The Tested VR Project – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/15/19

The Tested VR Project – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/15/19

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the Adam Savage project I’m norm I’m Adam I’m Joey
and I’m Erik Joey from Eliot Chang welcome yeah we have a special lineup
this week we are we have Joey in the office and we had have you in the office
because Eric we invited you to come in to kind of geek out about some projects
that we’ve been working on over here at tested and also something that you’ve
been working on in your in your kind of travels you know it’s really delightful
to have Joey I’d like to see you in a second state because we were doing – all
just left to New York New York like three days ago and now you’re here so
it’s just it’s just delightful to see you in two different today so quickly
yeah yeah exactly thanks for having me people who may not
know or as people actually if you watch tested bill for a long time I’ve seen
Eric is you Eric you you’re the guy that like introduced us to a lot of cool tech
that’s that’s been our friendship since its inception Eric brought a a
Lytro camera over to the Mythbusters set but at this point like ten years ago or
more something like that’s hard to remember now and then when we were
working with DJI you were you were there and we were doing some stuff with you
there and no now you have brought you’ve brought VR into the tested sphere and
that’s been like it’s been really exciting me now since that we just made
and we’ll talk about it are the are the tip of an iceberg that’s been like 18
months in development or give or take yeah absolutely it’s been a thanks for
having me on again of course it’s it’s been always a
pleasure and I mean I’ve enjoyed this because you are storytellers by nature
and the things that I’m interested in are new technologies that enable new
forms of storytelling and that’s so it’s always felt like a perfect match and
like this progression from the small experiment that norm and I did in the
cave well let’s just let’s talk this one through let’s walk through this history
because I think it’s really interesting and instructive because we didn’t figure
anything out wind up solving some problems there’s a whole bunch of other
problems to still solve right within this frame but like we executed this
project and where it began was with the oculus go all of us attested ended up
grabbing them as soon as they came out and we’re playing with them and talking
about the content and starting to play with our own this was a year this like
last spring it was that’s where I was like yeah and in terms of the the VR
space because we’re talking about video in VR you know people have had desktop
headsets for a couple years now and there’s kind of this big boom from my
perspective of people making you know cameras to film video for viewing in
headsets now they were all different because I know like Samsung had some
off-the-shelf 360 cameras and people started building their own GoPro rigs
way back but really around last year there was a sea change in terms of like
the go being really accessible the image quality being good and then also the
cameras being 3d and 3d 180 ping where a lot of people ended up making their
hardware when we were playing around with some of the cameras and doing
small things with them and then I think just one afternoon norm and I shot just
five minutes of me messing around on a workbench in 3d in stereo VR yes this is
what I think well the lenovo had a small like their daydream you know 3d 180
camera and I was reviewing it and I was like okay and I’d gone through a couple
experiments of filming of course like the dog and and things of the house and
trying to get sports and like some things are cool and some things were
like and then from our video production perspective like this is not like but
how we would shoot any other video right and you can’t tell until you shoot it
look at it there’s like really no way to kind of even think through it because
it’s so different in terms of how you interface and and your your mental
emotional interface with the with with the material that you’ve shot and so I
went to the cave and you’re working on a project and I brought the camera over
nice a toupee this is kind of cool I want see if I can just run it while
you were futzing with something and we put in a tripod and ran it and put the
headset on and watch it and it was both of us were lying to compel any shit holy
cow this it just there’s an intimacy to it and all of us have watched tons of
videos of craftspeople in our fields doing things that we want to do and you
know 90% of those videos are terribly edited with bad sound and still we’re
like obsessed with watching other people do this stuff and there was a way in
which that stereo VR made it sing that felt so intimate and then I guess like a
couple days later you were like Eric Chang has already made a video on this
guy and you had shot that wonderful craftsperson up in Portland it was a it
was Bob Kramer up in Washington our mutual friend of an amazing kitchen
knife maker and we spent a whole day there shooting the entire process of
making a kitchen knife with the Zia Zeke mk1 pros this is sort of the next gen
bigger sensor cameras and he was the same sort of thing you know we shot it
essentially blind you know mana constant monitoring at that point was virtually
impossible and so it was really an experiment sounds like it was similar to
what what you had done we shot it and then it took a long time to be able to
view the footage and to you know crafted the B story which ended
up being 26 minutes long but what I remember the most about that is the
first time a lot of my colleagues even saw this footage and of course the
people we you know on the public saw it um I mean I I watch people get into
headset and almost literally not move for 26 minutes and when they came out
they didn’t talk about the format or the novelty of being able to look around
they talked about the story and feeling like they had been in his studio with
him right and that was the you know one of these moments where I thought wow
this is really like teleportation and there was an aspect to that video when I
watched it so I’ll be honest the first time I got to go I spent two days
looking up every piece of content there was for it and I couldn’t believe how
bad 90 percent of it was and then I mean I and then I one of the things I
realized is when people try and make narratives they try and they’ve been
trying thus far to make them using film techniques which require a certain pace
of cutting and it wasn’t working I would never felt like I was getting
into a space and the thing about your video is that you were holding your
shots for long enough for me to feel like I was in a place and forget that I
was watching a video because the cuts are more it weirdly the cuts feel how do
I say this in the beginning of film like back at the turn of the 20th century the
19th of the 20th century there was a theory that like to cut to something too
different would be jarring to people and so they didn’t do it
