Launch Pad Blog 8/6/17
‘Alien Space Jam’ Sound Track:
‘Game Night’ Photos:
Thoughts from week 7:
A small setback here, someone stole one of our GearVR headsets … however the GearVR is $99 on Amazon Prime, so we had it replaced in 2 days. The show must go on!
We’ve been working on our “walk up to the house” 360 shots. We were able to capture the shot using a helmet mount, but there is some noticeable shake. I’m about to research YouTube’s shake correction, and hopefully that would be an easy solution to that problem. I’ve read about Facebook’s 360 video stabilization as well, so I’m optimistic about testing these solutions. For our deliverable, we’re taking the 360 footage we capture of the homes, and creating short movies in Action Director with our own music and (optional) voice overs. The final videos will be uploaded to Virtually Home’s Youtube and Facebook pages so our clients can share their content easily. We originally going to offer the service of capturing the video and just giving it to our client but from a customer experience perspective, that actually puts more problems on their plate. The business of properly cutting video, and delivering it to the web in the highest quality is a valuable service in itself, so we’re rolling that in the deal. The experience for the client ends up being that they get 2 links to share immediately.
We also get the right to share their content, and each new location could be a nice portfolio piece. My thought is that as the service becomes more popular and we get followers on FB and YT the added exposure on the listings could assist our clients in getting more views on for property. One bit of technical discovery I’d like to share is that on iPhone and Android, it seems the YouTube app is required to view the videos in proper 3D format (ex: for cardboard). Our clients needed some coaching that if they want to view the video on the phones, they must use the YouTube App for their phones. Again, it’s nice to learn these lessons at a small scale! Another pain point is that super popular real estate service Zillow is making it nearly impossible to share video on listing that is not created with their mobile app. I think I understand why they would want to corner the market there, but I do think it’s an inconvenience for the clients. It seems the only way to do it is to cut and paste a URL into a listing descriptions, and hope the user can then copy and paste it into the address bar (no hyperlinks).
I had anticipated more time to work on Danciverse this coming week, however, web development work calls. The project I’m working on had a series of client requests, scope changes, and a developer took a vacation ?! all in the last week. I’m not the project manage on this team, so I don’t have all the details as to how this situation occurred… but that’s just how it goes sometimes. The surprise workload simultaneously a setback and an opportunity. It’s a setback in that my production time for Danciverse is going to have to lose about 30 hours, but it’s an opportunity for nice billable hours. The hours lead to more money, and more money means buying more of time to work on VR.. so I’m going to have a long and highly productive web development week next week. Features will be started and finished, tickets will be closed, a site will be launched, and deadlines will be met!
We did get in our weekly meeting as BunnyGun, and we figured out our designs and opening story shots, as well as some of the sound effect, set dressing, theme, and ‘bits’. What I’ve discovered is trying to storyboard for 360 is tricky. For each major shot, we’re breaking the scene up into 4 sections: North, South, East, West. For each direction, we want something interesting for the player to examine. For example, in the first scene: the major action is going to come in from the ceiling.. But in the meantime, we want to make the soundscape, and the surrounding environment entertaining, so we have bits with a cuckoo clock, some 80’s parody posters, and a few other ‘bits’. One other helpful design thing I’ve stumbled along is planning out the environments on paper from an overhead perspective. That helps me to quickly think through the set arrangement without getting caught up in specific shot framing details. Once that is laid out, then I make a couple more panels of each of the ‘direction’ shots… those look like a traditional storyboard frame.