M7 Virtual worked alongside The Welsh Wildlife Trust back in 2016 to create a series of wildlife VR experience for children. The films were a great success and saw viewers swimming with Dolphins and flying like Kingfishers. The films were used in schools and at tradeshows around the UK to help promote the trust.

Dolphin Dive VR Experience

M7 were delighted to be contacted once again by the Welsh Wildlife Trust to create another series of experiences for several locations in South Wales: The first - Parc Slip, a 300 acre nature reserve with a variety of different habitat types supporting many different species. As well as this, over 10km of walking and cycling tracks are on offer. Secondly, Bryngarw Country Park - A popular sanctuary for wildlife and people alike. Bryngarw has a wide range of facilities for visitors to enjoy. The third experience was based around the valleys of Bridgend including Ogmore and Blaengarw. The concept of the piece was to create the sense of soaring over the valleys as the birds of prey in those areas do.

WILD Parc Slip

This VR experience featured a wide variety of wildlife which reflected upon the thriving surroundings of the Parc Slip nature reserve. Butterflies, Foxes, Highland Cattle and even Kestrels and Foxes were captured in full 360 video providing a unique look at these species in the wild, all through virtual reality. We also flew several drone flights over the site to capture the scale of the reserve, with the low setting sun providing great colours and ambience to the shots.

One of the more technical shots in the film was the hovering Kestrel. We knew that this shot would be nearly impossible to capture live in 360, but knew that with some clever compositing, we could achieve the results we wanted. The M7 team captured a 360 'clean plate' shot of the surroundings at Parc Slip which would later form the 360 background for the shot. The Kestrel was then filmed at British Birds of Prey Centre. The team of falconers at the centre were instrumental in allowing us to capture the shot and were able to have the Kestrel hover on command - Impressive. We used a traditional video camera to film the bird close up in slow motion to give us a highly detailed close up shot which could then be composited into the background shot captured at Parc Slip.

Parc Slip Wildlife Virtual Reality Video Kestrel

The 'Yellow Meadow' at Parc Slip was an area that could not be missed out of the VR experience, and the M7 team were able to capture the meadow in full bloom. The bright colours make for a striking opening to the film and show the beauty of the reserve.

Parc Slip Wildlife Virtual Reality Video Meadow

Bryngarw - VR Experience

The VR experience for Bryngarw Country Park was made alongside that of Parc Slip. Bryngarw offers a more family orientated range of facilities and it was important to show this in the VR video. Though wildlife such as Squirrels, Rabbits and Dragonflies feature, the main focus was a family enjoying the park on a day out. This gave the video more of a structure and gives the viewer a point of interest within the scenes. Areas such as the river, playground and meadows were all captured with the family, who were great to work with and helped bring their energy to the VR experience.

Bryngarw Playground

Despite there being a large number of insects around the ponds of Bryngarw, we knew it would be a challenge to capture them live in 360 video. With a small and lightweight GoPro Max 360 camera we were able to set up a camera in the reeds. The camera was left running for several hours in the hopes that we would capture the shot we wanted. After searching through the enormous video files once back at the office, the team discovered they had captured a great close up shot of a dragonfly landing right next to the camera. This was a great addition to the film and made for a really unique shot.

Bryngarw Dragonfly

WILD Valleys

The third VR experience of the series was primarily drone based with the concept of soaring above the valleys of Bridgend as if the viewer were an Eagle, commonly seen in that area. We used the DJI Inspire 2 along with the GoPro Max camera to give us stable, high quality shots. Some of the locations we flew from involved walking for 30-45 minutes with the equipment. It was here that this setup proved beneficial as it would have been difficult to carry a larger drone and camera rig with us to some of these locations. Despite it's small size, we were still able to capture high quality 5.7K 360 video using the GoPro Max. It's excellent built in stabilisation allowed us to achieve smooth results adding to the feeling of gliding around the valleys.