and they needed title cards between and other techniques and weirdly cutting too
quickly in V art is jarring it feels as jarring as they were surmising it was in
film all this is by way of saying there are brand new rules to this format in
weight and and it requires a level of exploration and that level of
exploration is something that Joey you and Eric drove deep into after we’d
filmed these videos but we’re getting ahead of ourselves
wasn’t a stage of just to go off that I think the way I was trying to think
about it when I was editing this because I instinctively want a cut yeah yeah
movies it but the way I had it really rewire my brain was to think okay the
viewers actually doing the editing by the focus of what they’re looking
right and that kind of comedy down is like let the look you know let the scene
breathe so that they can look at these little things yeah in the space and that
is kind of their way of you know focusing or editing that’s like it’s at
a much slower periodicity than a normal right yeah then a normal one how to
fight myself almost well at the same time I also think like one of the things
I love about your editing is how much silence that our tests of videos have
and that’s from you of like I think getting into the builds and knowing
seeing the shop practice and kind of be more honest about how that story works
because there’s lots of periods of silence and just concentration and
letting like sound ambient sound kind of create the the mood and the peace of
song exactly so to get to just to go back to where the story was after we cut
our little thing and started talking to you we all shot that first video in this
an oculus series here in the cave as a kind of a test just to like let’s try
this all out and you guys were placing Karen I mean there was the main camera
the main like stereo camera like that one there that was we knew that was
going to be the middle of the whole thing but then you you had all these
other shots and there’s this way of like my hope this will work later I hope this
is useful to me at some point in the future and you place cameras all over
the place so let’s talk about that process of choosing choosing where to
put those cameras before you’d even built an editing pipeline right so I
mean well just put this in context if you haven’t seen it we did an 8 part
series 8 different makers where we just traveled around and went to their
workshops and had them build stuff and Norman I the experience is that when you
put on the goggles you’re sitting at the other side of the workbench from these
makers and you’re in their shops and in their space and watching them do their
which goes back to the very first test which was literally across the workbench
yeah you have just a little leather working demo you did you know we quickly
realize the cameras the avatar for the viewer so where do we want the viewer to
be when they’re if they’re a new visitor that’s welcomed into a space while they
want to be the best place the best seat in the house is gonna be across the
workbench right and then just going from there we would just think about what
what are the areas that they can’t get to right
sitting that close to a welding you know a welding bench or like being that close
to a bandsaw like will that be disorienting or will that be someplace
that the viewer can kind of you know almost be become a fly on the wall that
they couldn’t do as a human because we do that in traditional flat-screen video
you can do very artsy shots like right up to a right yeah you’re kind of
determining the point of view of the person and you don’t think about you
don’t worry about comfort no yeah but we did that we also put cameras on the
other side of a lathe right where the person could never stand because it was
it’s floating above the way the but I think viewing it your brain acclimates
very well I I agree it totally does the the resolution of
the current iteration of VR does not allow for Hyper it’s just not good
enough for like super fine like I couldn’t do a kit bashing video right
now it just it would be very hard for you to see the tips of my fingers and
the little things I’m working on and that required us for our builds to shoot
some close-ups and that engendered the question how do you shoot a close-up in
VR what it would you blink it suddenly go closer what is what is the language
so you put cameras around and you also had a handheld to do puncheon’s knowing
that maybe we could somehow use those and I know that you ended up but the
solution that you ended up with in the videos which is just sort of fly in a
card but I’d love you guys to speak to the kind of the development of how the
close-up works because I know it went through a bunch of different iterations
yeah we did you have it on the Bob Kramer video at all so I think no no I’m
gonna have done a bunch of experiments piece Eisley to address the problem that
Adam talked about which is um and it’s both about overall resolution which we
can talk about later because a lot went into making you know the the current
iteration of how to play back video such high resolution high quality but it’s
also that the cameras can only be so close I keep learning later because
there’s actually a camera right there shooting in 180 but they can only be so
close due to things like you know you talk about this a lot in projections but
convergence you like a virgin’s accommodation and
conflict things like that and so there are still some technical pieces that the
whole industry is interested in solving and we’re seeing little pieces of that
develop but the storytelling techniques that are used in cinematography which
are you know that you have a director with a goal of telling a story and they
have to do this elaborate I mean I heard it I hope I think the normal the average
cut in a feature-length movie is is only a few seconds these days something like
that yeah and that is crazy you know the amount of work it takes to craft a story
with three-second cuts over 90 minutes or two hours and so I think one of the
things that that is so appealing to this format for me is that the story sort of
is about the place and feeling like you’re in that location without having a
cinematographer working well you so you describe to me would the most important
aspect of this which is the videos I find the stuff in VR I find most
compelling is the stuff that allows me to look around not the stuff that is
attempting to tell me where that where to go and where to look that’s
interesting and that’s exactly what that is is it feels so much more autonomous
to be the one I’m guiding my focus the camera isn’t dragging me there and so
there was a way in which when you so you got you eventually came up with a
close-up on it on a fly in flag at his Twitter an extent yeah essentially we
did a picture no picture in picture and just put this object into I guess the 3d
space and then which is not trivial you know that your picture was too deep yes
right yeah and we talked about like could the picture-in-picture be 3d could
it be a diorama right inside already a stereo space and technically yes but
that would be very complicated to do and even where a place that picture and also
