to climb the spire. If the transitioning scene could’ve been a little more smoother than I personally think things would’ve been perfect at that point in regards to telling this story. Overall, there wasn’t any tension amongst the people featured in this 360 video but more so the individuals knew that they had to work together to make sure that they are all safe to get to the top. One of the things that really amazed me is how clear and concise the video was when it came to capturing everything that the filmmaker/photographer did. Not only that, but how was the filmmaker/photographer was able to continuously climb the spire along with the mountaineer and all of the camera equipment he had to utilize to to capture everything.

 

 

Video Game Vehicle (360 VR video!)

Video Game Vehicle (360 VR video!) was produced by SoKrispyMedia and published to YouTube on July 24, 2018. This video was created by Sam Wickert and Eric Leigh of SoKrispyMedia. This video was produced by Brandon Padveen of Madison Wells Media. The executive producers of this video was Gigi Pritzker, Clint Kisker, and Ethan Stearns, all of Madison Wells Media. Finally, Alex Lubow was the production designer for this video.

This video seemed like to me as a mix of reality and virtual reality. I say this because the characters used an actual Kia Soul and integrated it into a virtual reality space. The Kia Soul was the subject of the video, as it was the video game console they were using to play the games. The first game they played was like a Grand Theft Auto kind of universe, and they were sitting behind a warehouse-looking building. The two guys in the car were just talking.

Suddenly, they decide to play another game. They then pop another game into the console of the car (which I think was the game console). They do a Back to The Future like jump into the new game they were playing. The jump was like the scene in Back to The Future where Marty McFly drives the DeLorean to 88 miles per hour and suddenly is transported from 1985 to 1955. As soon as they touch wheels into the new game a giant robot attacks them. After being scared of the robot, one of the guys decide to switch games again. They then are transported to a Super Mario Brothers like universe and then their Kia Soul is transformed into a monster Kia Soul. The game then acts like it malfunctions and the boys are suddenly back into the game they started in. The robot from the second video game then starts to shoot at them with its lasers . After a few seconds, the robot is replaced with a police officer, who then arrests them and they end the video in the police station.

I personally like this video. There are scenes in the video where it is intended to be humorous.  One of my hobbies in my spare time is to play video games. One of the games I play is Grand Theft Auto, which is why I said the first game they  played looked like Grand Theft Auto. One of my qualms about the video it is that I think it has terrible audio. I could hardly follow the dialogue in the video. I do like how they integrate the Kia Soul into the virtual reality world. The car looks like it is real, so either they actually used a Kia Soul in the video or they had some really good CGI.

I think that video games of the future will begin to use virtual reality. I think in the future, when we are succeeding and flourishing in our careers, our children will be playing games that incorporate virtual reality. it will certainly be fun to tell my future children that I took a class that used virtual reality as a tool for journalism.

 

 

Aladdin “Friend Like Me”

The “Friend like Me” 360 Performance of Aladdin on Broadway produced by Disney on Broadway is a look into what theatre syndication could look like in the future. I think this video could be the beginning of something big for an industry that has a lot of struggles reaching a wider audience (theatre). The main disadvantage of theatre is that it is hard to find a good production near you unless you are in a big city. I think “Friend like me” is a taste of what VR theatre could be, to reach more people and let them experience the talent that can only be found in places like New York or Chicago. I can see productions selling live performances after they are done running as a way of continuing a revenue stream long after the production is done. Not to mention most people cannot afford front row seats at large productions, so this would be a way to see a huge Broadway production without having to break the bank.

As for the video itself, it is only a piece of the full Aladdin story, but it is about Aladdin meeting one of the main characters of the show Genie. The main character driving the story is Genie by way of song, he is explaining to Aladdin that he has mystical powers and that he has never met anyone like him because of that. Although if you get beneath the surface, I believe the main story is the behind the scenes of the production of the play itself.

Throughout the performance, you are given little bits of information about the musical and its success. My favorite part was when the floor was cut away so that you could the orchestra that was playing below the actor’s feet.

They also give information about the actor’s performance which makes it even more impressive.

The audience is most likely for people who are thinking about going to see Aladdin but have not yet. I feel like it is an advertisement showing how impressive the production is and giving the audience a taste, so they will want to see more. However, as I said earlier I can see this turning into a more full-scale production, that records the whole performance and they sell “VR seats.” This, of course, won’t be exactly like going to the theatre, but it will be better than missing a historic production because of lack of funds or proximity.

All in all, I think this video is a great transmedia piece that bridges the gap between seeing Broadway live and seeing it on a 2D plane. It is still not the same as going, but the advantages of having Broadway at your fingertips from your phone might make theatre more accessible to people who otherwise would have no chance. I look forward to seeing the future of theatre and 360 videos and seeing how it affects theatre’s outreach.

