Proposal for VR Video Industry

A GEARVR NEWS IDEA

by VRift720


CREATE A “SIDE-2-SIDE” (S2S)FORMAT

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THE CONCEPT IN A NUTSHELL:

Video is rendered from shoulder to shoulder only (not behind) or 3 quadrants of 90-degree arcs (or 270 degrees).  This in order to provide viewers with maximum comfort while helping the VR Movie Industry in numerous ways.  Swiveling about is no longer required, meaning viewers can sit in any standard chair for the duration of the movie.  S2S Format would combine the best features of both 180 and 360-degree videos yet trim away the disadvantages in the process.


REASONS:

  1. 360-degree video has poor resolution and inhibits filmmakers from having rigs, devices, tools or workers anywhere on the Set because it’s all being recorded in every direction.  This ends up requiring elaborate tricks to accomplish even simple things.  ||  S2S Format gives the Industry 80 degrees in a hidden back-side wedge in which to stash camera operators, sound guys, tools, rigs, props, other actors, extras, the director etc…

  • 180-degree videos are higher resolution due to spreading the current resolution of 2560×1440 over only TWO 90-degree arcs instead of 4 such arcs with 360 video.  But 180-degree videos lack peripheral vision and feel disconnected to the user when they look around due to black space on their sides.  ||  S2S Format gives the user who is sitting naturally in a chair the familiar feel of looking around (side to side) or shoulder to shoulder and always having something to see when doing so.  Now, swivel chairs are no longer needed.  Users can sit naturally and look around side to side and feel they are there, fully immersed, without needing the back arc.

  • It’s costly and wasteful to fill the entire 360-degree videos with interesting things going on in all directions, even more so when special effects are required.  Imaging trying to add special effects behind the audience where they won’t even be looking most of the time on the off chance they will turn away from the cool effects already happening in front of them || S2S Format wouldn’t render the back field and has clever ways (explained below) to encourage users not to even bother looking behind themselves.  The idea is to hybridize 180/360 videos into a new 270-degree video format, merging the best (while excluding the worst) features of both.

  • Current 360 Videos require sharing the resolution across four 90-degree arcs, which is essentially (2560/4) or 640 pixels per 90-degree arc … which is halved (320 pixels) for 3D-Depth.  ||  For S2S Format, it would only be (2560/3), meaning 854 pixels halved … (or 427 pixels per 90-degree arc).  Not great but still … that’s a 25% improvement over 360 videos!  As resolutions improve, the extra arc not wasted for back video would become even more pronounced in this format.

So … now you know my reasons, how does it all work?

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S2S FOR THE VR MOVIE INDUSTRY:

      The S2S Movie Player would be built by leading professionals who would license this technology to a burgeoning VR Movie Industry.  The benefits become obvious:  this would be a reliable system that does not require swivel chairs or elaborate tricks to draw the user’s attention behind them, which is mostly just a gimmick at this point anyway. 

      Users will sit facing forward like with any other movie but still get all the immersion and 3d-Depth and the total peripheral view provided by, and for, VR use.  The VR movie industry can produce movies with a lot more ease for producers and directors, who can put all the tools required behind them in the wedge that is blacked out and hidden from view. 

      The viewer will never have any reason to turn around to look behind them, meaning more comfort for the viewer, less confusion over where to look, or whether they are missing out on something cool going on behind them.  They’re not. 


S2S FOR THE VIEWER:

      You don the headgear and select a movie from your movie cache and it begins playing.  You are sitting in any standard chair and can look left and right up and down with an unrestricted view. 

      When you go too far to the right, a very feint buzzing sound zaps your right ear, subtly indicating you’re about to reach the View-Angle Cutoff.  If you continue past that point, all the visuals begin to fade to black instantly, compelling you to turn back toward the front.  This will fade the visuals back in at once and continue smoothly.  This happens very naturally. 

      It will become a “wrong” sensation to ever too far over your shoulder where there would be no video.  The user learns to keep mostly forward, but is free to look to the right and left … up to a certain point which is monitored by the S2S Video App at all times.


TURNING THE VIEW:

It is the responsibility of the VR Movie Director to turn the viewer when it is necessary to follow the action on-screen past the View-Angle Cutoff.  The on-screen action should never progress beyond that zone and, if it needs to, the viewer will be rotated inside the video not physically. 

      This should be done using an already-proven technique offered in the GearVR video game Dead Secret.  There is a really well-done eye blink technique when the viewer wishes to turn left or right 90 degrees:  there is a slight turning sensation (a few degrees at most) with an eye-blink of both lids (fully closed) then opening a fraction of an instant later with the view having rotated 90 degrees that direction.  It works so well. 

      Imagine a spaceship is flying across the screen past the viewer’s face over their right shoulder.  And you, as the Director, want the user to follow it all the way to the right.  There would be a fraction of a millisecond where the whole scene begins to turn right, then the viewer’s experiences an eye blink to block it out.  After the blink is over a fraction of a second later, they’re already turned.  

      Now that ship is entering the frame on their left again (not so much entering the frame but slightly to the left now of the viewer).  Savvy viewers who have gotten used to the rules of S2S Format would know what to expect and could turn their gaze to get an immediate lock on the ship and it would feel like they turned their body in a natural way without actually having to turn their physical body, which is a big turn off for current 360 videos. 

      I like the idea of 360 visuals, but the execution thus far has been sorely lacking.  I think we can simulate a 360-field of view by having the 270-degree Side-2-Side Format which adjusts the user’s view to compensate.

CAVEAT:

      This new format would allow audiences to see the world around them while maintaining maximum comfort, since the viewer is no longer required to spin around in a special chair, or stand for the entire film, and can relax as they normally do in the same way movies which movies have always been done… yet still derive the “360-field-of-view” effect yet with better than 360-degree pixel resolutions!

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S U M M A R Y

  • 270 degrees allows VR Filmmakers to create content much easier. 
  • No odd tricks to create VR films, just tried and true Industry Standards.
  • 360 video is too ungainly and awkward, too gimmicky, too boring in certain arcs.
  • 180 video has no periphery of vision, greatly reducing immersion.
  • +25% increases in “pixels per 90-degree arc” over 360 videos.
  • Filmmakers can do what they already know and don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
  • Directors regain control of where audiences look along the grid-lines.
  • User maintain control of where they look from Shoulder 2 Shoulder (S2S). 
  • Format name can be Shoulder 2 Shoulder or Side 2 Side and still work.
  • 270 merges all of the good and removes the bad of those formats.

Well, what’s your opinion of this idea?  Does anyone want to run with it and create the format?  Let us know!

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