Tune in for a live webinar where the unique challenges of cinematic VR are discussed in-depth
Greg Downing, CTO of Santa Monica based VR studio xRez, is a pioneer in the cinematic virtual reality (VR) space. His company specializes in image-based 3D technologies that have been applied on various projects at xRez for the last seven years. He’s working to change the way professionals and audiences think about VR.
He’s set to talk through what these experiences mean for professionals throughout media & entertainment during a live webinar taking place on December 11th. He’ll be discussing the cutting-edge world of developing cinematic content for the Oculus Rift, editing, DI and finishing for VR and distributing your VR content, among other things.
In anticipation of that webinar, we talked with Greg about the differences between VR today and when it first came onto the scene, how professionals can and should approach VR content and what attendees can expect to see and hear during his live webinar.
ProVideo Coalition: What sort of reactions are you seeing from people that are made aware of the opportunities now represented by cinematic VR? Are they surprised to find out what they can accomplish creatively?
Greg Downing: What’s interesting is that VR has been around for quite awhile. Back in the 90’s, there were a lot of us that believed VR was going to hit big and got very excited about it. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way so there were a lot of naysayers when it first started creeping up again. People thought VR was going to deflate again, so it has surprised a lot of people to see it taking off this time in a more concrete way. There have obviously been lots of improvements from those early days and things like tracking have gotten a lot better. But there are really two pieces to the changes we’re seeing and experiencing in terms of how people think of VR.
One is that we simply have a better level of understanding. For instance, making it a very wide field of view is something that was very difficult to do in VR until the displays reached a certain level of quality and resolution. That had a big impact on this evolution, but the other one, and it’s probably more significant, is the price point.
When I first saw VR in the 90’s and got excited about it, I thought I was seeing the future. I thought that future had arrived because the experience was so incredibly compelling, but the systems that I was using were anywhere from 60,000 to 200,000 dollar systems, so they simply didn’t scale well. What we’ve got now though is a system that’s going to end up costing the end user a few hundred dollars, so that obviously makes VR much more appealing.