The Greatest Showman 360 Video Review

The 360 video that I am reviewing is a behind the scenes from the movie The Greatest Showman that came out in 2017 starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. The 360 video begins with the two songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and the director Michael Gracey discussing how they came up with the opening number and the idea of the suspense they added into it. This is a family movie with its fair share of romance and drama throughout the movie. As well as winning kids choice and teen choice awards. I believe this 360 video was successful because being someone that watched the movie it is interesting to see how it all came together, in addition to seeing and hearing how these men put this film together. It also felt like we were there when the movie was being put together and it made it even more interesting making you want to watch the movie even if you haven’t seen it.

I believe they used telepresence because when I began watching the 360 video I felt that I was actually there while they set up for the movie as if I were apart of the process of helping direct the movie. They allowed you to understand the concept of the movie and the work they put to make it. They added the points of view of the main actors that allowed the 360 video to be even more interesting because we get to hear how they enjoyed themselves and the craft of the movie. Also, they used excitement and joy when explaining how they felt. I believe that they did a good job with characters and location because that’s what the movie is about. The circus. Hugh Jackman’s character wanted to create a circus of unnatural people, almost like a freak show, something different from what people are used to. They 360 video was set in the making of this circus and a place they would make look to be a circus. The characters they chose had strong stage presence and brought a different kind of feel to the film with their different personalities. After watching the movie and now this 360 video I believe I have a better understanding of what this movie started off as and then finished as.

I personally think this was good for VR because we don’t get a lot of behind the scenes for good movies and when we do it’s normally 2 dimensional and with this being 3 dimensional I actually felt like I got the chance to be apart of the making of a great movie. They could have done a better job on camera placement because one minute we would be watching the show go on and then we’re looking a the wall or the director and we had to turn to find everything. I don’t think the story had many weaknesses. They did a great job at allowing the director to discuss the film and then the main characters and allowing us inside the movie. They could have done better with where they placed the text and the camera but I truly think this was a interesting VR video.

The Greatest Showman | Behind the Scenes of “The Greatest Show” in 360° ft. Hugh Jackman http://www.youtube.com/user/FoxMovies

 

Intel and Modern Medicine

The famous company, Intel, is helping to bring the medical field in a form for patients.  When doctors are attempting to explain a medical diagnosis to a patient, sometimes the patient has a hard time understanding what is really going on because they cannot see everything there is to know about their diagnosis. Virtual reality has helped to build that bridge between patient doctor discussion about a person’s diagnosis.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoVpQG8Nd8U

 

The video above discusses how a system known as “Surgical Theatre”, created by Intel, allows doctors and surgeons to take a patient’s brain into a VR setting and allow them to look around and better understand what they are looking at which then allows the patient to better understand what is going inside their body.  However, this technology is only being used in certain hospitals in a few cities. The video explains the desire to have this VR technology in hospitals everywhere to help patients feel more comfortable with their diagnosis and to understand how their procedures will take place.  This VR technology has been instrumental in patients with brain tumors.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuZjHnpYL_4

 

A CAT scan can only show a patient so much. However, with VR, patients can go inside their own brain to see, not only the tumor, but where the tumor is located in comparison to critical areas such as optical nerves and different lobes of the brain.  Intel has been working with doctors to enhance the system to help patients truly see every part of what is going on inside their heads.  This software is also changing the ways doctors prepare for brain surgeries.  Before this system, doctors never knew what to fully expect when they would go into the operating room (OR).  They would think in their minds all the steps they might need to take and what to do if something goes wrong.  Now, with this VR technology, doctors are able to perform a virtual procedure that allows them to decide, step by step, what they will do in the OR and help mentally prepare them for whatever might be coming when they begin the surgery.

 

See this article for more information on how Intel is working with doctors and hospitals to integrate this technology:

https://iq.intel.com/vr-prepares-doctors-patients-life-saving-surgery/

 

How about that?  Virtual reality inside your own brain.  I would give anything to see that, minus the whole brain tumor part. This technology is revolutionary to medicine and to the world.  Never would I have thought to use VR to help a patient understand what is going on in their brain.  I think this use of VR is extremely exciting and ground breaking, and I think this is going to be open a lot of door for the medical industry in the future.  Right now, it may just be brains, but in the next few years, think about everything else we could look at: knees before knee surgery, organs before transplants, maybe even pregnancies.  The opportunities are truly endless, and I am so excited to see what else comes from this with Intel.

