workshop in parkway forest park setup

Teaching VR to the Next Generation

Virtual reality has already changed the way that we tell stories. By exposing younger people to VR, we are inspiring the next generation of creators and giving them tools to interact and engage with the world in new ways.

In particular, events like hackathons, VR cinematic challenges, and other workshops provide fun and educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn about VR. One such event, a youth workshop on VR Filmmaking was held at the beginning of this month in Toronto by ToasterLab. ToasterLab is a Canadian XR production company which focuses on enabling people to experience high quality mixed reality content from around the world. As part of the workshop, Toasterlab partnered with Arts in the Parks to showcase the finished videos at a VR pop-up event.

man in vr headset, woman with hands on hips

The goal of the workshop was to teach participants about VR filmmaking, and develop five pieces of site-specific 360 videos over two weekends. In the first weekend, Toasterlab coordinators worked with the kids on the concepts for their videos and on how to use the Insta360 to shoot their footage.

The pace picked up during the following weekend. All-day Saturday participants shot their footage, and that evening the team at ToasterLab stitched the footage together.  The next day, participants and members of the community enjoyed viewing the finished projects on the Oculus Go at Parkway Forest Park.

girl wearing VR headset with high rise in the background

Working together, participants in the workshop created five different “home movie”-style short films, along with a number of experimental VR videos. Here are brief descriptions of the five main pieces shown at the Pop-Up Cinema, on the last day of the workshop:

Sports – One group attempts to activate the area between a basketball court, a soccer field, and a playground, while also experimenting with interacting with the camera itself.

Dance Contest – This group choreographed a dance piece, with the camera looking on as a spectator.

Haoyi & Aila – A quick story about two spirits who haunt the park, and how they were once friends.

Adventure Story – A piece created by a group of enthusiastic 10-year-olds, shot in many locations around the park.

Call the Cops – A crook offers some kids candy before a cop chases him off.

A full playlist of all the videos created at the workshop can be found here:

Work Faster with SPIN Studio

“Workshops take a lot of advance planning and coordination to make sure all the components are in place before you start to work. You want to make sure that when you’re introducing people to new technology that it all works before you gather together; there is no quickest way to get the participants to lose interest than to run into technical issues that stand in the way of doing what you think they should do. This is why Pixvana SPIN Studio and VR Casting is an important part of our process. They make it easier to get videos to the headset whether you’re connected for streaming or need local playback with little human interaction. This makes its easy for people young and old to enjoy the content and allows us to focus on creating a memorable workshop experience for our participants.” – Ian Garrett, Executive Producer at ToasterLab

Two kids running around in a grass field

Pixvana’s VR Casting feature ensures that event coordinators can quickly send videos to multiple headsets and download the videos to the headsets for local playback. This eliminates the need to rely on a wireless connection during an event.

ToasterLab and Arts in the Parks will be hosting another VR filmmaking workshop and pop-up VR Cinema on August 23, 2018 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Parkway Forest Park. Details can be found here.

Use VR Casting to power your next event! Sign up for a free SPIN Studio account by clicking below.

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