This is the first course in our series that will build in complexity over the next several terms. This foundation level course focuses on creating monoscopic live action virtual reality, playable on headsets as well as mobile devices with Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. The aim is to arm the artist with the foundation of knowledge necessary to tackle VR projects as well as lay the foundation for more complex VR projects and give you a leg up on your competition.
The projects for the course will allow us to compare and contrast several ways of acquiring live action VR. One setup will utilize a common rig of GoPro cameras. While these rigs certainly have their drawbacks (which will be discussed as part of the course), they do allow for an affordable and approachable full 360 degree capture with a rig that is easy to move. The core stitching principles and procedures used for this rig also apply to larger rigs as well. Another setup will utilize Red cameras, which can solve many of the problems with the less expensive GoPro rig but also introduce issue of their own. The Red camera setup will include a green screen shoot as well as show how and when you can use fisheye lenses and multiple takes on a two-camera rig to capture the full 360 degree environment. For visual finishing, Nuke will be used to do the stitching and compositing.
Assisting in the course, among others, will be Oscar-winning Magnopus vfx supervisor Alex Henning as well as Scott Squires, who himself has received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Henning will be sharing his insights on the post production process, covering stitching, cleanup, compositing, and integrating CG renders.
VR producer Lucas Wilson on the business of VR, plus Scott Squires and John Montgomery examine the specifics as to why the course is focusing on non-stereoscopic live action VR.
Pre-production. Scott Squires and Alex Henning break down the creative that decides the choice of gear to capture the footage.
GoPro Shoot. Overview of suggested settings and gear, then Scott, Alex, and John capture one of the scenes for the term project as well as get a variety of test shots.
Alex Henning works through the camera footage alignment process in PTGui to prepare for compositing in Nuke. He also shows the use of Video Stitch to create a quick MP4 reference movie for preview.
Post in Nuke, Pt. 1: Magnopus' Vicki Lau shows how to set up one of the GoPro cameras for projection in Nuke, the first step in stitching the cameras together.
Post in Nuke, Pt. 2: Magnopus' Vicki Lau shows combining all the cameras, color correction adjustments, patching, and removing the tripod from the scene.
Post in Nuke, Pt. 3: Magnopus' Vicki Lau shows more cleanup techniques for the scene.
Post in After Effects. Processing motion GoPro footage in PTGui (an app designed for still frames) for use in After Effects. Tips and tricks on fixes and cleanups, as well as how to visualize the various delivery formats such as GearVR and online distribution like YouTube360.
Mastering & Distribution.
Color Correction and integration of CG elements in NUKE.
One of the hottest areas in post right now is Virtual Reality (and MR/AR) and our course aims to build on the buzz with a production-based followup from our VRL101 Virtual Reality Bootcamp course. With so much changing in the industry as we hear about new cameras and hardware weekly, it's difficult to keep up. However, at the heart of the process there are core techniques and knowledge that artists need in order to be effective on the job.