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Zero Point: The First 360-Degree Movie Made For the Oculus Rift

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the look-around dept.

Movies 53

Zothecula writes "The Oculus Rift has carved out a sizable reputation for itself among gamers, but virtual reality has many applications beyond playing video games. Now one production studio is preparing to release the first movie shot specifically to be watched through the VR headset. The upcoming film, called Zero Point, will focus on the history and development of virtual reality technology, while allowing viewers the freedom to look around each scene as the movie progresses."

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was waiting for it to happend (1)

dimko (1166489) | about 9 months ago | (#46302279)

3D movies, where you are not static no more. I wonder if limitation is there, will it be Occulus only thing?

Re:was waiting for it to happend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46303793)

Poor editor's - this will have some interesting technical challenge's how do you direct IEM's (Inner ear monitor) or cloaked as an extra on the set. More voice over's required by actors. 3D audio mixing (already in play but are their enough studio engineers skilled to meet the upcoming demand).

7,500 units == sizable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302293)

7,500 units == sizable?

Re:7,500 units == sizable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302585)

The devkit sales are somewhere around 70k now, I believe?

Re:7,500 units == sizable? (3, Informative)

Alejux (2800513) | about 9 months ago | (#46302739)

Between 50k-55k dev kits sold, actually.

Re:7,500 units == sizable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46303493)

One year and the total number is still less than than failed devices like the WiiU or Vita sell weekly worldwide. Sure it's a dev kit, but for something that is so ****ing overhyped, this audience is insignificant.

Re:7,500 units == sizable? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46303875)

The point is they're not just an audience, at least a large portion of them are people interested in developing applications for the commercial release. How many Wiis/XBoxs/PS4s were in the hands of developers in the year before commercial release?

Re:7,500 units == sizable? (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 9 months ago | (#46304263)

I have seen 2 OR in use in real life, I have yet to see a single WiiU or copy of vista in use.

Re:7,500 units == sizable? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#46305337)

I have seen 2 OR in use in real life

I've never even seen one physically, anywhere.

I have yet to see a single WiiU

I have one although I don't know of anyone else with one, but have seen countless on display as working demos in stores; and I know millions have been sold, even if it is not the success the Wii was it is widely and readily available, and lots of people have them.

or copy of vista in use.

I have seen dozens if not hundreds. I have an older laptop in the house that still has vista, that I can't justify spending money on to upgrade to 7 or 8; and there is a workstations at work with Vista Business in use by the admin department. It runs their Navision, office 2010, and corporate OrderEntry systems just fine and there's no good reason to upgrade it yet.

Zero point to this movie... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302303)

...other then to generate publicity or to give the small number of developer kit owners something to blog about.

When are they actually going to ship the consumer version of the Oculus Rift?

The kickstarter was in August 2012 and all they seem to have done since then is spend kickstarter / VC money and repeatedly redesign thier product as newer technologies become available / cheaper. Still no date for actually shipping a product.

Re:Zero point to this movie... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302521)

The kickstarter was in August 2012 and all they seem to have done since then is spend kickstarter / VC money and repeatedly redesign thier product as newer technologies become available / cheaper. Still no date for actually shipping a product.

It's a hardware product, they can't just fix it in a patch, it needs to be good enough before they ship it or they'll destroy all the hype they've built for VR.

Re:Zero point to this movie... (1)

Peristaltic (650487) | about 9 months ago | (#46304241)

You make good points, but the ratio of the amount of hype to count of devices in people's hands is a bit skewed, no?

I'm sure the product will be great someday, but I'm getting sick of hearing about it.

Every time I hear yet another blurb about the Oculus Rift and The Wonders That May be Had, I start to think of the Moller air car or Duke Nukem.

Re:Zero point to this movie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302957)

The kickstarter was in August 2012 and all they seem to have done since then is spend kickstarter / VC money and repeatedly redesign thier product as newer technologies become available / cheaper. Still no date for actually shipping a product.

It's less than two years since the funding was approved. You sound like VS's with no prior experience of hardware development.
The "couple of months" between project start to functional hardware is for when a product already is mature and you are going for a mall improvement.

