François Robillard is the vice president of the Montreal-based iLLOGIKA Studios. Invited to the entertainment technology summit at the China Canada International Film Festival in Montreal, François spoke on the challenges and opportunities of VR for creatives.
The biggest change VR brings to cinematic storytelling is an enhanced sense of presence. Rather than "watching" a performance, you are in the performance. There is no frame. Say goodbye to close-ups and quick cuts. The player is truly an actor on stage, living within the scene. The democratization of acting is realized!
There is no "4th wall" in VR. This requires designers to embed background information into the setting more than ever before. Likewise, the importance of lighting and sound as a means of throwing focus is increased.
The nagging problem of VR-induced nausea, the disparity in apparent motion between the visual and vestibular stimuli, can be mitigated significantly by design.
There are practical limitations imposed by VR. For instance, 360 shooting mean crews must be hidden. Attention must be paid to stitch lines. Creatively, directors and actors should rehearse presuming there will only be one scene take.
Technically, François is emphatic that 90 FPS is a minimum requirement for VR. An expanded field of view (FOV) would be appreciated by the industry. Currently, Samsung Gear and Google cardboard offer 100 FOV. Oculus and Vive offer 110 FOV; minor differences with major implications for shooting. Furthermore, VR designers need to realize that FOV includes up-and-down in addition to side-to-side.
The growth of VR lies in the hands of its creative uses. We can surmise that at some point VR HMD tethering will disappear and it will become truly mobile.
François also gave a solid shout-out to Montreal’s own Vrvana Totem, a VR HMD that features a camera over each eye, as an example of cool new HMD devices worth considering.
The advice François gave to those in attendance resonates equally with anyone seeking to develop VR for gaming.
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