That virtual set was rendered with Vizrt’s Viz Engine while Idonix provided the content control interface for Viz Virtual Studio.
At IBC next month you’ll see plenty of innovation in this area too. From Vizrt’s Virtual Presenter, an innovation that places a presenter among the action of a clip, to ORAD’s ProSet, a high-end virtual studio that utilizes its Xync infrared tracking system with 360-degrees of free camera movement, and its new ‘Virtual Studio in a Box’.
With virtual sets now firmly part of the furniture, so to speak, VR could be going a step further: potentially becoming a tool for completely immersive content.
Just last month BSkyB spent nearly half a million dollars on another stake in Jaunt, a video start-up that is developing hardware and software for VR devices that can provide an immersive experience for viewers of films or TV shows.
“As an innovative content creator, cinematic VR represents exactly the type of technology we want to better understand and explore,” says Stuart Murphy, the director of entertainment channels at Sky.
It is a strong sign of intent. And with Oculus, the maker of a VR headset, bought up by Facebook for $2bn, and Sony’s Project Morpheus in the pipeline, VR is now big news.
“VR as it exists today is mainly about video games,” says Jaunt chief executive Jens Christensen. “We want to broaden the experience to mainstream entertainment. [We have] built the technology to put VR in the hands of the best content creators in the world to deliver stunning, reach-out-and-touch-it entertainment experiences using VR goggles.”
Sky is not the only broadcaster looking at VR.
During the Commonwealth Games, BBC R&D, with the assistance of UCL, put on what it described as the “most immersive live VR broadcast to date.”
By combining existing research it showed a demo in which a panoramic, 360-degree video camera, and a 3D audio microphone, captured pictures and sound at the SSE Hydro Stadium in Glasgow. The live feed was then streamed to an Oculus Rift VR headset in the Glasgow Science Centre.
Another test has also been done using the BBC News room.
This research is all focussed on providing an immersive experience, says Cyrus Saihan, the head of business development at BBC Future Media.
“Imagine if you could watch a nature documentary and feel as if you could reach out and touch the animals, or feel as if you were on stage with a band during a music festival or on the pitch during a football match,” he says.