For a product like this? As far as I know they are still in prototyping. The certification process needed to sell it to consumers in large scale haven't even started. It is waaay to early to give a shipping date. Even if they finalize the design now they won't be done with the paperwork until the end of the year. Don't expect a shipping date until 2015.

Re:Zero point to this movie... (1)

dj245 (732906) | about 9 months ago | (#46304313)

The kickstarter was in August 2012 and all they seem to have done since then is spend kickstarter / VC money and repeatedly redesign thier product as newer technologies become available / cheaper. Still no date for actually shipping a product.

It's less than two years since the funding was approved. You sound like VS's with no prior experience of hardware development. The "couple of months" between project start to functional hardware is for when a product already is mature and you are going for a mall improvement.

For a product like this? As far as I know they are still in prototyping. The certification process needed to sell it to consumers in large scale haven't even started. It is waaay to early to give a shipping date. Even if they finalize the design now they won't be done with the paperwork until the end of the year. Don't expect a shipping date until 2015.

The problem for them with this kickstarter/open approach is that everybody knows their progress. A private company can keep this kind of R&D project under wraps until the last minute. Microsoft or Sony could be developing something very similar but we won't know until they choose to release that information. Because Occulus Rift development is open and seems to be carefully plodding along, I would keep that kind of project secret since revealing it might spur Occulus to hurry up and release something. A private company could catch Occulus with their pants down.

Finally! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302369)

A chance to see what the gaffer actually does to the best boy with the key grip.

Re:Finally! (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#46302693)

What did you think gaffer tape was for?

Disney did this in the 60s, so??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302405)

There are tons off 360' movies made successfully. Adding a top and sorta bottom view isn't new either. Wake me up when you really can move around the scene and not just pan around. I like how the first image is of a chicks ass... Very appropriate.

Re:Disney did this in the 60s, so??? (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#46302593)

So this should be a completely novel idea or otherwise it isn't worth anything?

Not in 3D, jackass (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | about 9 months ago | (#46306663)

Being in a big round room with screens all around you is not at all the same thing as stereoscopic VR.

More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

abies (607076) | about 9 months ago | (#46302415)

I doubt that this 360 film technology would support positional tracking of head movements, which seems to be a major benefit for immersivness in new version of Rift - plus not controlling your movements might be also quite confusing. Glyph is probably better tailored for viewing rail-road movies where you can just move your screen around.

_Real_ breakthrough would be to mix movies and game/rendering engines and let film render on the fly. This way, all the positional tracking/limited movement control etc could be achieved. Probably graphic power/distribution size limits might be a showstoppers right now, but maybe in future... Interactive content could be added there almost for free (not that I think it is that good idea for movies).

Still, even for single center of view, 360 degrees video, size has to be immense? We are talking about probably 8 HD movies stiched together on just horizontal angle - might easily require 20-40 full HD videos to cover entire sphere. Multiply by two because of 3d, let's assume 60 times requirements of HD stream. Compression might be better for this size of video, but stil... Are we talking about swapping bluray each 2-4 minutes?
Of course, they can as well just do a 2000x2000 pixels for entire sphere and let us stare at interpolated blur. Which they will most probably do, which means it is nothing else that "let's be there first without solving any real issues" ploy.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (2)

Alejux (2800513) | about 9 months ago | (#46302781)

You can't compare the Glyph, who lets you watch a screen floating in front of you, with the 110 FOV Rift, who places you virtually inside the content. Positional tracking in not that important if all you'll be doing is turning around this or that way, while seated at a chair. Can you imagine having a 360 3D live video being broadcast from a court seat in an NBA game, or a tennis or football match, with all the notions of scale and depth you get with real 3D? This will be a huge thing with sports and other content that benefits from the sense of presence you'll get.

Here's a link showing some people who are developing tech to stream live VR sports :

http://www.roadtovr.com/ces-20... [roadtovr.com]

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

abies (607076) | about 9 months ago | (#46302815)

Rift is aimed at different audience than Glyph. This is why I think it is more tailored for Glyph, because it might be better to have high-quality moving screen in front of you, rather than medicore quality full-surround experience. It is all about pixels. Do you prefer to have 1000x1000 pixels centered on the action, without seeing hands of people sitting next to you on the bench, or do you want to have only 400x400 pixels for actual action, with pronounced screen-door effect on top of that, but having bigger immersion factor by being able to spot that soda drink vendor with corner of your eyes?

