The first Immersive 360 VR videos about the beautiful land of Kerala.
Kerala, the surreal tropical paradise, is truly enigmatic and beautiful. The state of Kerala sits in sharp contrast to the rest of India with its highest literacy rate, women outnumbering the number of men, newspaper readership among the highest in the world, world-class health care systems and being the most developed society in India.
With the Arabian Sea in the west, Western Ghats towering 500-2700 meters in the east and a network of 44 rivers cutting across the state, it is Kerala’s unique geographical features that make it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. The state is divided into 14 districts, all of which offer unique combinations of – shimmering backwaters, bio-diversity hotspots, tropical forests, golden sand beaches, historic monuments, Wildlife Reserves et cetera.
We are making a 360 IMMERSIVE content about the land of Kerala, for a popular news media channel.
SOON TO BE LAUNCHED….
The project will be executed in three parts when. The major cultural and historical relevance of Indian civilization will be portrayed in the first 14 experience videos about Kerala.
The second stage will comprise of entertainment videos, pranks and documentaries.
The third stage will be making of immersive content for educational purposes, psychological therapy & interior designing for the same client
The First Fully Immersive 360 VR Cinema of India is getting ready. Know more about the team and the plan
The production team for METAMORPHOSIS VR is coming together, Currently it is lead by FOUNTAINBLUE FILMS, under the design and direction of SUDIP JOSHY and GEETIKA SUDIP, and technical leadership of ROB MORGAN. We anticipate a number of strategic partnerships, both for the traditional framed media (TFM) and the VR media (VRM) aspects. On the VRM side of things, we are in talks with Oculus,Samsung, Dolby and others.
On the TFM side of things, we anticipate aligning with an ideal premium/OTT media platform, such as HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon, etc.
The core to METAMORPHOSIS’s success will be the exceptional story/production it has to offer in the traditional framed media (TFM) format, with the VR media (VRM) being the extraordinary bonus to an otherwise perfect show.
FUNDING: We are seeking strategic and financial partners. To discuss,contact us.
PRODUCTION: Currently we anticipate shooting the VRM (drone) content first, in a location such as Padmanabhapuram Palace,Kerala, and then shooting theTFM (human) content in the Studios, letting the actors ‘experience’ the VRM as their characters would. This is preliminary. The production team will be experienced with mini-series of this sort, and as such will make the line production decisions.
Budget & Funding
At this stage, we are budgeting the film for $3M for final production. As the pre-production process advances, a preliminary budget will come into focus. The sources of the budget are currently being identified, but will likely be from a combination of strategic partners (tech companies with an interest in METAMORPHOSIS) and institutional/private investment funds.
Understand the basics of VR technology and terminology .
VR Tech: Audience Experience
METAMORPHOSIS VR will offer a highly unique experience to audiences. First, the audience will experience the premium, top quality, live-action film in Traditional Framed Media (TFM) such as satellite televisions, tablets, laptops, etc. It will also have a theatrical release This will be similar to any other such films or series . All scenes from within the point of view (POV) of Giridhar( Protagonist) will be seen as the director chooses to allow the audience to see them. Again, this is like any other such content.
But that is just the beginning. Any person who is watching METAMORPHOSIS VR in its TFM format, and who has a VR head mounted display (HMD) such as an Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR, will be able to watch the content that is created just for the VR experience, or Virtual Reality Media (VRM). The audience will ‘go inside’ the body of Giridhar and have full 360 degree spherical view of the live action scenario happening around him in the story.
This live synched content will be fully experienced by someone wearing an HMD, for anyone near that person, they can link their mobile or tablet device to that person’s HMD and see what they see. This is a passive second screen, but allows for greater interaction between co-viewers, and will spur additional HMD purchases so that both persons will have independent immersion capacity within the story.
Innovative VR Camera Technology
With strategic tech partners, we will invent and deploy a new 360 degree, cinema camera rig to be stationed on the ground, or suspended and gyro stabilized beneath a helicopter or drone, for comprehensive, you-are-there presence. All indications of modern humanity will be digitally removed.
Solving All VR Issues
There are many primary issues currently facing VR technology relative to live-action cinema. Here we will examine each, and explain why METAMORPHOSIS’s structure uniquely addresses each of these .
1. VR Sickness
Concern over VR sickness due to latency issues is minimized in the first few minutes by purposefully avoiding faster movement of characters in the initial scenes. If they feel queazy, they do not miss any of the primary plot as they can simply watch the TFM as they could if they did not have an HMD.