VR Drone Wales UK

The most unique shot in the film is without doubt the POV of a Golden Eagle flying. Similarly to the Parc Slip video, we worked with the British Bird of Prey Centre in Carmarthen. We worked with Alex and his team there to develop a custom harness for their Golden Eagle 'Midas' to wear. The harness was designed to be strong enough to carry the weight of the camera whilst being small and light enough to be comfortable for the bird, causing it no harm or discomfort. After several prototypes we had a sturdy rig which could be used to capture the shot. The bird flew with the harness and no camera attached until the falconers felt it was used to the setup, at which point the camera was mounted. In post-production we were able to remove all traces of the harness to make for a more immersive and realistic shot. The result is a unique perspective of this majestic creature and really adds to the VR experience.

Bird of Prey POV VR Video

To learn more about The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and the WILD VR experiences, click here.

A 360 VR experience like no other

The Wayback VR is a collection of films that are unlike any other kind of virtual reality film or VR experience. The films have been created to help those affected by dementia relive precious memories. Building upon the success of the 1953 Queen's Coronation VR experience, M7 Virtual were delighted to be called once again to shoot the next instalment of 'The Wayback VR' series - A recreation of the events during the 1966 football World Cup final. The film aims to capture the excitement surrounding the lead up to the match, with six chapters following different characters throughout their journeys.

Virtual Reality Experience Dementia

Travelling Back in Time

The VR experience allows viewers to immerse themselves in a variety of locations and scenes including a 1966 pub, barbers and living room. Great care was taken during filming to ensure that the scenes are portrayed as accurately as possible. The use of props were an important trigger to provoke memories for the viewer. Using period correct outfits, vehicles positioned in the street, home furnishings and many more details to ensure the 360 experience is as immersive as can be. It was amazing to see all the cast and extras in their period dress, and the set was looking fantastic thanks to the talented art department.

Wayback 360 Dance Scene

The Tech Bit

We opted to shoot the majority of the film using the Kandao Obsidian R camera. We chose this 360 camera for its reliability, live preview capabilities and ease of stitching. The live stitch capability allowed director Kevin Thomas to preview the scene in full 360 in real-time. This allowed Kevin and the team to choreograph scenes with great precision and ensure optimum camera placement. The six lens arrangement made stitching the footage easier thanks to the additional overlap compared to 4 lens 360 cameras. This was critical for some of the busier action scenes where there was constant movement between the stitch lines. For the lowlight scenes including the dance hall we opted for our Z-Cam E1 360 camera setup. The larger sensors in these cameras gave us a cleaner image to work with, and better image quality in the dark light as a result.

Wayback 360 Street Scene

Award Winning, Ground Breaking VR

The previous 1953 Coronation recreation 360 VR experience received a vast amount of media coverage. It featured on Sky News TV, Reuters, The Independent and many other news outlets. The VR experience also received a D&AD pencil award for the inaugural 'side hussle' category. It has also been awarded the 2018 Challenge Dementia Prize by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Similarly, the 1966 film has received mainstream media coverage, such as this bulletin on ITV News:

 

 

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Wayback 360 Street Scene

In a similar fashion to the previous Wayback film, the 1966 experience has received glowing reviews since it's release. The film was presented to Sir Geoff Hurst, a member of the winning England team on that day in '66. The World Cup winner enjoyed the film immensely and could see the clear benefits for those affected by Alzheimer's.

"The images in this film are just fantastic... it will be a huge help to people reliving the past."

To view the Wayback films, click here for Apple iOS or here for Android. Alternatively, more information can be found on the Wayback website by clicking the link here.

 

 

 

M7 Virtual were contacted by Liverpool based events specialists Meet & Potato to produce a 360 video experience for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles. The brief was to create an experience which mirrored the television commercial.  Produced a few months earlier and in keeping with the Mercedes-Benz campaign entitled 'Keeping You Moving'.

A custom-build 16m double-expanding articulated trailer was designed to house a combination of exciting immersive tech experiences. This stunning mobile venue invites visitors to explore Mercedes-Benz Van’s vision for the future of mobility in three multi-sensory zones.

 

Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles

During the pre-production phase, we worked closely with the team at M&P to create storyboards for the film. We adapted the Mercedes-Benz television commercial to make the film more suitable to 360 VR. We carried out some tests before the main shoot to experiment with transitions in order to keep the film flowing throughout. The installation was to include VR motion simulator seats, which would be coded to match the movements within the video footage. For this reason we wanted to keep the camera moving throughout the video to utilise this technology.

