Cinematic VR: 10 Avoidable Rookie Mistakes

The recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas made it clear: virtual reality is taking on serious forms! All the big names in tech are working on their own devices, including Apple, Sony, Samsung, and Google. Even Microsoft decided to join the club. 2015 is going to be an exciting year!

So far there are two major types of VR companies: those creating hardware, and those creating games and animated content. However, one underserved, yet fascinating niche with massive potential is cinematic VR; high quality, immersive video experiences which place the viewer in the middle of the action.

At this moment, the Palo Alto based Jaunt, which primarily targets the Hollywood market, is the undisputed leader when it comes to cinematic VR. We at Purple Pill learned a lot from Jaunt, and have developed our own VR camera system and workflow. While having a clear example to work towards helped us avoid many common mistakes, we still encountered plenty facepalm moments. That’s why we decided to share 10 easy-to-avoid mistakes which will save you days of frustration.


Get Access to the Closed Beta of Our VR AppFactory

You have shot some amazing 360º video content, but how will you distribute it to your audience and the different VR headsets? Of course you can upload it to YouTube, VRideo, or even Facebook, which all support 360º video, but traditional video platforms are not always the best option.

Sometimes you want a branded application that supports all of the pro features that make VR even more compelling than just plain 360º video, like support for stereoscopic 3D and spatial audio. But if you are a filmmaker, building apps is probably not your specialty. That’s why we are developing AppFactory, a place where you can easily upload your hi-res videos, artwork and logos, and let us turn them into a branded, multi-platform video application in no-time! … 


Google Jump Camera Design: An In-Depth Look

During the Google I/O conference at the end of May, Google announced Jump; a revolutionary step in the world of 360 3D content!

The idea has three parts:

  1. Camera: an open-source 360 3D camera design using 16 synchronized GoPro HERO4 action cams
  2. Assembler: computer vision algorithms running on powerful Google servers which seamlessly stitch the 16 images and compute the 3D effect
  3. YouTube: yes, YouTube already existed, but will be fully integrated with Jump technology for easy playback and distribution of content

The power of Jump lies in the fact that it gives creators around the world access to top-of-the-line VR camera technology. No more tinkering with custom-built rigs and hours of painstaking manual video stitching. Jump is a dream come true!

However, the camera design is not yet available.. Let’s see what we can learn from analyzing the images and videos that have been released so far. … 


How Virtual Reality Will Impact the Economy and Every Industry in it

In 1831, the brilliant Michael Faraday discovered Electromagnetic Induction, which is the principle on which every single electric motor in the world is based. It’s also how your electric toothbrush charges itself.

During his time, Faraday gave dozens of lectures on the wonders of electricity, induction and magnetism. However, while his audience was often amazed by his demonstrations, they regularly asked: “Fascinating, but what’s the use of all this?… 


Learn VR Filmmaking With Our Online Video Course

If you are a filmmaker who wants to learn how to produce immersive video content for virtual reality headsets, then we have exciting news for you: we’re building an online video course!

But why should you listen to us? Well, according to the Danish physicist Niels Bohr: An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” And boy, have we made some mistakes!

Over the past six months, we have been working on our own 360 3D camera rig to produce cinematic VR content and have gained valuable, first-hand knowledge in this area. Knowledge which only few possess, and which we want to share with the world in one complete package!

Check out the trailer below to learn more about what you can expect:


Interested? Then click the button below to learn more!


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Are there things you would like us to include in the course? Let us know in the comments!


PSV Eindhoven in 360 3D

This weekend the Dutch soccer team PSV won the Eredivisie championship duel and we were there to capture this powerful moment in VR!

Three days before the championship match between PSV and SC Heerenveen we received a call with the request to film the ceremony in 360 3D. Obviously we jumped on this exciting project! … 


Stereoscopic 3D 360 Degrees Video Content for Virtual Reality Headsets: How Does it Work?

360 degrees video is not new. In fact, there are dozens of 360 cameras for sale, with the minimalistic Ricoh Theta being one of my favorites. Other people might prefer the Geonaute or the Bubl.

These cameras use several lenses to capture a spherical 360 degrees video, which allows you to “look around” in a scene by clicking + dragging your mouse, by rotating your phone or tablet around, or by viewing the video in a virtual reality (VR) headset like the Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.

This works great, and companies like Scopic have created some seriously impressive videos using a 360 camera rig with GoPro action cams in it. But while 360 video content can be impressive, it is not realistic enough to create an immersive virtual reality experience due to the lack of depth in the video, a significant fish-eye effect, and a rather low resolution. Let’s quickly see what can be done to improve this. … 


The Birth of a Virtual Reality Camera Rig

When we first got seriously interested in virtual reality several months ago, we noticed that there was hardly any video content available. Now we know why; because filming in VR is very, very complicated!

The main problem is that there are no off-the-shelve camera rigs available that film on all sides at the same time in stereoscopic 3D. Sure, there are 360 camera rigs for sale, but as I discussed in a previous article, most of these cameras offer appallingly low resolution, significant fish-eye effects, and flat 2D images with no depth in them. … 


Virtual Reality in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, the infamous city situated in the beautiful little country of The Netherlands, has always been a hotbed for innovation. I recently read the aptly titled book “Amsterdam” by Russell Shorto, which contains a rich description of the city’s rebellious and liberal past, with references to the radical Dutch philosopher Spinoza, who laid the groundwork for the Enlightenment, and Amsterdam’s controversial drug policy to name just a few examples. …