2. Limited Access to HMDs
If a person doesn’t have an HMD (yet) they can still enjoy the movie and follow the plot on their regular TV or other flat screen device, just as they would for any other such premium series.
3. Communal Viewing
Concern over the idea that people will disconnect from each other and just watch content in VR is eliminated by the unique structure of the film and the technology it utilizes. By having the show enjoyable in traditional formats, multiple viewers can watch in alongside each other. And those with HMDs will not be ‘in’ them for the whole time, and the others can see what the HMD wearers see, by synching their second screen devices. (See image above). This will not only encourage communal viewing, but also encourage others to purchase an HMD of their own.
4. Low Resolution of Content
Concern over the current limitations of visual quality of presented in the HMD is resolved by working that limitation into the plot of the film itself.
5. Limited Bandwidths for Streaming VR Content
As the content coming to the HMDs (the VRM content) can be pre-buffered and streamed to the HMD
6. Difficulty Filming Human Body in VR (under camera)
Due to the limitations of the 360 degree spherical VR camera rigs, it is almost impossible for an actor to wear such a rig on top of themselves, and even if they did, what they audience sees when they look down would nevertheless need to be rendered in CG. But any rendering in CG in a live-action setting, no matter how photo-realistic in general, doesn’t hold up when viewed up close, within inches of the audience (as they would be seeing the body if they looked down). Not to mention the question of what kind of body, race, gender, etc. would they see. All of this is of no concern in METAMORPHOSIS VR, as the camera systems will be the ‘heads’ of Gregor, and thus will capture in live-action filming the ‘body’ of Gregor for the VRM viewer to see when they ‘look down’.
7. Challenges of Filming Live Action VR with Multiple 360˙ Camera Rigs
A significant challenge of filming live action VR with multiple cameras is that as each camera captures 360 degrees around it, any other camera will be seen and must be digitally removed from every other camera’s footage. But with METAMORPHOSIS VR, the camera is concealed within the head of Gregor.
Acronyms & Abbreviations
Virtual reality Head Mounted Display such as an Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR, HTC Vive, or Sony Morpheus.
Traditionally framed media seen by the audience as they would see any other traditional filmed media, observed by looking at a framed TV, monitor, etc. screen. This includes whatever the director chooses to show from the characters’ POV, thus the story is completely viewable and understandable by watching TFM, and much more empathetic and immersive when the VRM is added.
Virtual reality media seen by audience through an HMD with the view from the perspective of inside the character, as the character(Gregor) can see.
There are two ways to create content for virtual reality – computer generated imagery (CGI), or live action, using a virtual reality video camera. The former is generally used for games, the latter involves capturing video ‘in all directions’, so it can be played back in a virtual reality headset like a video. The viewer with the VR headset can look in any direction, as if they are positioned where the camera is, so you must capture footage in every direction they might look. This is VR video at its simplest.
Yes, storytelling has a new vehicle and we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities. We’re fully aware that our stories must support the medium. Because of this, we began asking ourselves “Why VR?” as part of our development process. Why is this story better told in this medium? What can we do to leverage the strengths of VR? Its been helping us stay true to our goal— to build truly immersive cinematic experiences that were never before possible.
Saschka Unseld’s the Story Studio group hopes to glean insight both artistic and procedural, not only on what triggers emotional responses in VR but even on how people watch a movie when they’re surrounded by it. They will then share their findings with other VR filmmakers to extend the cinematic landscape. They are working on an animation film Henry.
VR film making
VR Film making has a democratizing effect, turning film from its long-held status as a director’s medium, with well-curated shots, to something looser and more participatory
In the new world of VR cinema, filmmakers can create heat maps and conduct granular–or insidious, depending on your point of view–research on test groups of what’s working, potentially even down to every second and eye twitch.
A great medium to make films which convey emotions.Coming face to face with a giant but harmless animal? Wonderful. Gaining empathy for a far-off country hit by natural disaster? Sadness.
Watch Film Maker Chris Milk speak about VR 360
With New York Times, BBC and CNN taking leaps into 360 news , VR journalism has found its first steps. Just as young people in journalism school five years ago learned that Twitter was important to reporting, soon enough they might be learning how to film with a 360-degree camera.A lot of the questions about the importance of VR for journalism go back to empathy—the current buzzword in VR filmmaking. Taking a page from Roger Ebert’s assertion that a movie is an “empathy machine,” people excited about VR’s storytelling potential like to point out that nothing will make a person more empathetic to a protagonist than virtually living in their world. So when that protagonist is actually a resident of a war-torn country, say, or protester in the streets, that potential for empathy is quite sizable. And all of a sudden, 1.3 million people will have VR headsets in their hands—many of them for the first time—and the first thing they’ll watch will be the Times’ upcoming VR documentary, “The Displaced.”
