Barnardos ‘Lost’ POV VR Campaign
Earlier this year we were approached by London based production company The Sweet Shop to produce a virtual reality point of view (POV) experience for Barnardos which was to be accompanied by a 2D piece using footage extracted from the VR film for use on Irish television. The film was to highlight the increasing number of missing and neglected children in Ireland. 360 video was an ideal medium to convey this.
Set in a busy train station, the film sees a mother and her friend (viewer’s POV) purchasing train tickets. Only then realising that the mother’s daughter Ciara has gone missing. They then search for her before members of the public help the mother and they are eventually reunited.
Kandao Obsidian S
Upon receiving the brief for this film we knew the best camera for the job would be our Kandao Obsidian S. This camera was vital to the production for a number of reasons:
- Low light performance – Shooting in the dim train station meant that we would need to raise the ISO on the camera to expose the scene correctly, and using the Kandao allowed us to capture clean imagery even at higher ISO’s. For much of the day we worked at 800-1600 ISO with little issue.
- High frame rate – The 2D film was to feature extreme slow mo to enhance the sense of panic and to better highlight the other neglected children in the scene, using the Obsidian S allowed us to capture high res 6K imagery at 50fps which was perfect for these sections.
- Depth map capabilities – The post production team at Glassworks who incorporated the VFX into the film benefited from the depth map files provided along with the stitches as this allowed the team to be more creative in adding layered graphics, giving greater accuracy and ease when inserting into the footage. It also allowed the grade team to highlight the individual neglected children easier, a huge benefit of using this camera
- Low parallax, genlocked rig – Due to the close proximity of people and other objects, stitching this scene was to be very difficult particularly given its long duration and being a single shot. With the film being a POV experience, it was important to use a genlocked camera system as any shakes or wobbles could translate into stitching issues.
POV with Live Feed
During the shoot we worked closely with our camera operator/actor to ensure we captured the smoothest footage. This is critical to translate this into a high quality VR experience. The director felt it was important to still have a sense of shakiness captured in camera. This was instead of using a gimbal which would have given an unnatural, robotic look to the footage. It was important from a stitching perspective to limit the amount of head movement to a minimum. Rehearsing the routine multiple times and viewing the footage with Kandao Live preview we were able to determine how best the operator should move around. We also conducted testing of this prior to the shoot. This gave the talent and crew the knowledge of how best to move with the camera.
We used Kandao Studio, PT Gui, Mistika VR and Adobe After Effects to stitch the footage and post work.
To read more about the project, click this link. To watch the finished pieces, see below:
2D television cut: