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.

We have always wanted to capture the stunning landscapes of Wales in a cinematic 360 Virtual Reality Film. Being based in North Wales we are blessed with Snowdonia National Park 1 hours drive away. Over the course of 2 years where time has permitted we have ventured both night and day into the welsh wilderness.  We have witnessed storms, sunrise, sunsets, the milky way and snow blizzards but the results have all been worth it.

A self-produced project, but always with the intention of publishing it, when the time is right. With a traditional Welsh voice accent this could be a moving film which portrays a landscape of myths and legends.

Hidden Landscape through 360 Virtual Reality Film

The landscape is untouched and there are many hidden gems where you often wonder has anyone seen this before. Stream and rivers run wild, the wildlife and cattle in their abundance just seem to roam freely. It is a mesmerising landscape which offers so much for photographers who can often be seen on our travels. But as yet we haven't  met any fellow VR producers on our trails!

Often needing to walk, hike and climb into setting, the choice of camera is critical to our planning.  Primarily we choose reliability and weight as the key decision factors. At the end of the day you don’t want to hike 4 hours up a mountain for the camera to fail. We have mainly relied upon Kandao Obsidian and GoPro Custom rigs for these shoots, but the Sony a7s rig was used for the milky way capture.

Reliability & Quality 360 VR Cameras

We have used Drone 360 VR, Sliders, VR Gimbals and RC Cars to capture many of these shots. But to be honest the static camera rig has come into its own as the landscape is so beautiful. When we are travelling on overseas shoots, we have given people sneak peeks and little glimpses into our wonderful wales 360 Virtual Reality Film. Each time they say “where is that, its so beautiful”.

So its only right we give a little snippet of a Wales Walk VR project to you now. Keep posted for when we release the final cinematic video.

If you would like to find out more about our 360 tourism videos get in touch with us today!

The M7Virtual team have delivered another truly magical 360 VR experience. For this stunning resort in Barbados. Sandy Lane is iconic and regarded as one of the most prestigious resorts in the world. This virtual reality films attention to detail and quality is second to none. Using VR shows just why luxury resorts and destinations should be using 360 tourism Videos to promote their destinations.

Part of The Leading Hotels of World Portfolio

Several different VR camera setups were used to capture the expansive grounds of this resort. There are three golf courses as well along with the island's largest and most renowned spa. The VR experience takes the viewer on a detailed and exciting tour covering the best that the resort has to offer. Some amazing golf courses are on offer, including the Tom Fazio designed Green Monkey and the famous Old Nine and the Country Club.

Our award winning virtual reality team have delivered a VR tour, allowing the viewer to feel and see every element of the resort, its amenities and activities. The aim of any VR film is to put viewers at the center of the story. This technique of VR film is changing the way viewers experience, interact and engage within the hospitality and travel industry.

The full “try before you buy” experience with VR

The M7 team enjoy using the Kandao Obsidian VR camera and it was perfect due to its reliability and quality. Another key element of this camera is allowing us to change the exposure on each individual lens. It is critical with the changing internal and external light conditions of any resort. The teams expert knowledge of cameras makes the post production phase so much easier and much better quality.  Again moving the camera and having it flow through the resort was key to the user experience of the film. The viewer is magically floated through the whole resort and does have the feeling of being there.

We used a variety of equipment to help the camera flow throughout the VR Film. Our custom 3 axis Steadicam gimbal, Remote Controlled Cars and motorised sliders were all utilised. We are always mindful that guests are present and we worked around the busier periods of the day as not to interrupt their vacation time.

VR Sandy Lane

Global Marketing with VR Sandy Lane

The video has helped the hotel’s Facebook account as a direct result achieved over 60,000 views. This VR film is best viewed in a headset but works equally as well as on Vimeo and YouTube.  So therefore you can fully experience a particular area, suite, and the local destination before making any bookings.  The Sandy Lane  marketing team can now arm themselves with VR headsets at trade shows and expos across the globe.  Videos like this really do give viewers the "try before you book" feel. It might not be long before hotel brochures are a thing of the past and they are replaced with VR headsets.

VR is 100% increasing sales due to its numerous benefits. It also helps with the upgrade path, the travel trade get to know your property without visiting, and meetings and event planners resulting in everyone understanding your offering better.

A comment that made us all smile...“You guys are like the Christian Ronaldo's of 360 VR Film, I can not thank you enough for what you have captured for Sandy Lane.” James Matthews, Executive Assistant Manager of Sandy Lane Hotel.

VR is an extremely powerful marketing and communications tool. It is changing how people travel and make decisions about travelling. Therefore allowing potential guests to be temporarily transported to sample authentic moments, experiences and adventures.

VR Sandy Lane has therefore set the standards for Luxury Tourism virtual reality immersive experiences.

This film was commissioned by VIPWorldwide Travel, but delivered by M7virtual being their 360 expert VR team to capture and edit this film.

See below how M7Virtual made this film with a sneak behind the scenes approach to the post production.

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