Meet & Potato

Jon Kelly, Founder and MD at Meet & Potato said:

“We’re delighted and excited to bring the Mercedes-Benz Vans UK brand story to life with a such an innovative immersive event. The roadshow trailer is set to welcome thousands of guests as it tours the UK and we can’t wait to see their reaction.”

Shooting took place over six days with the VR crew. We filmed at a number of pre determined locations across the North West and North Wales. Our first scene to shoot was the broken mirror featuring the Mercedes-Benz Citan Van. We used the Moza Guru Air gimbal combined with the Kandao Obsidian R to film this shot. We used a hover board to help move the camera in a smooth and stable manner. Whilst also holding the gimbal. Following this shot we filmed a number of extra shots using our Syrp Genie slider system, which allowed us to program the camera to move along at a set speed. This gave us silky smooth shots and allowed the crew to clear the scene, reducing post production work needed.

Day two saw us shooting the X-Class holiday scenes. We first shot the driveway shots of the family leaving the house, then travelled to Black Rock Sands Beach to capture the closing shots of the film. The Kandao proved to be a great camera for the X-Class interior shots.

Mercedes-Benz X Class

 

Day 3 of filming was short due to bad weather, we were able to capture the X-Class driving around the Great Orme in Llandudno, North Wales. To capture this unique chase cam perspective we mounted the camera to a body harness and used an e-bike to follow the truck along the road. We then removed the camera operator and bicycle using Mocha VR. The team stabilised the shot using Syntheyes. The images below show the removal of the bicycle and rider, comparing the original rough stitch with the final colour graded neat stitch.

Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales

[twenty20 img1="1954" img2="1953" offset="0.5" hover="true"]

The remaining shoot days involved the capture of the X-Class construction site scene, as well as the Vito van scenes.

After finishing post production of the film we delivered a h.265 file for Draw and Code to work their magic in programming the movements of the simulator chair. We then visited the installation prior to it's official unveiling to see a glimpse of the technology on offer. The simulator chair certainly added to the level of immersion we experienced, whilst still being subtle enough to cater for a wide audience.

For us the Wayback VR Video project started with one of our favourite producers, Helen Dulay (whom we have completed over a dozen projects with).  She had kindly told MPC about ourselves, as a team that shoots good quality 360 VR Video Content.  After an initial project with MPC, they then spoke to us about this collaborative project called WaybackVR.  We then met with the team at Thomas & Thomas Films to discuss the project further and understand how immersive technology could help.

The Wayback VR Video project was setup to help those that suffer from Alzheimer’s

If you know somebody living with Alzheimer’s, you'll know that they can often feel very vulnerable and helpless. As friends and loved ones, we do our best to give them the reassurance and support they need. But with The Wayback project its founders have found a way with virtual reality to go further and do much more to help. We were fortunate enough to be a part of the creation of the film and provided our 360 video expertise as the VR department on set.

Originally formed from a Kickstarter campaign, The Wayback is a series of virtual reality films that faithfully recreate popular moments from history, taking the viewer back to a familiar time and immersing them fully for a few minutes using virtual reality.  Wayback VR film transports people back to a moment firmly in the UK's national conscience; the Queen's Coronation in 1953. A moment that typically evokes very fond memories for those alive at that time.

After being approached earlier in the year by Thomas and Thomas Films based near Soho.  This follows a recommendation by well known post production house MPC.  Whom we had been working with on projects. We were really excited at the prospect of being part of The Wayback and couldn't wait for the shoot.

Blessed with perfect summer weather for both shoot days, providing a wonderful quality of light for the exterior shots and adding to the feel of the street party scenes.   Consequentially this also presented a challenge for us operating the cameras, with a build up of heat, meaning we had to monitor temperature levels throughout the shoot.

It was amazing to see all the cast and extras in their period dress, and the set was looking fantastic thanks to the art department.

It was like stepping back in time!

With the vast amount of choreography required for each scene, it was critical for director Kevin Thomas and the client to be able to see the action live as we were filming. For this reason we chose to use our Teradek Sphere system to stream live playback to two iPad Pros. One for Kevin himself and another just for the client. Combined with our Izugar Z4XL rig this setup worked brilliantly throughout the two shoot days despite intense heat, during both the interior and exterior scenes.

