Prismatic is my first independent project since I have left my position as Creative Director at Autofuss and Google a few weeks ago. It has begun its existence as a proof-of-concept animatic for a larger, practical set I am currently developing. Soon though, it took life on its own and became a self-standing animation I am happy to share with you today.
Rendered in Stereoscopic 360°, Prismatic is best experienced using a virtual reality viewer, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Gear VR or Google Cardboard. The VRideo player below supports most of these viewers. For other ways to experience this video, keep on reading after the break.
In the player below, make sure to set the video quality (gear icon) to 4K and use the eye icon to toggle between mono and stereoscopic views.
Photosensitive epilepsy warning
Set to dynamic EDM glitch-hop beat of Drop the Panic by demoscene musician h0ffman, Prismatic features strobing lights and potentially disorienting visuals. If you have history of photosensitive epilepsy or experience discomfort, dizziness, nausea or headache, please turn it off as soon as possible. The rest of you – enjoy the (light) show.
Download for best quality
360 videos and VR are still very new to the web and not widely adopted. Until WebVR becomes a widespread standard and a new generation of video codecs with proper support for 4K-, 6K- and 8K-square comes around, streaming 360° content will always offer sub-par experience. If you want to see every pixel and every detail of Prismatic, the best method is to download the high-bitrate version of the video and play it locally either on your desktop or mobile device.
One of the most popular players out there is Kolor Eyes by Kolor/GoPro. Kolor Eyes is available for Mac, PC, Android and iOS and supports Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard as well as Leap Motion controls. Other popular software includes Virtual Desktop (Windows) and VRplayer (Windows, Android). Finally, if you own Gear VR, simply download the video and drop it into your 360 Videos folder, then launch the Oculus’ native 360 video app.
The video uses an over/under (sometimes labelled as top/bottom) stereoscopic split – make sure to select that option in your viewer of choice. The links to download the video and the players can be found below.
It should go without saying, but I am going to state it just-in-case: You may download and view the video, but you are not permitted to use it either commercially or non-commercialy, to upload it to any sites or services, create your own player apps, etc. If you are not sure what uses I’m OK with – send me an email and ask. You can find my contact information on the About page of this site.
If all these steps above seem complicated, well… unfortunately they are. At the moment there does not exist a single method of publishing 360° VR content in a way that maintains high quality and compatibility with all operating systems, devices and viewers out there.
For those of you willing to sacrifice the immersiveness, the depth perception and interactivity for the sake of convenience, I rendered a two-dimensional “autopan” version of the video – recorded using a virtual camera placed inside the VR environment and simulating viewer’s gaze. It is my least preferred way of experiencing Prismatic, but may work best for some.
The autopan version can also be watched at YouTube and Vimeo.
Don’t forget to check out The Making of Prismatic article for more information on my creative process, in-depth details on tricks and techniques used in creating this piece, as well as some findings, observations and lessons learned producing this piece.