getting the stereo source at a gen scale right yes yes yeah the problem of macro
because that’s one of the first things like how could we could we capture
something small and you would think can you just move a camera lower right and
movie camera lower and closer he doesn’t solve the problem because one there’s
focal lengths like these cameras have a sweet spot for the distance for that
ject is and the height really mattered like we shot everything it was close to
eye level in fact at the release party a short person came up to me and said I
really appreciate your choice of where the height was placed in general in VR
they found the height was often disconcerting to them and they felt like
we hit this perfect sweet spot I really appreciated that yeah and it that that
height sweet spot is not obvious right everything is shot essentially at chin
level on a medium height person and I think there are some theories that I’ve
heard talking to friends that in that tall people could bend down to look at
stuff and short people can they don’t stand on stools to look at stuff it’s
very rare so it’s more likely that a tall person is is used to a rate this
adjusting yeah all right which is general movement either split so it’s
kind of tilting down but as long as the subject you know and as we’re chopping
around like the one thing we told all the makers to do is please talk to the
camera as if that’s the person you were talking to that helped really connect
them the viewer to the content so this I’m gonna drift quite far afield and get
abstract here for a second but I think it’s important for young makers or
filmmakers or listeners to the podcast who listen to this who’ve seen our
content it’s easy to look at the output of something that’s polished and
professional which I feel like our videos really are and think oh well
that’s how someone does that sort of thing and the answer is we figured it
out on the fly and truth be told while there are brilliant people all around
the world playing in this exact space and trying all sorts of different
amazing things all of us collectively are out at this precipice and one of the
things I said at the Occulus party was I remember in film school we studied the
Potemkin steps from Sergei Eisenstein’s battleship potemkin and we study that
because it’s the first time in film history arguably but that a filmmaker
did a jump cut to explain action you cut from these stairs to a woman with a
bullet hole in her glasses and you Newt you saw soldiers shoot you saw the
bullet hole and you knew she’d been shot and that was the first time anyone
figured that out and filmed that you could just oppose these things and your
brain would fill in rest and here we are making these films
and you guys are doing the same kind of thing like the card flying in this that
may be something we’re doing in 20 years that it’s just standard or maybe there’s
a much better of a solution this is this field we’re in so you know if you’re a
maker and you’re wondering what you can contribute to the world with your making
and you’re thinking well everything’s already been discovered everyone’s
really smart it’s like there’s so many places to jump in and sort of like
figure something out and tell a story in a different way that may radically give
people a brand new way of looking at stuff I like to think of the the path to
the question or the answer I don’t know you know how long is that path in a
given field and the shorter it is them usually the more interested I am oh yeah
maybe go hang to that space right you know right of like nobody knows what’s
going on over here let’s let’s keep on playing around I I was to sing our to
toot our horn and we didn’t do anything that we were like there was no
consciousness behind it but one of the things I loved most in VR was the
Mythbusters VR on our last run on Mythbusters when I drove through a mile
and a half of our props we put the the 360 camera on the hood of my car and so
you were just on the hood of a car racing down Alameda runway at 40 miles
an hour and there was nothing else going on except you were getting that view and
it was so compelling to get that view I was like I just want to drive through
Stuttgart or Tokyo or more men to Picchu I just want to be little fly on the
wall’ flying around like was it this series of videos we’re in the front of a
train I mean love watching this hyper elapses on trains that wonderful
wonderful 1905 drive down Market Street yes from the mission all the way to the
Embarcadero and then somebody replicated that last year but like I’ve watched
that three or four times that long you know just I’m the fly going through
anyway I’m getting ahead Erik I mean addition to the Bob Kramer piece you’ve
done a lot of traveling I’ve seen like you post pictures of the places like how
do you pick those places and what’s been the best response from the people you’re
filming and also like from your own viewing of it I think there I mean Mike
my goals I usually have two goals one is work fuller development you know so I’m
out shooting because there’s no there’s no way to get that experience without
actually shooting and going through the whole workflow over and over again
especially in the field that is changing so quickly you know like like this one
where the cameras change the tool set changes the you know in coatings change
and every at every level of detail things are changing sort of constantly
but the second thing is I have recorded quite a bit of family life with these
cameras and I have not found any form of that sort of historical capture I’m like
a packrat with with imagery you know so I shoot all this stuff on a daily basis
and and organize it all it’s actually it’s it’s it’s kind of painful to
organize this kind of data you know I definitely did a nut dream about like
just deleting everything and uploading it to a positive scale okay yeah this
though I have I probably have 40 or 50 terabytes of data at home that I have to
constantly backup and you know and you have to just to be really clear like the
entirety of Toy Story 1 was like 6 terabytes you know 9 oh and by the way
at that point in time I think the entire Internet was only like 20 terabytes back
in there back in the 90s so it’s it’s another passionate area of mine that’s
just storage and backup but the the sort of family capture stuff so I did
interviews with my wife’s parents and you know my kids like my wife you know
the day before we went to the hospital to give birth all in this format and
when I go back and look at those videos it really does feel like I’m back in
that moment and so I’m not sure what it’s like for other people to go and I
think anyone who cares about somebody who sees sees that person in this format
will feel like they’re there in front of them and we see it in the tested piece
we see in other pieces where someone’s talking to camera but there’s something
at a different level when it’s when there’s something when there’s like a
precious feeling to that capture you know and so I’m thinking of this as as
archiving for the future you know what what are the moments that I can capture
for my kids and so that is a lot of what drives me to push immersion and intimacy
