Category: Video

Tiltage

Been making a back up video in case there is any problems with the Vive installation. Some short snippets below.

Note to Self:

  • Nice atmospheric immersive quality to these snippets that gets lost when exported.
  • Tech not there yet these export these Tilt Brush video captures and then import into unity as 360 immersive sequences.
  • Was going to import the video and embed on a few walls in Unity but security bug with QT on pc, so decided to leave it alone and use still images instead, might have been too busy anyway.

Myth Picture

Towards the end of 2016 Adam Curtis’s documentary Hypernormalisation caused a bit of a stir, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex ‘real world’ and built a simple ‘fake world’ that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

A few days ago an interesting interview emerged where Curtis discuses art, power, self-expression, individualism, freedom and myth. Read it in full here.

Art

“We may look back at self-expression as the terrible deadening conformity of our time.” – Adam Curtis [1]

Individualism

“Capitalism is about self-expression; art is about self-expression. Art is far from being a radical outside movement.” – Adam Curtis [2]

Power

“But the computers know the truth. They see us as a group. We’re actually quite similar to each other. We have the same desires, ambitions, and fears. Computers spot this through correlations and patterns….Computers can see us as large groups, but they’re glum and only aggregate us to sell us stuff. In reality, the computers give great insight into the power of common identity between groups. No one’s using that. What’s sitting with the computers is a way of seeing new groups, new common identities between people.” – Adam Curtis [3]

Freedom

“The contemporary idea of freedom is very much an individualist one. I, as an individual, want to be free to do what I want to do.” – Adam Curtis [4]

Myth

“I sometimes wonder whether conspiracy theories are an attempt to re-enchant the world in a distorted way…It’s like religion knocking on the door and trying to come back in a strange and distorted form. A sense of mystery beyond our own understanding of the world. If you ever talk to conspiracy theorists, that’s the sense you get from them. A sort of almost romantic sense of awe that there is this dark mysterious thing that a rational thing could never penetrate. That’s sort of religious.” – Adam Curtis [5]

“A myth that tries to explain the things you don’t understand and gives you a sense of consolation beyond your own existence. I think that’s really good. We’re missing that.” – Adam Curtis [6]

Melodrama

“The hyperindividualism of our age is not going to be going back into the bottle. You’ve got to square the circle. You’ve got to let people still feel they’re independent individuals, yet they are giving themselves up to something that is awesome, greater, and more powerful that carries them into the future beyond their own existence. That’s what people are yearning for.” – Adam Curtis [7]

Note to Self:

  • The points this and his previous films like ‘Century of the Self’ raises really made me dwell on certain topics…‘there has been this idea that the function of art is to change the world, and it will do so by changing the way people think and see. Whereas , if you look at the history of art, really brilliant art steps back and shows to you clearly what really is going on in the world you live in, in a vivid, imaginative way.’
  • ‘… artists have retreated over the last 10 to 15 years into either obscure creative bubbles or into money…none of it will actually go out and engage with the world, it’s a retreat.’
  • The current system of power is pretty invisible to us. It resides in finance, in all sorts of new kinds of management, and within computers and the media, which involves invisible algorithms that shape and manage what information we get.
  • The function of art is to go out and explain the world to people, and do it in ways that make it vivid and imaginative.
  • What’s waiting to be invented is a new kind of imaginative language that describes the world of power, which is invisible to us.

360 Multi-verse

Firstly lets differentiate between Full VR and 360/VR video.
With Full VR:

  • Each moment is generated live
  • The user interacts to control what happens

With 360 Video:

  • Its a single experience rendered in advance
  • The viewer chooses where to look
  • In traditional film editing we think in terms of frames.

    “In a 360 environment a ‘frame’ is a relative window of experience derived from the visitor’s field of vision. This makes everything a potential frame, but also makes a premeditated frame based on my own interests presumptuous and, well, wrong most of the time.” [1]

    These visuals below are more reflective of the spatial reality of the medium, more apt to its multi-verse tendencies where every path exists simultaneously. Worlds of experience extending from one another, much like ripples in a pond or rings in a trunk of a tree.

    points-1

    We need to identify the potential experiences in each world, evaluate the probability that they will occur, and then take into account how a visitor might engage with them, I could then identify possible paths. I could rotate these worlds around each other, using the most probable potential experiences to guide someone through.

    points-2

    Then perhaps I could work backwards through these layers of experience, take what insights editing these worlds provide and use them to help shape the creation of these worlds from the start.

    “…there needs to be the existence of a unique link between the mind of the creator and the mind of the visitor. It appears to be very specific to this medium and something that could have never existed until presence became a factor.” [2]

    Note to Self:

    • Work out a DIY method of writing a 3D treatment/screenplay. current methods will not suffice.
    • To capture proper 360 green screen film footage of actors, a curved circular cyc green screen would have to be constructed, with maybe spot lighting from above?

    Triptych + Equirectangular

    equi-5

    Another early 20th century film. Abel’s Gances 1927 film ‘Napoleon’ recently remastered, and featuring a famous triptych finale.

    equi-1

    equi-3

    This is an other example of early 20th century cinema attempting to push the envelope and again I see similarities with what is going on now with 360 films, especially Monoscopic 360 video.

    equi-2

    equi-4

    The triptych three-parts screens in the final sequence remind me of the Equirectangular format necessary in the 360 environment. Many innovative techniques were used to make the film, including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, POV (point of view shots), multiple cameras set ups, multiple exposure, superimposition, underwater camera, kaleidoscopic images, film tinting, split screen and mosaic shots.

    Resulting

    After recent experiments with 360 video I have worked out a quick methodology so I can work quickly without going back a few months later, and saying how the hell did I do that?

    methology-1

    So basically the rule of thumb is take the 360 source video or stills from the iPhone directly to the laptop, and NOT from the 360 camera directly. The image should be in Equirectangular format and look like the above. This is Monoscopic 360 video, not Stereoscopic 3D which is used in more high end 360 cameras. A standard 360 video is just a flat equirectangular video displayed on a sphere. Think of Monosciopic like the face of a world map on a globe, whereas Stereoscopic 3D can add another level of immersion by adding depth data between the foreground and background. Stereoscopic means you have two copies, a left eye and a right eye.

    methology-2

    The image should NOT look like the above image, if it does it won’t look correct when played via VR app in the Google cardboard headset. The spatial injector code only needs to be applied if its to be uploaded to Youtube.

    Drag the video above to see it 360 (view in Chrome browser). This is a 360 video taken by my Ricoh Theta S 360 camera and a blender 3D rotating object, both imported into Final Cut Pro X, exported as an MP4.

    The exported mp4 is then uploaded to the iPhone again, and opened in a free VR app, one thats been working well for me is HOMiDO player, you simply open the app, hit ‘video player’, click on the folder icon, find your mp4 on the iPhone, then click ‘choose’ and it compresses the video for 360 play. Slot the iPhone it into your VR headset and bobs your mothers brother, you are immersed inside the video.

    Note to Self:

    • Strange to see a 3D scan from blender rotating inside my studio.
    • Need to source some good 360 source material, maybe from some woods/forest?
    • Ricoh Theta S video quality is very soft/low quality, so try to get around that by lighting perhaps?
    • Do some proper stitching/editing experiments so no joins/lines and imagery looks ok across 360 sphere.