KinoVR review

KinoVR is a kind of wireless adapter app for iOS. It advertises a connection to SteamVR games straight from a computer, including the fan-favorite Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It also advertises the allowance of movement within a virtual space, though an ARKit is required for that feature to work. It can be downloaded here.

In preparation for this app, I was extremely skeptical. How could my phone, which was mostly limited to 360 video, handle Skyrim or another powerful game? I had a SteamVR-compatible game ready in my library, and set off to see if that truly was the case. The game hit the market in late 2016, but it wasn’t fully functioning with its main selling point (the use of SteamVR) until June 30, 2018. The following video was posted on Kinoni’s Facebook page.

KinoVR SteamVR support with room-scale VR

KinoVR for iOS was just updated with SteamVR support. On ARKit-supported iPhones it also has location tracking enabling room-scale VR! Check this video to see how it works. Please install latest Windows Streamer version 1.60 from http://kinoni.com/rdrivers to start using 6 DOF tracking and more.Kinoni Windows Streamer also runs now faster, all KinoVR and KinoConsole users should install the latest server for best performance.

Posted by Kinoni on Saturday, June 30, 2018

The game also advertises 60 frames per second in the wireless connection between the mobile device and the PC, which is another thing I found very hard to believe.

First of all, getting the whole thing set up was a nightmare. My computer didn’t trust a thing that was being installed on it (Kino requires a desktop download to establish the connection using its third-party software, which can be found here) and getting the connection set up was very finicky. I had an extremely difficult time setting up the connection between the phone and the laptop. When I say difficult, I mean I was in this for two hours and gave up three times to attempt to complete this review.

Once in the app, I was heavily disappointed. To access my Steam game, I had to purchase their “Pro” version, which supposedly included everything in the app. In the free version, I could find my computer (eventually). Actually playing the SteamVR game long enough to get a sense for how it worked, including audio, or really doing anything that involved anything interesting with this app would require me to pay the six dollars needed for the pro version. I declined to do this, and it resulted in one of the most boring experiences of the year.

The opening screen of Kinoni VR

 

In my game, I could see, but not hear. Audio wasn’t included without the pro package. After less than 45 minutes in my game, my access to the service was taken. It took longer for me to set up the game than it did to run out of time using it.

The concept is fantastic, I will give it that. I like the idea of bridging the gap between console VR and the common cardboard experiences used by most consumers. To improve on it, Kinoni needs a bigger budget, so as not to require so much money for so little use, and they need gaming technology to advance to the point where their concept is consumer-grade. I think this idea is slightly ahead of its time, and faulty connectivity was the largest problem with it. Establish it more securely, and they have something really nice here.

The Blue Angels Give You Wings

Hit the runway at a cruising speed as the blue angels zip over a marsh. Holding tight formation, our narrator talks of the parade pass- a formation the angels assemble into placing the jets less than 6 inches away from each other! The Diamond 360 turns the formation of four planes into a clean formation that acts and moves as one. Using voice inflections, and code words our narrator directs his unit of four planes.

Feeling weightless, and flying over the marshland the viewer is placed as captain of the unit and guides his team. From the slot position you command a squadron of the most skilled fliers the United States has to offer. Now you can’t feel the 8 G’s of force against your body, but you can see the breathtaking flight patterns by our nation’s finest.

 

Choosing to do this video in Virtual Reality, was a fantastic choice. I was sitting in a computer chair while watching it and felt like I was a third pilot in the plane. Spinning around in the chair, I ended up being about 5 feet and facing the opposite way of where I started. The video’s immersiveness is spectacular, and unbelievable. The camera placement was wonderful, and useful to help the viewer be immersed in the flight. The camera set up used was a clamped stand between the primary, and secondary pilot.

The narrative process of the video works great due to the take-off, warm up formations, more advanced invasive flight patterns, then winding down by re-bunching in formations, and winding up together in back in a 360 Diamond. The story is experience driven- and due to its immersive nature it places the viewer in a wonderful experience of bliss that virtual reality can achieve. This type of form, and storytelling is why virtual reality’s imaginative power is so innovative. Placing a viewer in a world of wonder, and a scenario that they could rarely, if ever experience is one of the main reasons many find Virtual Reality so wonderful and expansive.

 

There were some weaknesses to the film, but the concept is strong, and the execution of USA today’s work is impeccable. The weaknesses I see are one sided narration, and the length of the video. Eight minutes is lengthy for the film and they could have accelerated some movements, but I didn’t recognize the time because I was transfixed in the work. It’s transformative video work, and a great subject matter. There was some tension, I was a little worried the wings would hit, or we’d stutter some, but the plane stayed remarkably stable.

When we talk about virtual reality taking people to a place of imagination, a place of wonder, and an exceptional experience. By putting on a virtual reality set, anyone can become Ace and Maverick in Top Gun. Much like a skydiving video, spacewalk, or a steampunk stunt driving video, USA today drops us into a fresh new experience and makes the video shine.