in the format as much as possible and even if it’s like the only people who
will that will connect to or relate to most is fan
we it it for them it’s it matters that much I mean even for the maker some of
the people who now cuz we shot this over the past year and now they’ve seen it
some of them have moved spaces or have changed their spaces drastically for
them it is a time capsule right because they didn’t experience their old space
which threatened they may have photos of but never have documented this way in
the tiniest way it’s that for me too because depending on the detritus that’s
sitting on the shelves behind me I can tell almost to the week of when what
project I was working on actually I don’t remember I mean I came in here
with a high-resolution 360 piano rig and it was just sort of a random test one
day and ya come over and shoot it and I shot all these pictures which are like
hundreds of megapixels maybe even a gigapixel and I remember one day you
used it to zoom in on on text on one of those drawers to tell somebody or to
find something I send like the six drawer down in that cabinet right there
because you could zoom in and see the text so that kind of captures is is a
moment just it’s a time capsule um have you ever seen them vendors film until
the end of the world I have not have we talked about this so this is a super
important movie and really is worth watching I believe it came out in 1990
hold on just a second until the end of the world until the end of the world
1991 so it comes out in 1991 and priests sages laptops tablets digital
advertising GPS it it the main character is driving and she’s in traffic and she
pulls off the road and her car says you are leaving the marked route Claire I
cannot guide you anymore Claire right it is like that was ten years before we
were getting that stuff but what the film is ultimately about is it’s about a
scientist Max von Sydow who invents a machine that can record your dreams and
it can record your experiences so you put it on and what you see is what the
person later on watching the recording sees in every way like you are in the
space it does it with brain weights rather than visual imagery directly
and William Hurt in film is you he’s traveling around the world gathering
experiences interviewing family members and getting as much data as he can into
this format before bringing it back to his dad in the outback of Australia
where he’s got this protected compound and ultimately what happens in that is
that they discovered that if you wear the rig while you’re sleeping you can
record your dreams and these people end up in this compound in the outback of
Australia addicted to watching their dreams it’s riveting it’s a phenomenal
movie it’s one of my favorites sam neill is in it Solveig de Martin and John
Merrow plays William Hertz mom Max von Sydow plays the scientist it’s a super
important psych centered fiction movie and Eurex you will find so much to
connect with in this film is that good or bad no it’s great
that’s what this kind of thing takes it takes a little bit of obsession and look
it’s really fun to step out on the precipice of technology and a mode of
communicating and find ways in which it can resonate even deeper because we’re
looking for that experience for ourselves and then Ansel airily we’re
looking to give that experience to others so this precipice that you talked
about I think it’s really interesting because I think this particular
precipice has been a journey of hundreds of years or maybe a hundred something
years but pan-arab you know I was in your bathroom and you know you have a
picture you have a bunch of pictures printed out you know that’s a panorama
in there of a workbench and that kind of work has happened since the beginning of
film you know people have been doing panoramic photography and looking for
ways to experience it other than a giant print there was no way to look at it in
the past in fact perhaps the inventor of cinema
Edvard my bridge shot some incredible panoramas from the top of Knob Hill here
in San Francisco in like 1875 1880 the it’s like been they would display them
in galleries right all around the room so you’d stand in this gallery and be
looking at a vista of San it’s field-of-view yeah yeah feel the
view and finally a way to display things that breaks borders
you know this director linear framing that that we’ve been working with for so
long I mean I think storytelling has almost visual storytelling has almost
always been framed you know in theater it’s framed by the proscenium so that
concept is really well understood and I think part of this the you know this
development of storytelling in a new medium is about understanding what
happens when you break through that frame framing and I was gonna ask that
how was your experience been with because this is something that I find I
cannot explain to people I have to put this headset on them whereas like you
know media throughout the years you can kind of show people pretty easily this
you in explain it but this you really have to put this headset onto people
how’s your experience been with this if you had look kind of I don’t write
people’s minds around it and easier way than just showing it to him I think I
think there’s no replacement for showing someone in headset but I think maybe the
closest thing would be a stereo 3d Omnimax film you know don’t dome theater
that’s 3d some people have been in those it’s tends to be documentaries that you
know science museums and stuff like that but 3d films and IMAX are probably
similar at the same time I think that that I think that it’s easy to think of
it like that but there’s a way in which when people say well if I put on VR how
do I know where to look right and the answer is when you walk around the world
how do you how do you know where would you look at the things that are
important so there are ways in which that link when you look at those
beautiful videos on magic and neuroscience and you look at magicians
like Penn & Teller who’ve worked deeply with neuroscientists to help understand
this and pickpockets like Apollo Robbins attention management specialists and
none of them think that it’s a mystery about where we’re gonna look in VR I
don’t think I haven’t spoken to them directly but like these are performers
and on a stage as a performer I know where the audience is going to look most
of time I’m guiding their focus I’m telling a story and there’s a way in
which I think a lot of VR content that I’ve seen does not trust the viewer to
actually look where the action is and there’s always like blinking arrows
telling me where I look and like I play a puzzle game I I’ve played with a few
puzzle games and what I kept on experiencing with them was I’d be like
looking around this room and somebody would go look everybody I don’t want to
do don’t tell me what to do I think there’s there’s also a responsibility on
the creative side you know the the creators cannot do things that give
people an overwhelming sense of FOMO you know when 360 first came out there
was a look right now there’s still a lot of experimentation but one of the most