The experience was shared with the residents and staff of a Surrey based care home. Take a look at their reactions by clicking on the image:

Click the image below to watch the finished film on Youtube:

To read more about the project please take a look at The Wayback website: http://www.thewaybackvr.com or read the Guardian article here.

It’s always interesting when you see a foreign number pop up on your phone.  Furthermore when the conversation opens with “Are you the leading 360 VR Guys?". So, it was a great pleasure to take a call from a Los Angeles film production company with them continuing to describe a project in the UAE.  It turns out that their UK partners had highly recommended ourselves as a team that shoot cool 360 VR videos with lots of complex movement.

The project was in the Emirate of Sharjah right next to Dubai.  The purpose of the film  was to help their tourism efforts, presenting Sharjah at the World Travel Market 2017 (WTM).  After the initial panic and checking availability of kit and personnel, it was booked, and we were on our way.

A team of two camera operators, 3 peli-cases, 2 drones and lots of hand luggage later, we touch down in the Middle East.  Met with the client, discussed the shoot and had 3 days to film it.

The project was to feature around the Mleiha Archaeological Centre which blends history, nature and culture in spectacular natural surroundings.  As a result the shot list was broken into 5 key components

  1. The Location
  2. The Mleiha Centre
  3. Historic artefacts
  4. Dune Bashing in Buggy and 4x4
  5. Sunset camp

The 360 VR Video follows a typical day for a visitor, but the footage was anything but typical.  It was M7’s first time in the desert and we were blown away by the colours and light shift.

The first day was to fly on a paraglider above the desert as it gave a calm flight for viewers to see the extent of the Sharjah desert.  What we hadn’t allowed for was Fog.  Yes think dense thick fog down to 2m visibility as we drove to location at 4am in the morning.  Our spirits were being questioned on day one of the shoot.  However, we knew the location was slightly elevated and pushed our location team to take us out the paraglider spot.  What followed was truly breath taking, as we climbed you could see the desert mountains rising from the low seated fog.  This was a photographic dream as even the locals hadn’t seen anything like this.

 

We strapped our camera to our paraglider guy and off he went……soaring into the sky capturing amazing 360 VR footage.  We were excited to see him land and whilst checking footage…. he himself didn’t want to miss this spectacle himself so therefore launched again with his trusty selfie stick and gopro camera for his own portfolio.

The opening shot was nailed and was truly stunning - looking like something you’d expect to grace the cover of National Geographic.  Team Spirits were high, and we were so glad we went for the shot as others might have been put off by the fog.

Teleport yourself to the Desert in 360 VR

The Mleiha centre itself is interesting with lots of little nuggets to film, we opted for skeleton relics using our slider.  Light was dark in the centre as they concentrate on the display boards.  We opted to move the camera again but as it was a close space the slider would be the best option and armed with our trust Zcam rig.  The Z-cam having a larger MFT sensor is ideal for lowlight situations whilst also having smaller parallax issues in post.

Time to break out the drones.  Permissions were signed off and we were good to fly in Sharjah desert.  We used the inspire 2, mainly as it much easier to travel.  Considering the airline restrictions to Lipo batteries on flights etc these days.  It is also a stable rig with smooth flight.  We always find that dropping a couple of drone shots just adds to the story and location setting.

The Next shots were the fun ones, capturing 360 dune bashing in Polaris Buggies and 4x4 trucks.  Rigging cameras is always a fun discussion.  Do we go for the action, or more of a user’s viewpoint.  On the Polaris the socket set came out and we removed the roof, us both user and action views.  We rigged the Kandao Obsidian R for this shot, mainly due to the huge overlap of lens and good dynamic range of image.  Rigging 360 VR also needs careful consideration. Resulting in that anything you put in shot will need to be removed in post.

We then finally we had under 2 weeks to complete the offline and neat stitch for the client.

The resulting 360 VR experience is 2 minutes in length and really does teleport you to Sharjah Desert in an immersive video experience.

 

 

Excited to work with Leeds based marketing agency Savvy on their 360 VR MTV experience.  Possibly the first ever reality TV  360  virtual experience captured in POV. For the well known Geordie Shore show. Viewers are given the chance to experience what it's really like to be right in the middle of one of the show's infamous house parties.  Thanks to the POV (Point of View) aspect and gender choice of viewing the experience.

