Articles tagged with: VR Video

Blackmagic Fusion 8.1: A new VR video option for Avid users

Wednesday, 08 June 2016

This week Blackmagic Design announced a new version of Fusion, their high-end compositing application.

The good news for Avid Media Composer users is that Fusion version 8.1 works with with Fusion Connect 8.1:

This software adds the Fusion Connect for Avid plug-in that is compatible with Avid edit systems, so you can send any clip or stack of clips from an Avid Media Composer timeline directly into Fusion or Fusion Studio. Now Avid editors can have access to Fusion’s powerful 3D compositing and animation tools

Up until now many Avid users have been advised to transfer timelines to NUKE as a 360° video solution. Fusion 8 is a free application that is a peer to NUKE. Before being bought by Blackmagic Design, it was an expensive application. Fusion has been used in the post production of many high-end TV shows and feature films. To promote their hardware, Blackmagic Design made a Mac version of Fusion and released a almost fully functional free version.

As well as being a high-end node-based 3D compositor, Fusion 8 can also use 360° plugins. For example there is the $249 Domemaster Fusion Macros from Andrew Hazelden

The Domemaster Fusion Macros allow artists to create immersive 360° stereo composites. The new immersive toolset is designed to work with Blackmagic Design’s Fusion compositing software. These macros are great for preparing pre-rendered content for use in a fulldome theater, or on a head mounted display like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC VIVE, OSVR, or Google Cardboard.

So, if you are a Media Composer editor who is comfortable with learning new compositing applications who is interested in working with 360° video, check out Blackmagic Fusion 8.1 and Domemaster Fusion Macros.

Introduction to VR Video with Final Cut Pro X

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

At the FCP Exchange event at NAB in April, Tim Dashwood and I gave a presentation on working with VR 360° video in Final Cut Pro X and Motion.

Initially I explained the art of spherical video from first principles comparing it to VR apps. I showed how editors can learn specialised tools that understand 'equirectangular' video, effects and graphic overlays to tell stories that play out all around you.

I also explained how editors can share their work with millions of smartphone users around the world. Tim Dashwood then gave a quick rundown of the science of high-end VR video effects that are available for Final Cut Pro X today.

 

360° Virtual Reality with FCPX from FCPWORKS on Vimeo

FCP Exchange is a series of free industry seminar days presented by FCPWORKS and fcp.co

Dashwood 360 VR Toolbox and 360 VR Express.

Sound Design Lessons for VR Video from VR Games

Friday, 27 May 2016

VR Video tools for video editors have progressed quickly in the last year, but there has been less discussion about the audio side of VR video. Although VR audio tools have yet to be integrated into NLEs, audio experts (and video editors who spend much of their time refining their soundtracks) should consider how audio design is different for VR.

Those designing audio for VR games are probably further along in coming up with what makes VR different. 

At a mini conference on game audio earlier this year, developer Gordon McGladdery gave a presentation on audio for VR games.

His game Fantastic Contraption is one of those given away with each HTC Vive (a VR headset that detects where you are in a room for ‘room-scale’ VR), and he has worked on the sound for VR commercials.

He spoke with Matthew Marteinsson on episode 25 of the ‘Beards, Cats and Indie Game Audio’ podcast about VR audio. Here is a summary of some of what was said:

[7:07] Binaural audio is very important - without it, experiencing VR is ‘like watching a 3D movie without the glasses on.’

[7:33] Music score doesn't work in VR games - it ‘muddies everything up’ [The music is] ‘coming from nowhere in the world and just seems to cloud the entire immersion.’

[10:17] Everything matters. The current video game sound design orthodoxy is that some sounds are more important than others;  time and budget determine a well known order of priorities when it comes to sound design. Everything shown in a game that can make sounds, must have game audio.

[14:21] Even if your target VR platforms don't have advanced audio, incorporating advanced audio future-proofs your current productions.

[15:05] ‘A lot of what we do here is to design right up until the end.’ It is important to design your sound workflow so that if the design of the game changes near launch (the eqivalent of a new edit of a film), ‘we as audio can quickly move with it.’

[16:14] ‘Distance falloff is really finicky’ - pay close attention to sound volume based on position - ‘none of the defaults work.’ Different sound sources have different falloff curves, some objects need to be heard from further away. You need different curves for every objects. Based on character need, not realistic sound physics.

[23:33] ‘Dynamic range is back - we're not crushing everything any more’ - adding heavy compression doesn't work - it just makes evreything loud. ‘VR audio will be pretty uncompressed.’ Prepare for the fact that different audio soundtracks work for different playing environments. Most VR experiences will be in quiet environments, but some will be in noisy places - which will need compression to punch through.

Listen to the rest of the podcast to hear Gordon’s take on VR use outside the world of games, as he is getting more non-game work due to his VR audio skills.