natural things for a creator to do is put the camera in the middle you know we
we could put a 360 camera in the middle of here and the overwhelming sensation
I think aside from feeling like your head is in the middle of the table just
maybe not ideal is to make people look around constantly for something right
right and that can be very taxing on somebody yeah we see that a lot like to
have a conversation there’d be a lot of these like scripted scenes like you’re
in middle of an interrogation you’re literally in the middle of yeah you know
I seen yeah theoretically it sounds cool but you’re that you’re asking a lot I
mean it could be used to make that feeling for you know to give this person
a feeling of insecurity I think it could be used but imagine like if you had shot
this the shot tested VR in 360 what would have changed well you mean from a
pipeline perspective I’m not sure how much would be added there have been a
lot of wall yeah and look there’s a lot of people I read the comments on the UH
knock you les app and there were just a few negative comments that didn’t like
the fact that they couldn’t look behind them but to be perfectly honest within
the storytelling that we’re doing there’s no reason to need to look behind
them which is why as soon as you said now I’m mostly concentrating on 180
right now norm and I were both like oh yeah that totally checks out like for
the most part I’m sitting on a couch and even though I have access to some large
spaces it’s very specific content that I’d want to go in and have complete like
360 movement around me and not to say that there’s not a place for boats but I
really get how much 180 can help refine the focus for a specific story
yeah I mean like I think I could say if you want to create like I mean see 360
beam like a whore narrative right where you’re trying to create a certain sense
of you know unknowing or FOMO but for armed intensive purposes there was no it
just didn’t it didn’t make sense and the space is would have the spaces would
have picked would have been completely different we have looked into spaces
where people have tools or work in a space where it is 360 and and most of
the people don’t work that way the only thing you need doors and you know most
shops have right I’m curious about the actual pipeline so you you get back to
your your your edit suite and you’ve got the stereo VR and then you’ve got all
these other camera coverage how do you start how did you start to work out the
pipeline of how to parse this stuff just for yourself before cutting it together
it was a it was a process I mean eight episodes I probably didn’t feel super
confident in a good you know being on my own and good having a good pipeline to
like Episode four Wow I mean because a lot of new data yeah I’m gonna stitch
things together you have a really medium and everything and then on top of that
you’re working with software that’s you know relatively new or right editing
itself requires a massive sort of dump into your head and wrapping your head
around all this material and then you’re doing that at the same time as you’re
using technology that’s brand-new and some of its buggy and not necessarily
perfect right yeah I mean just getting getting to the edit suite I think was
was the challenge but once I was got into premiere like it’s you know it’s it
was it was familiar enough that I can cut and then and then just going through
like you really have to you have to watch it in headset right so it was it
wasn’t where I can edit look at a little screen like yep that video is great
export it was unedited video and be like alright let’s so let’s try this out if
you have to keep uploading sample videos up to the headset to watch them or just
can it be part of the pipeline had it I had a headset that was looking like a
live feed good okay basically I had to go through and I cut it then I watching
the live feed and then I’d do like a color pass and then charred on a few
different headsets just to make sure you know things are being displayed properly
oh nice is there a real difference between how the headsets each do that
yeah I mean I didn’t realize that and then your computer monitor like it’s
yeah yeah of course I’ve always relied on scopes that can tell me where whites
were were around where the lows were and that helped but like there was also a
little slight differences with the headsets and stuff so I’m just making
sure that I’ll was consistent across and what to go in the quest and then and
then there’s a whole audio discussion oh my god right audio is a whole separate
thing because we’re using 3d audio and audio guy so I think what think Joey
said is is really important the the previewing in headset is absolutely
mandatory right I really just don’t know what the piece is going to look like
until it’s a beauty net set and I have seen creators create a piece of media
and share it without ever having seen it in headset and it’s it just means that
it’s not targeting it’s not being made targeting headsets you know it’s made
for other forms of 360 consumption so my feeling is that the editing process
needs to be really tightly coupled with with headset viewing and for instance I
was looking at I started looking at but what was available on YouTube on the
oculus browser and the YouTube VR content and one of the things I found
was you know when you’re looking at the YouTube content not in 360 VR but in the
2d words big and wide there’s an aspect to it where the contrast ratio and the
the super wide angle looks so compelling and kind of really beautiful and then
when you on a lot of them you click to the full 3d 360 and it crafts the bed
right you’re way closer into it and the resolution drops significantly and it
doesn’t have that same compelling feeling and again it’s it’s it’s
dependent on going into the environment rather than looking at it from outside
there was a during production going back to the picture-in-picture when we were
shooting the close-ups with the scene of 16:9 camera and then looking at the feed
of the the of the VR camera on the computer screen I pad I’d be like all
right let me just punch in on this picture I picture camera I get close and
then you put the headset on I’m like I see I’m like I’m closer in the VR set
that I am right in that camera right just because of the way you know you’re
the way you’re looking at that on a 2d surface so we were overcompensating by
like zooming in on the 69 camera way more than we should have
because I knew at that point going into editing like this is not gonna and so
much of us almost analogous to the very early days of film filmmaking because we
were essentially like testing daily shots like we were right doing on the
first few of these videos and trips we’d shoot a bunch different distances and
then there’s a whole process than just that offload that to a headset and then
in the hotel room literally going through oh I like Version three the best
so next day that’s the those are distances that we
measure we and in and film for yeah so uh just casting our minds forward if we
do more of these like are there some specific things you’re dying to try out
or that you feel like in quite nailed that or excited about adding some aspect
