The European Museum of Modern Art dove into VR with Omni

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Brian Kelly, VR filmmaker at Polite Chaos has just used Omni to produce this great 360° video allowing viewers to explore some of the European Museum of Modern Art’s iconic spaces as never before. This case study shows that VR and museums are a perfect pair. Enjoy this great piece of content including a live performance by The Alex Zayas Band an make sure to read the in-depth interview with Brian below.
What is your background and filmmaking experience? How did you get interested in virtual reality?
I originally come from a music production background, but began using digital cameras and editing software whilst doing a Masters in Sound Design for Screen and I was immediately hooked. I’ve been making short films and documentaries ever since, but my first exposure to virtual reality and was at the Sonar festival about 2 years ago. I could see immediately that immersive filmmaking has incredible potential. As a film-maker, it enables you to tell stories in a way that involves the audience much more fully and deeply in the world you’re portraying. I think, as human beings, we crave getting lost in a story like that.
What hardware and software do you use to capture the footage for the European Museum of Modern Art?
I used a GoPro Omni rig on a Sirui monopod and an external Zoom H2N recorder to capture the audio. However we have recently been capturing audio in full Ambisonic format and as someone with an audio background I’m very excited about developing this much more. Along with Autopano Video 3 software, I also used Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Avid Pro Tools in the post process.
How did your customer react to watching the footage?
The client, MEAM, was absolutely thrilled with the results – especially when viewed through the HMD. They plan to upload the video to their website soon and we are in discussions to work with them on more projects. I’m especially looking forward to filming more of their music nights there – they’re quite unique and striking.
Could you provide us with more details regarding your typical workflow?
Once the footage had been stitched in Autopano Video 3.0, (and making full use of D.WARP which I think it fantastic), I then edited and colour-graded the footage in Premier Pro. Photoshop and the Flexify 2 plug in was used for removing the tripod from the footage. I also exported the audio to Avid’s Pro Tools for some additional audio tweaking and mastering, before re-importing it back into Adobe Premiere for the final export.
What challenges do you encounter with VR production?
The public are very familiar with seeing traditional video cameras and rarely show much interest, however something like a GoPro Omni rig quickly attracts attention in a public space and it can certainly be a concern walking away and leaving equipment worth thousands while people approach it and peer into the cameras.
Also, from the very first 360 production shoots, I quickly realised that I needed to re-think where best to place both the camera and myself. However you soon begin to think in ‘360’ and spaces taken on a whole new perspective – which I find incredibly interesting. When filming the music performance, I chose to move the camera to the perspective of an audience member, to give a more natural perspective.
What do you think about version 3.0 compared with its previous versions?
For me the D.Warp technology has been an incredibly useful addition to the previous version of Autopano Video. Having such a powerful parallax compensation feature has dramatically reduced the time I need to spend stitching, which is time I can now spend on other parts of the post production process. This is then something our clients benefit from as we can deliver the final video much sooner. The live preview in GoPro VR player is great too.
What have you learned from your extensive experience in 360° that you could share with our readers?
I would say that preparation is the key to a successful 360° production. Try to spend as much time as possible at the proposed location before the shooting, and think carefully about your stitch lines and where they will place in your footage. Also, even with careful planning things are bound to go wrong – cameras can overheat, memory cards can fail, and you can never plan for random strangers ruining your footage. Just embrace it all and learn from your mistakes!
About Polite Chaos
Polite Chaos is a Barcelona-based 360º video studio, which focuses on producing creative content for brands, charities and events, both locally and internationally. The co-founders of this newly-launched studio have decades of experience working in the creative media industry across all platforms and are passionate about helping others to tell their stories.
Brian Kelly – VR Filmmaker
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