Equipment Review: HAMSWAN Virtual Reality Goggles

Price: $21.99
Company: HAMSWAN


In the search of acquiring an affordable and functional VR headset I came across a pair listed on Amazon for a meager $21.99. Normally a price this low would leave me feeling skeptical when it comes to buying a product like this, but surprisingly enough the customer reviews were overwhelmingly positive. I hesitantly decided to put my faith in the favorable online reviews and purchased the HAMSWAN Virtual Reality Goggles. After about a month of casual use, the goggles have proven to be a decent introductory headset with a handful of limitations.

HAMSWAN Virtual Reality Goggles

HOW-TO USE

Using the HAMSWAN Virtual Reality Goggles is fairly straightforward. First you remove the detachable cover from the goggles exposing the elastic band. Once you have your video chosen, you strap your phone up using the band and put the detachable cover back onto the goggles. Put the goggles over your head and use the dial on top of the device to adjust the pupil distance to whatever looks best to the viewer. Adjust the straps accordingly to fit your head and you’re ready to go.

PROS

The Price

The most appealing selling factor for HAMSWAN Virtual Reality Goggles is its inexpensive price tag. For just under $22, it’ll be difficult to find another VR headset that affordable that isn’t cardboard. It’s a great way to try out VR without feeling financially strained for doing so.

The Build Quality

Despite the low price point, these goggles are still made somewhat well. The headset is only made up of three separate pieces, one being the goggles itself, the straps to keep the goggles on your head and the hard plastic cover that’ll rest over your phone when in use.  The frame is mostly made of a light plastic that feels durable enough to support normal amounts of use. Though trying to put the goggles through any conditions rougher than that might result in unwanted damage. The surface of the goggles is wrapped in a cloth-like fabric which is a strange choice for VR goggles, but doesn’t have any adverse effects because of it. The straps aren’t luxurious, but serve their purpose and can be adjusted to fit you best. A comfortable plush fabric lines where you view through the goggles making them pretty comfortable to use. The headset also comes with a small dial on-top of the headset letting you adjust the pupil distance according to what looks best for the viewer.

CONS

The Detachable Cover & Elastic Band

The aspect which led to the most trouble when using the HAMSWAN Virtual Reality Goggles was having to take off and put back on the detachable cover and remove the elastic band after every use. It’s a time consuming roadblock that comes after ever video you watch, making you spend nearly as much time taking out the phone and readjusting as you will actually spend using VR. This can make the experience less immersive for the viewer due to the several intermissions one has to take to make this adjustment.

The Focus

Even when streaming in 4K and using the adjustable pupil distance, the focus still has a slight gaussian blur effect that can become a slight distraction. It isn’t deal a breaking flaw, but defiantly an aspect which could be improved upon.

Adjustable Pupil Dial

OVERALL

While these goggles may lack certain luxuries like a remote controller or perfect focus, they are a solid introductory headset for those looking for a simple and casual experience. While improvements to the design could be made, it’s hard to complain too much with such a reasonable price.

 

Links To Purchase

Other Links

 

Written By: Nic Moore

Post Malone – “Better Now” in 360°

Post Malone is an influential American Songwriter and Singer who is well known for his multitude of hits! I previously watched Post Malone – “Better Now” in 360°. This video was published by Post Malone and filmed by MelodyVR. The concert was filmed live in Dallas, TX at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory. He played the concert in his hometown, which is why he decided this was the show he wanted to film in Virtual Reality. This video has already received 301,584 views, and has only been published since October 4, 2018. The intended audience for this video were fans of Post Malone, because the video allows you to get so close to Post Malone it makes you feel like you are front row to his concert. This was a great video to give you a feel for being at the concert, but the video quality and audio was lacking unfortunately, which took away from the film.

