TECH TALK #3 - VOLUMETRIC VIDEO (not to be confused with volumetric capture!)
In the last tech-talk we looked at volumetric capture, where you insert a full, 360-scan of a real-world moving object or person (like Buzz Aldrin!) into a fully rendered 'room-scale' VR world. This allows you to look all around the object or person, like they were right there in the room with you. But what if you wanted the room, or VR world itself, to be real? Well, volumetric video is the solution and it's inching closer to being production-ready.
To capture a real space in VR, you traditionally use a stereoscopic 360-camera, which can look pretty good - but it doesn't allow you to move around within the space. Until now. Volumetric video captures real spaces but from a range of angles, so that you can experience parallax - as your position changes, so does your perspective. Just like in the real world. Not only will this give an even greater sense of immersion, it will help considerably with motion sickness. The disconnect between moving your head position without your perspective changing accordingly, is one of the main reasons for making people feel queasy.
The amount of movement possible is still quite limited - we're talking about small head movements (a la PSVR), rather than walking across a room (as with Rift / Vive). The amount of data and ability to stream is also a big hurdle, along with the latency of moving objects and 'volumetric shadows' (see below article on Lytro for more on this). And that's not even mentioning practical issues like costs and the sizes of rigs. However, let's not worry about these 'little details' for a moment and get excited about what is, hopefully, the future of live-action VR filming.
Bring it on.