well the techs already change right is it really you there’s like second
generation of the camera though that we use that nowadays what 60 FPS mm 60 yeah
amazing where’s-where’s motion land now or where
we have there’s people who are bill trying that what do you mean well we
yeah so everything locked up right we talked briefly at the the launch event
about you know how to deal with motion how to move the camera on some kind of
motion control system ER or what um and if that would add anything of importance
here’s a question sometimes in VR when I’m looking at this
static shot like I like our videos and I do this I move my head in obviously it
doesn’t move with me and there are times when I’ve been like shit like I want
that is there a possibility that a current or future camera has a high
enough resolution to do a false zone for me so within just the space of my head
so that as I move my head within this 18 inch circle I do get a kind of a false
actual VR space yeah I have seen some creators do that on the on the playback
side you know where they’re faking sixth off movement you know in within some
very small head volume you can move your head around and forward and backward is
usually done by zooming because there’s no real 3d information you know just
stereoscopic and within a small frame that might be enough what’s your
experience of that yeah it’s interesting I’ve seen it done pretty effectively I
think it also depends how close objects are if objects are very close and you
would expect motion parallax you don’t get it right it can feel a
little bit off yeah and but I think this hall space moving cameras it’s it’s
there’s a lot of debate in the industry about it because there hasn’t been
enough done you know every everybody who’s done moving camera shots
understands how they feel about the stuff that they’ve shot but they don’t
have a greater sense of what it means for storytelling in the medium itself
not yet there’s an so right now I’d like to just ask the audience of something
which is if you guys have specific questions about this process these
technologies I’d love you guys to put them in the comments and then we can
come back in a month or two and answer some of these questions because we still
have our own questions about this this again this is sort of brand new
territory and I like the idea of starting a dialogue because as far as
I’m concerned I want to make a ton more of these and I can hear a lot from
people who watch to like not only people who’ve watched that are makers that
would love to have their own stuff film and that’s really kind of open the
floodgates in terms of the creative side and and coming up the ideas but also
people won’t want to experiment filming and it’s not difficult to buy something
for a couple entre dollars off the shelf and start at least getting good quality
at 180 VR sorry before I forget there’s a bill I know I want to do if we do
another one of these and I’m going to write it down but you brought some of
the cameras here and like I recognized some that views but what are some of
your experience but Joey do you want to show the camera that was used to shoot
custom VR yes this is the this is the Z camp k1 prison but we used and this is
we have rigged up here I have a video on that should be up you know on tested
where I talk a little about it and then it’s also video where we rigged it up I
mean but this is essentially just a production camera Micro Four Thirds
sensor sensor yeah to to fix lenses and you can’t adjust the parallax on that
can you know that’s it’s set for around 64 millimeters average human eye PD
these are very wide angle lenses these are I think they’re two 20s right now
from that you get 180 degrees on each eye and it works really well so you see
the quality that comes from here the output is somewhere around 5k
five to 5.7 K at 30 frames a second these are consumer cameras this is on a
rail because I typically have these on a rail extended out forward this is these
are hybrid cameras the views X are so there are two I brought a few of these
cameras can I take this one on vacation with me sure
that’s the views XR this is the insta 360 Evo I’m also a hybrid stereo 180 and
360 camera so you can fold it like this and lock into place and it becomes 360
Wow and so there are a few of these cameras now I should actually these are
all the cameras that are out right now and this is a con dog ku cam which has
three seven three different lenses so you can shoot in 180 mode here over
there and then you can flip it up here and shoot in 360 so you know these are
smaller sensor consumer cameras generally much less costly than
something like this and they all shoot in formats that are look pretty good and
headset you know you can get close to what we shot of course I think the
larger sensor makes things a lot cleaner and remember in general these matters a
lot what does lighting how so I mean just
having because they’re enough like having on okay yeah good amount of life
yeah and I think that’s one of the things that we’re looking forward to
going forward is this as the camera market matures you know in in
traditional filming the cameras can basically shoot in darkness right and we
are the sensors are just being integrated at a slower pace in this in
the smaller area but the newer cameras we’re seeing are very good in low light
and they’re also shooting at 60 frames a second so we may or amount of not want
to get into motion and 30 frames a second 60 you know can’t have set
refresh rates in this discussion but motion is another one of these issues
not just camera motion but the subject motion you know if you’re shooting at 30
frames a second and you walk across the you know the walk next to the camera
very close people will see that as a stutter and that’s something that 60
frames a second helps with if we can adjust the shutter
we have no nd on yeah you can’t adjust a shutter but that was how you were
controlling the exposure we can locker shutter and see our deal shutter
yeah yeah yeah yeah wait so the did Katie the the second camera has bigger
sensor the same size sensors an update on sensor but it has dual native ISO so
right yeah 2500 which is great and it also has you can put any lens on so you
can choose the lens with adjustable aperture oh wow it’s just one doesn’t
have wow yeah so the first gen one the one we’re shooting at here has
adjustable aperture and then they revved it with a different lens that is fixed
at F 2.5 which is very challenging because it’s very strobe II you know all
the shutter shutter exposures the exposures are super short yeah there’s
so many beautiful interesting like one eye sees a light but the other eye
doesn’t see the light because then you know your brain doesn’t really like that
as much I’m a set design standpoint you kind of want to throw some practicals up
but then once you get in headset you realize that these are interacting with
the lenses of different in different ways doing blocked
fascinating yeah now I can take this into Adobe Premiere and like I said
everything’s there and I can edit with it pretty easily are there I guess are
there other options if you were doing like a consumer version do they have
