360 videos are the most spread form of immersive content, available on Youtube and Facebook, as well as dedicated apps such as Within, Arte 360 and Littlstar. They are usualy compared with computer generated images, which allow greater flexibility in how realities are shown and experienced.
Still or moving, stereoscopic or not, 360° has proven a challenge for many an amateur and professional. How to hide all the production crew and equipment? What motions induce audience sickness? How to direct my comedians? How to edit a sequence? In a wrapping image, where are people looking? Should i add stereoscopy or not? And what should we show and when? Who are they supposed to be?
So many questions triggering an infinity of answers. 360° production accessibilty has lowered dramatically and doing simple 360° stills and video recordings with basic stereoscopy has brought many in the elaboration of a new visual language. An unprecedented fast cycle which we are documenting this with a Youtube playlist, accessible on any VR headset, from Cardboards to Vive. We welcome submissions which you think are writing a page of the VR creation grammaer.
Even if the insights on filming and editing in 360° are well distributed and we can bid farewell to the days of sickness inducing camera motions, crude stitching and fast paced editing, one topic stays:
For many a viewers, it seems photorealistic 360° spherical images bring a unique challenge: the need for interaction and agency. in other words, if the virtual world i am seeing is so real, why can’t I move around and do everything i’m supposed to be able to do?
This has motivated many to look for alternative technologies which would be able to translate actual spaces directly into the virtual. There is a shared fascination for upcoming technologies which will blend photorealism with volumetry, thus allowing 360° photorealistic to be fully explorable and interactive.
If lightfield cameras are still expensive and unproven, the evolution of accessible photogrammetric tools such as the Lidar scans employed in Palimpest and In The Eyes Of the Animal, 3D sensor technologies such as the Structure Sensor or the Depthkit, using a kinect and a standard camera open up the possibility to break away the bubbles and go explore virtual worlds with full agency.
As usual, what will matter most are the stories, and on this level, we are still hungry for more, whether shot on a million dollar rig or a 100$ camera.