The medium of virtual reality is young, but it has already some experts who are investing time and effort to help people to get into this new immersive technology. Charles Yeager is one of them. We asked some questions about virtual reality to Charles as we both strongly believe that virtual reality will be one the most important technology in the coming years.
What is your background and filmmaking experience? My filmmaking background stems from working with commercial ad agencies in the Mid-west and making tutorial content for companies located across the US and around the world. Currently I primary work on contract or consultation basis, which I enjoy because I get to work on a variety of different projects, large and small.
How did you get interested in virtual reality? What excites you most about it? With my production work I primary work with After Effects, doing compositing work. About three years ago I noticed that 360 production was possible in After Effects and I collaborated with a company called Mettle working on tutorials for their 360 post-production plug-ins. That is when my interest really began to peak and I started looking into stitching solutions for ‘real-world’ 360 footage. Everyone I talked to in the 360/VR industry kept recommending Autopano Video 3.0. What excites me most about VR is the challenge of creating original experiences in 360 and showcasing shots from new / creative perspectives.
What software and filming equipment would you recommend? For stitching footage, without question I highly recommend Autopano Video 3.0. It is easy to use and allows you to finetune anything in the shot you need to. For 360 post-production, I recommend using After Effects and the Skybox toolset, which was recently acquired by Adobe from Mettle.
What are the three key features of Autopano Video 3.0 you like versus other video-stitching software? The first would be D.WARP. It’s a fantastic feature that saves so much time. Next would be the stabilization options, which allow me to dial in the amount of stabilization I want for a shot. Finally, the automatic color correction, which takes away any white-balance issues I might have between two or more cameras in my 360 setups.
What do you think about version 3.0 compared with its previous versions? Autopano Video 3.0 is much more refined. New features like the D.WARP feature literally changed my workflow and make me a lot more confident when I am out shooting in the field. I had a ton of 360 footage I shot last year that I thought was completely unusable due to parallax issues. Once Autopano Video 3.0 came out, I tested the footage with the D.WARP feature and it easily solved all the issues. I was really impressed.
What have you learned from your extensive experience in 360° that you could share with our readers? I have learned that no matter how cool your location or story is, if the 360 content isn’t edited well and stitched correctly, the viewer won’t feel immersed and they will focus more on the imperfections of your video, opposed to the story.
About Charles Yeager Charles Yeager is a Filmmaker & After Effects artist residing in Arkansas. Locally he works with many advertising and production companies in the South and Midwest. You can see more of his portfolio at yeagerfilm.com.