The highlights of the videos include arguments, food fights, 'cheeky action' and a party in the hot tub.  A normal day and the usual goings on of the show and series!

The concept story line was developed by Savvy with input from the production team including M7virtual on VR/cameras and the MTV Creatives.

Working together we created two separate videos for the Geordie Shore 360 experience. In the first video - Geordie Shore 14 Become A Geordie Lad, viewers can experience the house party as if they were actually one of the Geordie lads. The same with the second video - Geordie Shore 14 Become A Geordie Lass, viewers can experience the night as if they were a Geordie lass, with the 360 rig this time being positioned on a female cast member.


With two different ways of viewing the night users have a more personal viewing experience.  Ensuring it is more suited to the individual.   Encouraging even greater immersion and stronger feeling that the viewer is actually there. The 360 VR MTV experience gives the viewer a look at whats to come before the new series of the show.

On location we used a combination of 360 VR cameras for Savvy lead project - MTV.  Primary camera was a 190 degree fish eye izugar lenses on 4k full CCD.  A GoPro cube and  finally a waterproof double lens 220 fish eye  cameras for the hot tub and outdoor scenes. Each shot was metered, planned and prepared for in advance keeping the shoot flowing from start to finish.  We were able to give live feed onset to Savvy and their Client

Geordie Shore Male View POV

Link to Promo (which is bonkers)

http://www.mtv.co.uk/geordie-shore/videos/geordie-shore-14-vr-promo


The videos can be launched through the Samsung VR platform, Facebook and Youtube 360 films. To date the videos have had total views of over 220'000 on Facebook alone. This project was a fun one for us.  Many of the Geordie Shore cast had never experienced VR before.   Afterwards is was clear to see they had fun on this shoot also!

360 VR MTV is a great way for fans to engage with their favourite cast members in a whole new way.  A great creative concept developed by Savvy Marketing whom we enjoy partnering with on 360 VR Shoots.

Working with Miles Partnership of Sarasota Florida was an exciting overseas project for the M7 360 VR Experts. Miles Partnership are a leading marketing agency in the US who specialise in tourism. The shoot would include a huge variety of shots and amazing locations. Everything was captured over a three day period. This project had a fast turnaround for a project of this size and for a project that is 4000 miles away from the U.K.

Amelia Island 360 VR Video Experience

Our team of 360 VR Experts were able to travel with ease thanks to two Peli cases and three ThinkTank rucksacks. Travelling light is essential but safety of kit is also paramount. On this shoot the M7 team consisted of 3 members including a VR Camera operator, Director of Photography and a Digital Image Technician (DIT). We also collaborated with Miles Partnerships preferred drone operator, 83 West. Jan from 83 West had the capability to fly drones in the US thanks to holding an FAA licence. However we brought the 360 drone expertise to the shoot for our client.

360 Video USA Horses

Some of the shots included drone shots over Fernandina Beach, segway shots at Amelias Wheels in Franklintown, car shots at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, beach horse riding shots at the Kelly Seahorse Ranch. Our favorite is the stunning opening shot where the viewer can feel like they are really walking out onto Fernandina Beach at sunrise towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Moving 360 VR Experts

Much of the focus of the shoot was on point of view (POV) shots. In the promotional video we also used an underwater transition, allowing the viewer to teleport to locations. The underwater transition shot was from a surfer in the Atlantic ocean to a guest in the swimming pool at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.

Drone 360 VR USA

It is critical to have multiple 360 rigs to shoot very different shots.  We utilized GoPro's, ZCams, Gimbals with Izugar Lenses and Kodaks on this shoot. We utilized our kit to deal with the many moving shots within this film. For example we used our Kodaks to film the underwater transition shot.

Omni Resort Florida 360VR

All of the team enjoyed the Sunshine State, if only for just a few days days! We hope to work with Miles Partnership and their preferred drone operator, 83 West, in the near future.

With ourselves and the vast majority of the professional 360 video industry relying on custom modified GoPro and DSLR rigs to capture their films, we were intrigued upon the announcement of Nokia's venture into the 360 video camera market with their 'OZO'. How could a company who are not the leaders in the mobile phone industry suddenly produce a camera product that would dominate the 360 video camera industry?

