We take you behind the scenes of our demo footage shoot and show you how we shoot high quality VR that feels immersive and lifelike.
Behind the scenes on our demo footage shoot
As we build out our VR video pipeline, we realized that the VR source media we acquired just wasn’t high resolution enough to feel immersive and lifelike. Most of the media and tools we were using generated master files at 4K resolution and the files lacked dynamic range and sharp details. So we set out in May to acquire a set of scenes with at least 10K resolution.
With the help of our friends at the Red camera company, we were able to use five 6K Red Dragon cameras. We needed resolution and detail, so we worked up a 2 day shoot covering four iconic Los Angeles locations. In cooperation with the agency, Bread n Butter, we were able to add three amazing dresses from the Haute Couture designer, Ralph Russo and three stunning models to add character and flash to our shoot.
Sizzling cameras, talent, and fashion
To prepare for the shoot, we worked with The Camera House, a premier rental house in North Hollywood. With help from experienced DPs, Jason and Josh Diamond, we built a custom rig using Canon fish eye lenses. This rig let us capture a 360 x 240 degree view with a one up and four around configuration.
On set, Pixvana co-founder Scott Squires directed the shoot and our hardworking video Producer Aaron Rhodes, brought all the elements together including talent, location, equipment and sound.
Bigger is better, especially when it comes to VR Resolution. That’s why we shot with 5 RED Weapons at 6K. The only time bigger isn’t necessarily better was when we had to move the cameras.
To make you feel like you had the best seat in the house at the Ace Hotel theater, we set up for a front row shot. To make sure, we had plenty of detail in shots we went for a high contrast light design to highlight the deco elements around the stage. The focus on the stage allows us to shoot dancers and models like you had a private fashion show.
“Shooting at The Theater at the Ace Hotel was magical. We had a classic Hollywood icon of a location for 6 hours… wouldn’t you have a private runway show too?” — Aaron Rhodes
Moving outdoors allowed us to bring crisp, detailed nature elements into our shoot. We set up in two locations to feel like you were in the middle of a photo fashion shoot. The photographer and crew add realistic atmosphere to action to the posing of our lovely models posed in both the rose garden and the bamboo forest. The Red camera was a perfect tool for capturing all the detail in the garden, you could read every message scratched in the bamboo.
The complicated setup meant that we captured only about 70 minutes of footage in Red raw format. Each 5K camera generated a huge amount of data adding up to over 7 terabytes of data for all our locations. VR capture is a complicated process but the crew was intent on getting the perfect imagery at every location.