So, we decided to start vlogging at each other with the easy-to-use Ricoh Theta cameras. They are available as torrents in full quality, or on YouTube
(which won’t play them as spheres, yet, but someday soon).
We’re in love with these little cameras. The quick and dirty production makes it easy to share thoughts and experiences in real time, as well as rapidly iterate through different design and camera placement. Automatic stitching means we can try EVERYTHING, no more hours of stitching work every time you move the camera, no need to carry bulky equipment, no setup time.
In other words, perfect for researching spherical film as a medium for communication.
In eleVR casual 001, Emily takes us to a variety of places and places us at a variety of heights. I like how the automatic gyroscope makes the landscape stable while filming driving up a hill, and how the camera captures things that were not intentionally framed and could never have been predicted, such as the truck that startles us by speeding by. I particularly love being under the wire spooler near the end. The camera fits in spaces I could never fit in!
In eleVR casual 002, I (Vi) reply to Emily’s video. In contrast to Emily’s whirlwind of locations, I focus on two locations (the Vibrary and a drum practice room), and play with editing between them.
In eleVR casual 003, Andrea takes a turn. She really wanted to film a concert, but, of course, filming was not allowed, so…
A benefit of spherical for casual filming is that framing your scene is no longer necessary. You know everything’s gonna be in frame; no turning the camera back and forth. It’s a sign that there’s an art and skill that’s NOT happening, but it also makes things easier when the purpose is more communication and less visual art.
Still, I’m starting to get a sense how VR video can have lots of skilled set design and composition techniques; at one point I had the high hat of the drum room overlaid right where the lid of the blueberrye jar is in the Vibrary for visual matching, which was the slightest hint of just how much could be done with consonance between locations.