Featuring eight 2K sensors, 195° lenses and a stereoscopic compatible design amongst it's main features, the initial specs sounded rather promising. The price tag of $60,000 however, left many questioning whether this could possibly be justified. This has now become very apparent with many professional 360 companies such as ourselves not being able to justify the purchase of this camera when compared to existing rigs.

One of the selling points of the OZO is the ability to monitor the feed live on set, which includes support for HMD's such as the Oculus Rift, giving directors and clients the ability to see a relatively accurate representation of what will be captured. Whilst this is a great feature to have, other rigs such as GoPro's, Blackmagic Micro Cinema cameras and Sony A7S rigs can be hooked up to an external monitor for framing and exposure setting. We also often opt to use a Samsung Gear 360 camera in conjunction with our main rig, capturing footage during the takes and then giving the director the ability to instantly playback footage in the Gear VR headset, further negating the OZO's monitoring advantages.

The versatility of rigging the camera is also very limited due to the size and form factor of the Nokia OZO. Unlike GoPro or Z-Cam rigs that can be rigged almost anywhere in anyway due to their small size, the OZO can not be rigged easily particularly for moving shots such as a drone or gimbal.

Whilst the rig does offer the ability to capture stereoscopic footage, this is limited to the front 240° of the rig, with the back of the rig having a stereo blind spot, meaning it is not a full stereoscopic rig.

Whilst the specs promise Eight 2Kx2K sensors with global shutters and 10 stops of dynamic range, the footage we have seen and worked with has left much to be desired, and verging on unusable for professional shoots. Many other 360 studios have claimed better results using a simple 4 camera GoPro rig, albeit not stereoscopic and this is something we have found ourselves too. The OZO produces an overly contrasty image with crushed blacks and blown highlights with poor roll off, a high level of noise even at the base ISO of 400 and an unpleasant level of moire and artifacting in high detail scenes. The rig lacks versatility in terms of its frame rate, with a maximum of 30fps meaning that slow motion is not an option with this camera and motion lacks smoothness in a VR headset compared to higher frame rates such as 60fps.

In terms of ingesting and stitching the footage, to our surprise we learned that only a high end Mac Pro computer was compatible, leaving us with no way of working with or exporting individual cameras to edit in stitching software such as Kolor Autopano on Macbook Pro or iMac systems, clearly a massive issue especially on set where a Mac Pro system may not be an option. We've also found that rendering times from OZO Creator are far longer than traditional rigs, often more than 6hrs for less than a minute of footage.

The lack of videos available online shot with the Nokia OZO is a clear indicator that 360 creators have realised that this camera is a long way off being a viable tool for professional shoots, and the cost seems way off the mark relative to other rigs of comparable quality. Many professionals within the community have expressed their opinions and negative reviews of the OZO on closed forums and message boards.

The intensive marketing campaigns Nokia has carried out have misled agencies who may have missed the early 360 video boom and are looking for an all in one solution to capture 360 and these agencies simply assume that with a price tag as high as that of the OZO that this must be the best 360 VR camera rig when sadly this simply isn't the case.

Earlier this year we were briefed to create a 360 video experience for Visive Group, a company specialising in LED lighting solutions, based in Wrexham. This was in partnership with North Wales creative agency, Fotofire. We had a number of locations to capture across the UK including London, Luton and Manchester among others, with the aim to showcase a small selection of the company's LED installations using our 360 video technology in various creative ways.

360 VR video headset experience demo

The opening scene of the video features Charles, Visive's Marketing Director introducing the video at their headquarters. We wanted this scene to be natural whilst still having a polished feel to it and once we had agreed on the camera position set out to prepare the background ready for our first take:

360 VR video camera setup

The majority of the shots were to be captured during the evening/night to enhance the appearance of the LED strip lights. This presented challenges to the team when capturing the 360. Firstly the low light levels would mean that noise in the image would be an issue, so utilising the best possible camera settings was essential, but also meant that we had to use a variety of post production techniques to remove this. The wide variety of colour temperatures also meant that balancing the colours in the shots took some careful thinking and work in post to get the best results possible.