Post Malone – “Better Now” in 360° tells a story by giving an interactive form of one of his top hits played in concert. This story starts out with an intro of Post Malone stating the song that is about to be played (beginning), then you are taken through a few different angles where you can see the entire 4,000 people audience and you can physically see the emotion Post Malone gives while singing the song Better Now (middle). Then the story ends with him telling the audience goodbye and thanking them for allowing him to sing for them. The camera only has a few changes of camera placement because it allows the audience watching the video to take in the information rather than giving motion sickness by physically following the artist around while he bounces throughout the entire stage.

The cast in this story consists solely on the audience in the crowd and Post Malone himself on stage, the audience helped drive the story along because of their enthusiasm and love for the artist on stage. The emotion was clearly seen from both types of characters. Post Malone shows passion for the song he is singing and the audience he is able to share it with during his concert. This video was mainly experience driven because you have to love and appreciate the artist to be able to like this video. I say this because the storyline is obvious, it’s trying to give you the feel of actually being at Post Malone’s concert, but if you do not like the artist this video would be less appealing for the lack of narrative and location. Although, I still feel like this was a great example of 360 VR, but I think the quality and storyline could have been improved. I feel like this video would have been perfectly executed if we were able to hear from Post Malone before the concert had started and after. The shots were more or less the same and didn’t change the viewers perception very much. This was the biggest weakness of the video, but it can easily be executed again with more commentary and a background of his story.

Imagine Dragons 360 Music Video: “Whatever It Takes” Review

Last fall the band, Imagine Dragons, released a 360 music video of their hit song, “Whatever It Takes,” and it has received over four million views on Youtube. The video is the lyric version of the song and it takes place in another  geometric dimension. The video was produced by RMV Productions and created by Peter Reeve. Their inspiration for the psychedelic  video came from the band’s graphics they had already created for their album, “Evolve”.  The music video can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages, and I considered the video successful due to its superb quality and how the video was very interactive with the viewer. Plus, considering the 360 music video received over four million views, I would say the general public believed it was successful as well.  Imagine Dragons had also created other 360 music videos for their song, “Believer,” which received 120,000 views and their other song, “Shots”, which received over two million views on Youtube. I viewed the, “Whatever It Takes,” 360 music video in 4K.

The animated 360 music video was the lyric version of the song, and  the lyrics to the song were listed sporadically throughout the music video, in order to guide the viewer where to look. In the beginning, the viewer starts in a black space, as if it were space. White lights that look like stars come shooting through until the ground rose into blue geometric shapes moving in such a way to make the viewer feeling like they are flying forwards or backwards.The setting of the video almost seemed like it took place in some kind of cosmic reality which just so happened to resemble the artwork of the band’s album cover. The video then becomes interactive when the song begins, because the lyrics started to pop up throughout different parts of the video in order to navigate the viewer through the whole experience. The neat thing about this 360 experience was that no matter where the viewer looked, the setting stayed the same. However, if the viewer turned around the setting adjusted to the viewers perspective. For example, the viewer starts looking forward and seeing the lyrics right in front of them, but once they turn around their the words flip also in order to pertain to the viewers perspective. There was not a specific storyline, but it gave a very unique and interactive experience to the viewer, while transporting them to a different dimension.

There was not a cast of characters, or main characters for that matter. The viewer is immersed into the cosmic dimension alone, and remain alone throughout the whole experience. Even though the viewer remains alone, the video was still perfect for VR because the interactiveness of the lyrics and the movement of the video makes the viewer experience every part of the setting and make it really feel like you are in this trip reality.

The only weakness I found throughout the video was that there was no storyline. The viewer starts in the dimension and finishes exactly where they started. The lyrics of the song suggest there would be a motivating story throughout the experience, but that unfortunately never came about. It was cool to feel like I was in this cosmic reality, but that main theme stayed constant throughout the whole video, and for some it may eventually become boring and lack emotion from the viewer.

However, I still believe the music video was successful for VR and it allowed the viewers to enter an alternate reality while also learning the words to the song in a fun and interactive way. The different locations of the lyrics helped maintain my interest by being able to view every part of the video. It was never specified if the music video was to advertise anything, but I do believe it was made to help viewers spark interest in the band’s album and purchase their soundtrack. In conclusion, the 360 music video was successful, but maybe if a storyline was involved it would improve the music video’s experience and draw even more emotion out of the viewers.