VR psychological therapy
Virtual Reality (VR) Therapy is one of the emerging and most effective applications of VR technology, where patients are exposed to stimuli in fully controllable environments. Whether it is immersive, such as a CAVE-like environment (CAVE is a VR device that allows the user to be completely immersed), or non-immersive, such as desktop-like displays, the idea is to recreate a believable artificial environment that stimulates physical responses similar to those of a real environment that can be individually controlled, replicated, and tailored to the patient’s experiences. The patient is presented only with environmental features that he or she can control, such as difficulty level, complexity, and amount of stimuli. This enables a highly scalable and controllable environment.Researchers have also developed VR programs that are intended to distract patients and work as a virtual pain relief, e.g. for back pain and for children who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
A LAYPERSON’S GUIDE TO 360 VIDEO CAMERAS
The principle of capturing live action video ‘in all directions’ is easy to understand. Combine a number of cameras, arrange them in a circular, or better still… spherical layout, and film outwards in all directions simultaneously. Carefully arrange each camera (and lens) to overlap each other’s picture somewhat, and clever software can later stitch the video together.
Well that’s the theory… the truth is more complicated than that (although getting easier).
The first challenge is to capture the scene in 3D. There is currently a proliferation of 360 video cameras, that purport to offer VR video capture, however they only offer only 2D 360 video capture. Since all VR headsets are intrinsically 3D capable, it makes little sense to capture 2D video for VR, if future proofing is a concern. 3D is much more immersive.
In the past, the traditional approach to capturing 3D video was to use two cameras side-by-side, for left and right eyes. This is possible in a 360 video camera, you double the number of cameras, but this becomes expensive when the number of cameras required is already high. There are other limitations to this approach too.
A newer approach, thanks to software beginning to emerge, is to do away with the duplicate set of cameras, and use computational photography (a form of image interpolation), that reproduces viewpoints ‘in between’ the physical cameras’s viewpoints, effectively creating virtual left and right eyes.
Both approaches – left-and-right pairs of cameras, and computational photography – are equally viable for producing 3D 360 video, although the latter is likely to become the standard, as it offers several benefits.
An important consideration with 360 video is whether the camera is shooting single-axis horizontal video (traditional), or two-axis (vertical) as well. Think of your viewer wearing their VR headset… In traditional 360 video a user can turn their head from left to right, but what happens if they look up at the sky and then turn their head from left to right? What happens if they tilt their head 90 degrees to the side? A true VR camera will have cameras arranged in at least 2 axis of movement and ideally 3, to capture all the needed 3D visual data.
You can demonstrate the need for this by watching a typical 3D video and tilting your head 90 degrees to one side. You lose all 3D depth information because the original camera rig was shooting side-by-side video. It would need two more cameras arranged up-and-down to provide the necessary 3D image data.
Another way to demonstrate this is to hold up a thin book in front of your eyes horizontally. Adjust the book until you can see as little of its profile as possible. Now turn the book 90 degrees so it’s vertical. How much of it can you see?
It may look like a blurry mess, and this is perfectly normal, but you’ll see it appears wider. This is because your eyes are looking at the book from ‘either side’. You see more of it.
In the same way, a camera that only has two side-by-side cameras in a single axis cannot possibly capture the necessary visual information to reproduce the scene if you were to tilt your head 90 degrees.
An optimal 360 video camera will therefore have sufficient cameras, arranged appropriately, so that the world is captured from sufficient positions to cater for all possible orientations of a VR viewer’s head.
Soon to be Available on Your GearVR, Oculus Rift, Hive, Morpheus and other HMD!
Download for free through the MilkVR Store and other apps.
Metamorphosis is a Virtual Reality feature film created by Sudip Joshy and Geethika Sudip. Together they are setting out to use the inherent power of the virtual realities 1st person point of view to create live action narrative films that challenge viewer’s perception of social issues and constructs that might otherwise never have been. With the use of the Oculus Rift you experience both realities, and in doing so begin to understand the slight differences in perception that sometimes lead to misguided assumptions.
This details are laid out in METAMORPHOSIS VR. We recommend you visit them all to gain a full understanding of this unique and powerful project. All questions and follow-ups may be directed to Sudip Joshy at firstname.lastname@example.org