Don't get me wrong - I'm going to buy Rift and not the Glyph, because there is no comparison for gaming/immersion purposes. I'm just suggesting that watching movies and sports might be better with Glyph - trading FOV for considerably better quality might be worth it.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46303131)

It is all about pixels.

No, for Presence (immersiveness) it's all about the FoV and the latency. Angular resolution can take a flying leap if those two aren't present. That is why you can't just slap an IMU on a HMZ-Tx or ST1080 and have a good VR experience, but putting on the rift with a paltry 600x800 per eye has a massive impact.

The Glyph is just one of the dime-a-dozen DLP microdisplay based HMDs that have been sold for quite some time. Being a sequential-colour device, it is unsuitable for ANY application that requires you to turn your head not have colour fringing (see the lower half of Abrash blog post [valvesoftware.com]

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

abies (607076) | about 9 months ago | (#46303261)

We are going in loops. I'm saying that in my opinion, for sport broadcasts and movies, full immersiveness is less important than quality/resolution. Different thing for games, where Rift-like solution is not doubts way better. I haven't chance to play with Glyph, but reports are saying they got rid of visible rainbow effect - people were explicitly checking for that by fast horizontal movements.
We are having a choice of seeing football with:
- 3d normal TV with HD resolution
- Glyph which is just a bit bigger 3d TV which you can point in various directions
- Rift where you will have a ball taking 3x3 antialised pixels, but will be able to fully immerse in all the edge of view noise

Question is, are you trying to build 'being in stadion simulator' or 'best device to see sports'. My take is that taking high-quality 3d TV experience and adding a _bit_ of interactivity by headtracking is better than degrading quality at benefit of higher 'be-in-place' immersivness.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#46303329)

Err, the DLP system moves with your head, it's strapped right on there. Why would you see colour fringing with (nonrelativistic) head movements?

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46303959)

I believe sequential color means you never display a fully colored image - you cycle between red, blue, and green images quickly enough that your eye blends them together. But if your view is changing then the green image will no longer be properly aligned with your head position, so you'll get the green of the previous frame mixed in with the red of whatever you're looking at now. The net effect will be a sort of rainbow ghosting trail whenever you move your head, and even if your head is basically stationary there's going to be some wobble that will show up as a pixel or two of colorful fringe along any sharp color transitions.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#46303343)

Reading Abrash's article, he's talking about the inherent aliasing effects of sequential-colour devices as an example of why it's difficult to make screens (even showing photorealistic images at correct perspectives) seem real. It has nothing to do with whether there's head movement or not.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46304063)

Then you didn't read the article properly. The REASON that the colour fringing occurs so dramatically during head movements is the Vestibuler Oculer Reflex. This allows the eye to track 'stationary' objects as the head moves, without any saccade blanking. But because the 'stationary' objects are actually moving pixels (you need to move the image across the display to make it appear to stay in the same 'real world' position) your eye instead scans across the display and watches the image jump across it.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46304147)

It has nothing to do with whether there's head movement or not.

When you turn to look at something, do your eyes stay perfectly still while your head rotates? Granted it's not strictly, solely about head movement, since just moving your eyes relative to the screen can cause the effect.

Re:More for Avegant Glyph then Oculus (1)

MakerDusk (2712435) | about 10 months ago | (#46313285)

It's actually really easy to track head movement with the rift. The problem with this technology is that it works best with CG. It's one thing to put the player in a predefined grid of 3D objects, but it's an entirely different beast to create the models and grid while shooting live action. For this to work, all movies would have to be filmed in a green room; or be completely CG.

Video (1)

Brulath (2765381) | about 9 months ago | (#46302579)

Seems odd that neither the summary didn't link to the demonstration video player on Condition One [reelhouse.org] (it's kinda slow to load, and the first couple of scenes aren't '3D'). As you can see in the 2D [businessinsider.com.au] version, it's just playing a 2D video on a virtual curved screen that extends half way around the user's viewpoint; that's enough to look pretty damned cool in the later scenes with crowds and on an escalator though.

