VR, Drones and 360º Video: Start Planning or Fall Behind

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  • 5/3/2017
    Our multimedia team has been keeping busy during the first half of the year. In addition to completing multiple projects, including our agency portfolio reel, an animated video for Destination Cleveland’s annual meeting and more, we’ve been hard at work improving our capabilities with new and existing multimedia-related technologies.

    360º VR Video

    By now you’ve probably seen someone wearing a VR headset such as a Samsung Galaxy Gear VR. Or perhaps you’ve seen 360º video in your Facebook feed. If not, this is video that is taken from all angles and allows the user to look in any direction they would like as the video plays. We’ve been doing some light research and development on how to produce VR/360º video for ourselves and our clients.

    Through our research, we’ve found that the most engaging VR videos are those that are well planned and encourage the viewer to move around through immersive spatial surround sound, graphics and action. These videos can be delivered to users on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo, among other platforms. The users can use a VR headset if they have one or use their mouse to pan around or move their mobile device around without a headset. We also figured out a way to develop “regular” 180º video cropped out of the 360º video that we’ve shot. Currently we’re working on planning VR projects for ourselves and clients.

    Drone Regulation: We have a night-flight waiver!

    Last year our Manager of Multimedia services earned his FAA Remote Pilot certificate enabling us to fly drones commercially for our clients under the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 107. Under these regulations, there are many restrictions including the ability to fly at night. Many of these restrictions, however, are waiverable. We have developed specific training and safety protocol for our crew that were approved by the FAA and enabled us to be granted a Certificate of Waiver for this restriction. This means, with special provisions, we can legally fly drones at night for our clients.

    Time-lapse Capture

    Time-lapse photography is great for showing something that progresses over time. For example, it could be the set up of an event all the way through the takedown, manufacturing of a product or construction of a building. Recently we experimented with some hardware that enables us to schedule exactly when the camera is taking photos and when it is not. This is useful because there aren’t as many unwanted portions of the footage. For example, a construction site time-lapse set up can be specific to when work is only being done from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, since there’s no action going on at night or on the weekend. We can schedule accordingly and just get the shots that we need for a more action-packed video. This hardware also has the ability connect to an available Wi-Fi network and send daily updates to let us know it’s still working. The following is a test we did that only captured Cleveland sunrises and sunsets.

    These are just a few of the new methods, techniques and technologies that the thunder::tech Multimedia Team is exploring right now. To learn more, check out our resources page or give us a call and let us know how we can help!
    About the author:: Matt Stevens is the Manager of Multimedia Services at thunder::tech. He supports a team that brings brands to life with engaging video, animation and other multimedia content production. As a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, he also whips our staff into shape as our in-house fitness trainer.
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