It can be tough to pinpoint exactly where virtual reality fits within the current landscape of content creation. Is it the next big thing? Is it a flash-in-the-pan? Or is it, perhaps, somewhere in between?
Only time will tell for certain, but with all the positioning and experimentation of 2016 in the rear view mirror, 2017 is shaping up to be the year that VR content production really hits its stride.
At AbelCine, we sit in a unique position alongside the creatives, digital agencies, and brands producing VR content; we’re plugged into the companies that are not only creating the technology, but those improving the overall VR experience as well. From our vantage point, we’re beginning to see a rapid surge in brand-driven, narrative, and doc-style, non-scripted VR pieces. This VR content isn’t just aimed at the Head Mounted Display (HMD) consumer; it’s also being created for dome installation experiences, mobile devices, and even television. As technology improvements in both the acquisition and display devices keep pace with this rising demand, we anticipate that more ground-breaking creators will emerge to push the genre forward.
…continue reading VR Ready and Looking Towards the Future
This year is shaping up to be a definitive one for virtual reality cameras. There have been some major strides recently, with plenty of new options opening up for the VR world, such as live VR streaming, underwater capability, and 6K to 8K resolutions.
Check out our new chart, above, for an overview of the key technical specs for each model. These specifications also translate into differences in production workflow, all of which need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right VR camera for your project.
Click the image above to view a larger version of the chart, or download our Virtual Reality Camera Lineup chart.
As the year officially draws to a close, it’s time for our annual round-up of the most popular CineTechnica blog posts over the last 12 months. It’s been a busy 2016, and as usual a wide range of topics was represented – including new product announcements, comparison charts, workflow how-tos, custom scene files, and more.
Our Top 15 blogs are listed below in no particular order. Make sure to check them out, and let us know in the comments what you’d like to see us cover in 2017!
…continue reading Top Blogs of 2016
On Saturday, October 8, AbelCine held its first Fall Tech Expo. Taking place in our Chicago location on the Cinespace Studios lot, the expo featured a number of manufacturers displaying new gear for attendees to get their hands on. In addition, throughout the day, multiple raffles were held, along with presentations from manufacturer experts and our technical specialists on the showroom stage. Thank you again to all the manufacturers that participated as well to everyone who attended – we had a record turnout!
…continue reading Chicago Fall Tech Expo Recap
For this Tech Talk, Stuart English of Nokia stopped by to talk a little bit more about OZO and what the company has coming up. In addition to software updates, post workflow options, a new player, and distribution methods, Stuart discusses the philosophy behind the camera and VR’s potential as a communication and storytelling tool.
Also, be sure to check out my detailed first look at the OZO, which we posted earlier this month, to learn more about this exciting VR camera and its workflow.
The Nokia OZO is the first real professional, all-in-one VR / 360º video camera. We’ve been working with 360º video for a while at AbelCine, using everything from GoPro rigs to custom configurations with Sony and RED cameras. All of these are great solutions, and each has their advantages. OZO, however, goes beyond the camera rig and is designed to make the whole process of 360º video production smooth. The camera itself features eight 2K x 2K cameras and captures full 360 audio. It outputs all cameras over a single cable, which allows for live previewing via a custom Nokia OZO application.
You can record a raw stream of all the cameras internally to a media drive or externally to a Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio on SSDs. All the cameras are 100% synced, and the recording is a single file. This live preview and simple, single-file recording make OZO a truly unique tool that allows for easy, professional-quality 360º video recording. We’re excited to announce that OZO is now available for rental and sale at AbelCine, so watch my video above to learn more about how this system works.
Virtual Reality is currently at the forefront of discussion among content creators but 360-degree viewing has a long history. While the latest technology has made capturing and viewing VR more accessible, it is interesting to explore the unusual history that has brought us to the current Virtual Reality technologies.
The idea of surrounding viewers with moving images to create a Virtual Reality has been around for a long time. The first cinema patent was awarded back in ’97 for a process called Cineorama – that’s 1897, nearly 120 years ago! Cineorama premiered at the 1900 Paris Exposition, where ten synchronized 70mm projectors projected onto ten, thirty-foot high screens arranged in a full 360° circle. A viewing platform dressed like a hot air balloon, large enough to hold 200 people, was in the center. The film was shot by locking a circular array of ten cameras to a central drive, putting them in an actual hot air balloon, and filming as the balloon rose more than 1,000 feet above Paris. Cineorama’s only public viewing was short lived. It closed after only three days for safety reasons, due to the extreme heat from the projectors’ arc lights. The virtual experience was more dangerous than the actual reality.
…continue reading The Curious History of Virtual Reality