Worth noting all the scenes there involved the viewpoint remaining either static or very predictably and slowly moving in a single direction, so perhaps this movie won't have quite so many barf moments as some of the demo games out there (doing a barrel roll in a spaceship game demo did me in, so I don't think being shaky-cam '3D' videos are going to work for me).

Be there done that? (1)

greggman (102198) | about 9 months ago | (#46302581)

Hasn't there been 360 movies before? There's "America the Beautiful" that used to be at Disneyland and I guess was at a world's fair before that. There were also plenty of 360 videos from things like go-pro and attachments for iPhone/Android etc...

It seems to me (but maybe I'm missing it) like it's not going to be cool until it's actually a 3D movie and by 3D movie I mean rendered in real time so that you can not just look but also translate, at least a little, through the environment. That seemed to be what Abrash was mentioning in his talk. Movies are old, "Presence" is new. "Presence" requires real time rendering.

Re:Be there done that? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#46302607)

But this is probably the first time when the consumer has a realistic option of obtaining a VR system at home which can play a 360 movie.

They really need to make a horror movie with this (2)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 9 months ago | (#46303043)

I mean it would be really scary if you felt like you were right in the middle of a bunch of college kids who are about to be murdered.

Re:They really need to make a horror movie with th (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46303171)

I mean it would be really scary if you felt like you were right in the middle of a bunch of college kids who are about to be murdered.

Yes, it would be really scary to be right in the middle of a bunch of college kids, and yes, they would be about to be murdered.

Sizable reputation? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 9 months ago | (#46303049)

Exactly what sizable reputation has it created among gamers, exactly? Sure, most have probably heard of it, but I don't think it has much of any reputation, good or bad, yet. This is just yet another Slashvertisement.

Re:Sizable reputation? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46304003)

No? Myself and most of my gamer friends are looking forward to this with immense anticipation - especially when combined with positional tracking and a walking platform (or possibly even just a Wii Fit) we're talking about a Holodeck Mark 2 (Mark 1 being the rise flight simulators and other first-person games a few decades ago, as heavily augmented by imagination).

Re:Sizable reputation? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 9 months ago | (#46305185)

Sure, if and when it's working with widespread support. Anticipating something doesn't give it a reputation. Proof that it's got value does.

Re:Sizable reputation? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46305671)

The various reviews of the dev kit and the existing library of games that already support it (directly or via mods) constitute proof in our minds, even if no additional games ever get made. I'm only waiting for the commercial version because it sounds like it will be a large improvement, and I can't quite justify buying both.

What about current tech/choose your own adventure (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about 9 months ago | (#46303285)

I'm still waiting for a movie that allows the viewers' choices to affect it. The technology is here for home video, and, if it ever took off, it wouldn't take much for purely theaters to build 3-4 button "voting consoles" into the armrests or something (as conventional film would not work).

Re:What about current tech/choose your own adventu (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46304155)

Such full-motion video "games" do get created from time to time, and IIRC they're about as popular as CYOA books, which judging by library populations were never more than a childhood novelty. The problem is that you need to write and record many times more footage than for a singular plotline - even a clever composition where your choices only shift you between a couple main plotlines augmented by scene variations depending on past choices would probably take at least 2-5x more footage to create, meaning production time and expense increase at least 2-5x, but not many people are going to be willing to pay 2-5x more for the movie. Maybe you could get some people to at least pay blockbuster prices for a few enthusiast-grade CYOA movies just for the novelty, but I don't think that's quite what you're hoping for. You could potentially get a blockbuster-grade 20-minute short CYOA movie instead of a full-length movie, that's basically how the CYOA "novels" worked, but that takes some serious writing and directing cops to make anything more than a fluff-piece, and there's a certain amount of artistic tedium involved that will probably chase away the big names. How many *good* authors ever wrote a CYOA? There's a reason they were mostly childhood novelties.

All that said, yes, it would be pretty cool. But I'm not paying $100 for even a really good CYOAM.