their own bull editing suites or is it please just to go straight from the
camera to the headset yeah they’re they’re all basically the same in terms
of workflow which which is great because you don’t have to learn anything new
once you’ve learned that but they they get stitched and I use stitched in air
quotes because it’s not really stitching it’s taking a factory calibration from
the camera because these lenses you know in traditional stereo Adam you’ve worked
in traditional stereo mhm right so the the lenses and the film playing or the
sensors are are aligned and calibrated meticulously you know it because they
have to be perfectly matched that has all essentially gone away now we’re
we’re doing digital calibration so they’re calibrating the lenses they’re
taking pictures of the lenses and lining them up in a calibration profile and
then that is used so it’s they’ve solved it with the software they’ve solved it
is it’s probably not as good as having a proper stereo for do it but it gets it
the 99% of people who don’t 99.9% of people who don’t have access to a stereo
defer it gets them it makes them able to create this kind of content so it
basically unwraps the each lens according to that calibration and lines
it up and it’s usually very close this is reminding me of this back in the in
the in the 80s there somebody figured out
I remember this was a big thing within stereos within home stereo someone
figured out this ideal relationship between your main speaker and your
woofers in your tweeters and there was this ideal sort of cabinet with the
right amount of airflow and that was what everyone was doing for their
speakers and then I met John Meyer of Meyer sound early on in our mythbuster
days and I said do you have some special alchemy for your speakers and he went
hell no we do it all with software yeah move a lot faster than the speed of
sound yeah you think just microphone in the middle and it feedback loops in my
speakers and I get whatever I want out of them and this sounds like digitally
the same thing is happening yeah I mean so what I said was was a simplification
but the important thing is that it happens automatically for most of these
so they’re all of these cameras ship with some free tool that just converts
what comes out of camera to a half back rectangular format which is the standard
for this in this space and that gets pulled into premiere and premiere can it
connects to headset and you can view it and you know oculus rift any connected
headset in real time so you can actually edit from from headset Wow Wow
from headset yeah it’s a live view anytime you put the headset on it shows
you the timeline I was putting stuff I was putting like titles and images in
there and just had that sit on I was doing all this not the content right
like it even if you don’t have the Technic like it’s not that difficult to
put one of these on a tripod and film your family and like do two interviews
with your family members but like all three of us have newborns and like it’s
been amazing because like there’s a real time distortion effect with having a
newborn as I’m sure you remember right like yeah a year feels like five years
but you don’t remember what happened at the end of that year six minutes exactly
all right and we’ve been filming the baby like you know semi regularly once a
month and when he goes to bed we put on a headset and watch like the and we see
the changes way more clearly than we remember it and wow wow you capture all
the movements and you know they’re sort of a way of being
had set and it doesn’t I mean this rig on a rail so one of these consumer
cameras I travel with this all the time and that’s why it’s on here I usually
have there’s a spatial audio recorder all in one alone that sits right here in
the back and I just I literally just shove this in my bag and I pull it out
and put it on a tripod that’s the part that you know I think a lot of people
have to get used to so that if you stabilize the camera you’re gonna get
great results right I try to handhold it it can work but it might not interesting
I was just sucking – I was just talking to a professional snowboarder we’re at a
Beretta YouTube event and she was she was like I want to do 180 3d video but I
want to like hold who I’m snowboarding I’m like I don’t know if that’s the best
idea like but it’s like it’s like you’re right there with me I’m like well I
think with any of these I think you do one session you record one stick it
editing view it like you’ve already learned so much like walk out of there
if you just got to keep on trying things and some of them are not gonna work and
some of them are gonna be make you sick and some of them are gonna be awesome
and transformative and I think your experience of describing what it’s like
to see your family because you’ve been doing this for so much longer than than
us and most people that emotional experience it’s important to remember
that the first time people were watching film and they filmed a train coming
towards the screen people were running out of the theater watching footage of a
train come toward the screen because that was such a new experience to them
the optical illusion felt real and so there was an emotional connection to
that even in what looks super primitive to us now and that emotional connection
to to using technology for storytelling is driving the innovation we’ve been
talking about all podcast it’s really exciting it’s just a super exciting
space to be in it is in the the pace at which it’s evolving is also staggering I
mean it’s it’s so amazing to look back and before we might have had to look
back years or decades to see fundamental change and I feel like we are we are now
seeing it sort of on you know one or two year cycle where the cameras evolved
like formats are changing underneath and one of the challenges in this space is
that you know in normal media 4k is these sort of the the upper practical
limit you know a lot of consumer cams our phones shoot 4k the most people
don’t playback in 4k but typically all of the devices that you would use in the
ecosystem handle it we are sort of starting at 4k in this space and so one
of the the challenges has been figuring out how to you know playback 5ks
6k write a video and then when it gets to 60 frames a second that’s gonna be
another challenge and so that’s a lot of what’s happening in the headset is you
know our headsets playback 5k a 5.7 K video and it makes a visible difference
and so we’re right at that bar where things where people are starting to talk
about the content and not the fact that they can look around
right right exactly well thank you so much Eric for joining us and thank you
for introducing us to awesome technology but thanks for playing in this really
really fun sandbox cuz we it’s been really rewarding and we’re really proud
of what we all got to make together yes there are links below if you want to
check out the tested VR app to watch this all this content and like Adam said
post your questions about how we thought through and how we did all this
production and it comes to blow and we’ll be back next week yes alright bye

