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Into the Swell: Making a 360 Surfing Experience

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(dramatic music) (sounds of waves) – Today we’re creating a 360 video showing what it’s like to surf in Tofino. – I mean, I hope we can give an accurate sense of what it’s like to surf. I, if this doesn’t, then, there’s probably not gonna be much else that does. – What I’m tryin’ to go after creatively with the piece is to sort of capture that inner peace that the surfer would feel, like, when they’re out there, that that that, their, their own moment of clarity with the waves. It’s always a challenge with VR, but, y’know, we’re just hopin’ for good waves, and that they can just catch ’em and we can, uh, with our cameras. – To me like, I look at VR and like, 360 filming, and and, as the, the opportunity to give people memories. (dramatic music) – Soon as I saw VR I was just… I don’t know, I got addicted, and we were just, you know we we, got in early, off the ground, and we just sort of really, you know, put our backs into it and tried to figure out the space. – I think it’ll be good, later. High tide, over here.- You think it’s gonna be good day, or? – Yeah, we’ll get some. – Hannah, this is feelin’ good for you? – Yes. (laughing) – So why don’t we head to uh, to the gear room and start getting kitted up, take a look at what we got set up. – Take a look? Be so awesome. – ‘Cause it’s a strange perspective, ’cause you mean, with a 360 you’re basically putting somebody, giving them that human perspective. – It’s gonna be a challenge, like, the gear. There’s new cameras, there’s new software. – Depending on what we shoot, um, we really get a, a good understanding for cameras, we build a lot, basically build a lot of rigs, um, specific for different jobs. – So we need to be able to take those cameras, measure them up, and then, just keep trying new things with them until we find uh, the right set up.This is the design for our, our most recent camera mount, rendered in 3D. For the most part we’re using cameras that are not designed for VR, and we need to arrange them so that you get them as tight and as close as possible, because to shoot live video you need two to sky’s the limit cameras. It’s taking those cameras, using the visual data inside of it, and like, creating the sphere that you’re inside of in VR.- ‘Kay, who wants to try? You wanna go first? – Sure! – Just to see logos in front of ya. – Oh, wow. – That’ll give you a good idea of what, what we’re in for. Okay, there you go. – This is insane. – You haven’t even looked around yet! – You like, just wanna look at the subject instinctively, you know? But then you’re like, oh, look at all this stuff around here. – That was really really cool. – That was so tight. – Yeah, you liked it? Good. – I think if they can get a feel for like, how it feels to do certain maneuvers, and maybe stuff that they can’t go out and do on their own, that’s like, to me that’s what I’d like to portray to the viewers, like if they can go out and do an air reverse, you know, in, in my eyes, if that’s what they see, that’s a pretty cool, you know, concept, to, to bring to the masses at the end of the day.- We have all these ideas of how we wanna get a camera into the right place, and, you know, where, what the best view is, but, uh, in this instance, that’s, you know, to, to film it in the water like that, that pretty much means having them wear a camera, or having a camera mounted to their board if it’s not being held by our water operator. So, we have a few different, you know, rigs for testing, and Hannah and Noah have been amazing at kinda just rolling with it, and trying things. – Well I thought it was cool, I had just never really seen much of it before, so I’m really stoked to get to see it once it’s all finished. – The rain and the wind can pose a challenge. There’s just constant change and variables to work with, so, maybe you get two hours of good tide, and you have to work with that, so there’s always like, all these variables have to come together.- So this is sort of the body of this treatment, where we’re basically lookin’ to get you guys just rippin’ and gettin’ the most out of it, but don’t feel like you have to commit too early to anything. So let’s run like, let’s say like a half hour, and maybe then we’ll switch to the POV camera. (electronic music) – Right, so put that on the stick, and then just let it run the whole time.So, yeah, just gear up and we’re good to go. (electronic music) – It’s pretty difficult, but we got a couple there. There’s one of Noah that like kinda, did like, a front side air reverse, and he went right top of me, – Oh, amazing. – so you should be able to see, he didn’t land, I was underneath him, so when he landed, looking past it, but, should be a good clip. – Amazing. – How is it out there? – Um, there’s some really fun waves, but there’s just a lot of like, – A lot of, a lot of fight to get to ’em? – Mayhem in between, but, there’s, yeah it’s cool. – I’m gonna send this footage in, we’ll start looking at it and see how it’s working.