Re:What about current tech/choose your own adventu (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about 9 months ago | (#46306503)

I guess it has to start somewhere. Perhaps a tv show, that has voting after every episode, so next week we see the results, would be a good start. Eventually, a live tv show, with votes during the commercial breaks. I guess it'd have to be good improv performers. I guess I'm surprised that someone that either a rich Spielberg-type or some indie super director hasn't done it yet, even, as you said, with a short. Lynch or Cronenberg would we rad.

Re:What about current tech/choose your own adventu (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46307181)

As I said, it has been done - just marketed as computer "games" since there's not really much interactivity support built into your DVD player. I could see them perhaps start to catch on with VR where the immersion in some exotic locale could make up for the shortcomings. And heck, we've already got the early stages of the "vote for next weeks story" in form of things like American Idol, but the plot is so thin it doesn't make all that much difference. And actually - I had a friend tell me about some show where they actually did have forum discussions and voting on plot points that would shape the next weeks episode . Something syfy/fantasy I believe... possibly a diner that sat on some sort of interdimensional rift? It never really caught my interst so I can't offer more.

I think the biggest reason we don't have more is that writing a book/play/movie/etc. is a creative act where you put your vision on paper, then try to sell it to other people. And like any creative act it's done first for the pleasure/egoism of the creator - giving the audience a say over anything of significance to the plot largely destroys that motivation.

MMO, FPS... what gamers are we talking about? c (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46303323)

This will not be for any serious gamer any time soon. I want this day to happen! I know it's at least 5-10 years off before i can look around & be inside battlefield6 or some new MMO.

-As long as VR is ready by the time I'm an old man..

HBO presents (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 9 months ago | (#46303521)

360 Edition of Dragonboobs, er, Game of Thrones!

Oh noes! Daenerys' clothes have come off, again, leaving only a blond wig. Now you get to choose between a boob shot and an ass shot. Quick, look down! You almost stepped on Tyrion Lannister.

IMAX (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#46303807)

Can't they retarget those IMAX movies for use with the Oculus.

I know it's not 360 degrees, but one could *simulate* that one is sitting inside an IMAX theatre, I suppose.

Reality Television (2)

dohnut (189348) | about 9 months ago | (#46303883)

I can't wait until they bring this to reality TV. I'll finally get to experience reality like it was meant to be experienced!

Re:Reality Television (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46304269)

Yes, and just think of all the movie classics they can "remake" for the 360 experience - of course with dumbed-down scripts, less charismatic actors and audience-tested standard "happy ends".

As much as I appreciate the Oculus Rift for what it may do for gaming, I am completely non-interested in seeing (the visible part of) 360 movies.

Re:Reality Television (2)

ThinkWeak (958195) | about 9 months ago | (#46305045)

I'm looking forward to sitcom television. Maybe I can finally see who the people are that make up the laugh track every time a lame joke is made.

Porn (2)

Andrio (2580551) | about 9 months ago | (#46304501)

I have an Oculus Rift, and I tried this 360 degree porn movie on it. It was pretty neat--the POV was from the guy's head, and you could look around at any of the three girls around you. It wasn't 3D (that would be _amazing_, to have 3D and 360 degrees), but it was still really cool.

Disney did it. (1)

Etcetera (14711) | about 9 months ago | (#46304503)

A looooong time ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle-Vision_360%C2%B0 [wikipedia.org]

Circle-Vision 360 is a film technique, refined by The Walt Disney Company, that uses nine cameras for nine huge screens arranged in a circle. The cameras are usually mounted on top of an automobile for scenes through cities and highways, while films such as The Timekeeper use a static camera and many CGI effects. The first film was America the Beautiful (1955 version) in the Circarama theater, which would eventually become Circle-Vision theater in 1967.

Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46304783)

Here's a short Oculus movie that's running right now:
http://skammekrogen.dk/#

Short Oculus movie / exhibition piece that is running right now. Has the added bonus of every audience member having their own POV as one of the characters simultaneously - which seat you take around the table affects which movie you see. Head tracking is in there also, you can look around freely.

Controlling your focus (1)

slapout (93640) | about 9 months ago | (#46305099)

The problem I see with this is that with current movies, the movie maker is able to control what you're looking at. To tell the story they need to make sure that you see certain things at certain points. With a movie like this, you could miss a major plot point because you were looking at something else. Movie makers will have to change the way they structure stories for technology like this.

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