39 thoughts on “The Tested VR Project – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 10/15/19

  1. I love the idea of documenting your family in VR to watch back at a later date. I am not a fan of 3D cinema. I've watched very few. And my concern with VR movies/video is that you're essentially shut off from the people you're watching with. I like looking over at someone else for their reaction to something I know is coming, or sharing a laugh when it's funny, or hiding when it's scary. That is kind of lost when you're all in your own visual space. And I'm not sure I like it.

  2. After thousands of hours in VR. I have seen so many bad videos. These are the best VR videos I have ever experienced. The videos are so imersive. Thank you so much tested! I really hope that you expand the series!

  3. One thing I would encourage is trying to move the camera, certain studios have proven that it can work. As long as the movement is constant (predictable?) and stabilized my impression is that it is less jarring than cutting to a different point of view. It keeps you immersed in the space.

    My favorite video was the 3D printing lady. There was not much making in that one but the conversation felt intimate like she was talking to you specifically and you could look around at the costumes as they became relevant to the conversation.

    What I did not expect is how enchanting it would be to watch someone working on something the particular gestures their body makes as they engage with a medium and seeing it warp into a new shape, I enjoyed all of them even the ones that I hesitated to download at first because of my limited space. It was encouraging and inspirational. It's one thing to watch a video tutorial but having someone make something right in front of you really left an impression on me. Might go out and get myself a chainsaw too now XD

  4. What you guys are describing is how I believe college and schooling will progress. Especially people in the medical field.

  5. I'd love to be able to watch Tested VR in the Oculus Rift… if it won't show up I might have to look for someone that has managed to rip the video-files from the app…

  6. Does anyone else when finishing a project get a major depressed feeling? Even if what Im working on turns out awesome, I always feel at a loss.

  7. Thanks for the VR content you bought to the Quest. 🙂
    I should note that the passion your subjects have for their work shines through in 180 VR.

  8. If you are shooting something such as build, what if you treat the camera as someone visiting you and get rid of that fourth wall completely. If you are doing something where you know the person will want to see more closley what you are doing, have the camera move in. Just talk to the camera "Come over here and look at what I am doing here…" and then the camera moves in.

  9. Promotes hearing technology…. has no subtitles. yeh ok. No link to the hearing technology website, nothing on the video or in the description…..

  10. I still think somewhere between 270°-300° Horizontal FoV and 180° Vertical FoV is perfect for modern VR video. The user should be seated and at best turn their heads while seated and twist their back slightly while seated. This gives you enough natural Vertical & Horizontal viewing FoV in a seated experience.

    The camera can be properly mounted along with the ShotGun mic, 2D camera, and simple box lighting rig.

    And you occlude some of what's behind you which gives you some wiggle room in location / tripod setup.

    360° FoV is just too much information for not enough pay-off and makes setup of the location/shot too time intensive to get right for not enough pay-off at the end user level IMO.

  11. I watched your videos on my Quest and they are definitely some of the best quality live action VR videos I've seen to date. One question about shooting with a high shutter for exposure: We often shoot with a high shutter when we do a slow-motion-to-normal-speed ramp or when we're shooting green screen to minimize the blur on the key. We'll often go into After Effects and add motion blur back in using a plug-in like CC Motion Blur. Have you tried using that in the VR video to help reduce the stutter?

  12. I'd love to watch one day builds where the camera is placed in Adams desk. Screw realistic representation and proportions , give me a 1/6 models' eye view of the work Adam is doing. Id be able to see detail that way too

  13. Viewer doing the editing by where they're looking. Key. The viewer has a lot more options, similar to navigating one's own world. I think that's right.

  14. I don't know exactly what you're talking about but I would think if I was in a VR workshop sitting on a stool watching someone build something across a bench and I needed to look closer at something, I'd have a big magnifying screen on an acordion boom arm, like something a mad scientist would have to tinker with out of a steam punk future.

  15. QUESTION: Saliva sounds in peoples' ears… How do YOU prevent enraging watchers with MISOPHONIA?

    EXAMPLE – ERIC'S Microphone in this Podcast (came specifically from the Audio podcast) … If this was an interview with only Eric, with that Microphone & raw audio into my ear via an entrapping headset… I would smash it on the ground.

    THIS IS A SINCERE COMMENT, what audio filtering do you do to fix this?
    The clarity of Eric's mouth sounds is infuriating. I want to punch anything and everything.

  16. "Where do I look" is a common problem in games. Many people miss important events because they just happened to be looking in the wrong direction at the right time.

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