- Sweet. – I checked the footage, I mean, I haven’t slept so I’m a little tired, but, I checked the footage from last night, and it is amazing. That’s the way every shot starts off, with someone looking at the camera, all confused, or a big hand. This is the selfie cam on Noah. Horizon line is just goin’ bananas, right? Um, that’s gonna happen a lot more when we’re out, when he’s out in the water, so, our job, you know, and it was a lot more difficult in the earlier days, is to straighten that line out completely. I haven’t seen footage that looks like this, ’cause we haven’t done a surfboard cam before, but like, she gets up, like watch her body, she’s just, and the horizon line is just goin’, but she’s still straight, so, man that looks cool. – That’s gonna look… – So cool. – Crazy. – I’m excited to see the drone shots, ’cause the texture of the waves from above, is so crazy.(drone whirring) – I mean, we got an awesome drone shot. It was just raining, but, the drone ops, like, they killed it, they got a great shot. – Was that Hannah right there on my screen? – Now the drone’s gonna go up to reveal our, our uh, location, right? And everything looks wicked. It’s cold, it’s cold water, like I give, I gotta give it to the surfers who are goin’ out there, I mean, they do it ’cause they love it. Like, a main thing is, is to have the viewer feel like they are surfing that wave with the surfer. With virtual reality there, there’s so much more to explore. (soft music) Just watching them out there and when, you know when they hit it, and they’re gliding, and you can see them, and it’s really ripping into that wave. It would be good to translate that over to the headset for people to feel like that.- And then right at the end of the day, the clouds kinda parted just on the horizon, and we got probably one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in ages. So, it kinda like, it felt like someone was on our team yesterday, which is nice. – That was a really cool sunset. That was, I think that was one of the better sunsets I can remember seeing, like, ever. – Like we just lucked out, man, could be anywhere in the world, and like, we just got the most beautiful sunset, and you guys nailed it. – Nice one man, I think that was like, meant to be. – Man that’s awesome. – It’s amazing. – Oh this is the test, test stitch, but look at that. It’s beautiful. That’s like, the end shot, and our sunset, I mean, it’s just awesome.I think this will probably tag out as our last shot of the piece. I think it’s really nice, really, really nice. We really have to like, massage it in post, so I think that’s gonna be a big challenge, post on this is gonna be a huge challenge, a lot of like, even like one lens just has a water droplet in the wrong place and you’ve gotta go in there and sort of paint it out. The horizon line is constantly waving, and that’s really unnatural to viewers. – So we knew that there was gonna be a lot of motion issues, and a lot, uh, things that we’d have to fix. Like, for this shot specifically, you sort of point out where the position of the horizon’s gonna be. You see like, I just turned it back on and now it’s flat.For the shots where there was a clear operator, you have to go in and uh, use set of tools, um. You go in and you uh, very much like in photo compositing, go through and, and just find like imagery to keep them outta the shot. – It’s really interesting to watch VR, you know, and like, the pipelines for VR progress, since, since we first started. Like, I actually have my desktop in VR, so I have a virtual desktop where I can do my work, and I can go back and forth. And so I’m really excited, we get to actually color right in, right in the headset, right in VR.(electronic music) – Uh, let me know what you see. – I think the surfers are gonna dig it, uh, I think when they see it they’re, they’re gonna maybe be even be baffled to how we got some of the shots. I mean, some of the shots when you remove the camera guy and stuff are just like, whoa. (laughing) – It’s beautiful! – I think the, the future of VR, I mean, we’re just scratching the surface, uh, it’s such a huge space, ’cause, there’s a whole other universe that we’re allowed to create. You know, you don’t really get that opportunity too much in life. (electronic music) .

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