A pop anthem to youth and everything after, “Kids” is the second single off OneRepublic’s latest album, Oh My My. For OneRepublic’s first VR 360 video, MPC brought their VR A-game to the shoot, providing technical direction and handling all post production. Using Nokia OZO’s state of the art Virtual Reality camera system, the VR experience was shot over five days in Mexico City.
MPC LA’s VFX Supervisor, VR, Jason Schugardt, was on set supervisor for the “Kids” VR sequence, which depicts a budding romance between two city kids and shows their unique perspectives from their own bedrooms. The bedrooms face each other across an alleyway and the experience ushers viewers above that alleyway from one room to the other. The romance gets a little help from a live performance by OneRepublic.
Schugardt explained, “Capturing this experience in one take, the camera travels between rooms separated only by an alley where people are preparing for a party. The instinct is to start the camera in the direction that it will travel, out of the window towards our next window. This means that the viewer has to look behind them when they return. This works as a standing experience, but would get uncomfortable for anyone sitting down. By rotating the view to the right and splitting windows to our left and right we can comfortably face either direction when we begin to move.
“Fully 360 CG previs played a critical role in terms of rehearsing this complicated move with over a hundred extras in another country,” Schugardt continued. “Hal had to answer a lot of questions visually prior to the shoot using the ‘Kids’ music track. We built the alleyway based on measurements sent from production on the scout, which gave a really good sense of what we would see. This was where we figured out if we had enough time to travel from room to room without going too fast and making people sick. We confirmed setting the initial orientation so turning left and right towards each room was comfortable. By showing the previs in a headset, it instantly acclimated anyone new to the shoot to what we were trying to accomplish.”
There were plenty of familiar faces on the production. MPC enjoyed a shorthand working with both Nokia (collaborating previously on Marco Brambilla’s “Playtime”) and Here Be Dragons/previously VRSE Works (past collaborations include Facebook “Here And Now,” U2 “Song for Someone” and Guy Shelmerdine’s “Catatonic”).
Jim Spratling, MPC VR’s 2D Lead, explained, “Postproduction for live action VR content usually means working on seam refinement and optical artifacts along with usual CG and 2D clean up/compositing either for mono or stereo output. With the Nokia OZO we also had to factor in the mono to stereo blend, which is unique to the OZO. Usually this is found in the polar regions of VR live action, but there is little information available on how to recreate this effect around the horizontal portion of the image. Nokia and The Foundry have been collaborating on using the CARA VR toolset in order to make this process more streamlined, giving artists more flexibility to work on a unique camera such as the OZO. Without CARA VR, matching the stereo to mono blend in the plate would near impossible or take a vast amount of time, painstakingly matching frame by frame.”
Tim Dillon, MPC’s Executive Producer-VR, said, “This 360 piece represents a step forward in terms of VR production planning and stereo picture quality. The shoot was carefully crafted to incorporate a moving stereo camera through narrow areas, typically a difficult feat in VR production today.”
OneRepublic “Kids” 360 is available on the Gear VR, and distributed on Within, Oculus Video, Samsung VR, Littlestar, YouTube 360 and Facebook 360.
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