360 VR video capture UK

Motion blur was another low light issue we would have to contend with, making stitching more difficult due to the decreased sharpness and contrast in the images, particularly during the moving 360 car shots.  This meant range stitching wasn't an option, so we had to stitch the shot whilst the cameras were static to get the most detail for the software to work with.

Taxi London 360 VR footage

By connecting our 360 camera rigs to a monitor on location, we were able to determine the best framings and camera settings for each of the cameras in the rig, meaning that we captured the best results possible to make life in post that little bit easier. With prior knowledge of the overlap of each of our rigs, we were able to carefully place the cameras in position and have full confidence that the main subject would not be compromised by any ugly tears or seams, such as the Marriott Hotel shots in London.

Hotel 360 VR capture London

This was a fun and interesting shoot and our first venture into low light 360 video shooting, yet with some careful planning and consideration we were able to produce a polished product which greatly pleased the client.

Check out the full video below:

Visive have used this 360 video footage at a number of conferences and exhibitions to promote their products in an exciting and engaging way. It gives Visive the ability to teleport viewers to their various installations across the country, allowing them to see the product in use without the need to physically go there.

360VR Video

Towards the end of November 2015, M7 Virtual were contacted by London based studio Stink to create a 360 video tour of the Boundary Hotel in Shoreditch, East London. The 360 film shoot for a leading Hotel Booking Website, whose aim was to start introducing 360 video tours around its hotels as a way for customers to see before they book.

Arriving late Sunday evening gave us time to prepare our 360 camera equipment ready for the shoot the following day. We couldn't resist squeezing in a little 360 filming ourselves that night, attaching our 360 camera rig to the roof of a black cab as the kind driver took us for a drive around London's famous Oxford Street, Regent Street and Leicester Square among others. To find out more about this click here.

360VR Video

With an early wake up call on Monday morning the M7 Virtual team took to the London Underground and headed over to our first meeting point at the Boundary Hotel's reception. Here we were greeted by the Stink Film director who introduced us to the crew and we had chance to discuss the call sheet for the days shots. 4 Locations with 6 shots planned in total meant this was going to be a busy morning of shooting. We then took to the roof top garden for the first filming location.

The rooftop scene played host to the opening and closing shots of the video. With the rain clouds closing in fast we knew we were up against the clock to get these shots in the bag. Luckily Pete our virtual tour guide nailed his lines and within just a few takes we had gotten the shot we wanted. We shot a couple of safety takes using our other 360 camera rig to give us more options during the post production stage.

360 VR Video

The two rigs we used for this shoot were the Freedom 360 Broadcaster and Freedom 360 Original, each have their own advantages and we would chose the most appropriate rig for each shot. The extra overlap and vertical arrangement of the cameras on the Broadcast rig meant that the majority of the shots were captured using this rig.

Having shot the two roof top scenes we headed back inside the hotel and setup in the second location. This scene took place in the executive suite of the hotel, where virtual guide Pete introduces the audience to their room, encouraging them to look around. This room provided some challenges in setting up the cameras. The first issue we had to overcome was where we would mount the camera. The room had a number of mirrors, windows and other reflective surfaces so a great deal of time and thought was taken to ensure the rig would not been seen in the shot. The next issue we faced was the extreme dynamic range of the light outside versus the relatively dark hotel room. By attaching a monitor to each of the cameras in the 360 rig we were able to set the cameras accordingly and find the correct exposure.

With Pete nailing his lines once again we took a 10 minute walk to the next location, Cargo. This unique area is famous for its urban street art with artists such as Banksy having pieces there. This was a great location with lots of hustle and bustle which made getting the perfect shot that little bit trickier.

Cargo

Pete receiving directions from the team following the first take at Cargo.

Elliott

Sound check on the live recording whilst the others keep eyes on the weather.

The final shooting location for the day was Bounce Shoreditch, a unique bar where ping pong was founded. This location saw the crew feature in the shot as they played ping pong at various tables in the background whilst Pete does his piece to camera.

Bounce Shoreditch

Bounce

With one more shot of Bar tender Carlos making Pete a cocktail, the shoot was a wrap. The footage was then backed up at Stink HQ and it was then up to the M7 Virtual team to stitch and post process before providing the files for Stink to create the final edit.

 

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