VR Movie Making – creating a truly immersive, first person 3D VR experience

During CES 2018 Humaneyes hosted VR creator and director Parker Howell, who produced the award-winning VR short movie “Kungfuscius” with the Humaneyes Vuze VR 360 3D camera. Parker shared his insights from the VR video creation process, storytelling and how to use VR to create stories that provide immersive 3D experiences to viewers.

“Virtual Reality is the art of making virtual stories while trying to keep people from puking up their lunch” – Parker Howell.

“Kungfuscius” was created in just 1 month from script to post production and it received an award at the Awareness Film Festival. The decision to make it a first-person experience in VR was born from Parker and his team’s desire to bring the feeling of the experience to life. The result was a fully immersive film that pulls the viewer into the movie from the hero’s viewpoint. Parker’s approach to VR storytelling was to make the viewer an active participant in the story.

“It’s like being in the Matrix, as opposed to just watching it,” said one of the people who experienced the movie.

Watch people react when they experience the VR short "Kungfuscius"

To experience the VR short "Kungfuscius" please download it here

What Parker and the team quickly understood was that VR’s biggest challenge is creating a stable world for your person, your viewer, to live in. They had to find the rhythm and balance moments of active excitement with moments of peace and relaxation to give the viewers a more natural sense of motion. This balanced and natural approach to human movement, and the way the brain interprets it, helps users feel immersed in the movie while avoiding actions that result in motion sickness.

In terms of guiding the storyline, VR provided the best tool for creating the narrative. The movie begins with a 360 degree scene shot using a tripod. The tripod provides a stable platform to work around and is helpful in getting the viewer a central viewpoint to explore left, right, front, and back. The narrative helped direct the user viewpoint through character gestures. This starts at the beginning of the movie by telling viewers where they should look, turn to, or go.

To provide additional immersion Parker and the team added a 4D layer by adding low frequencies into the audio during punches and kicks which were then translated into sound through a chest worn audio transducer, similar to a subwoofer, called a “Subpac”. This gave viewers a haptic combat experience, where the feeling of the impact of the kicks and blows is translated into a physical feeling through the audio transducer.

“Where VR is going is beyond sight and sound but into all measure of sensory perception” – Parker Howell.

Learn more about the making of "Kungfuscius" and VR creation

To see more information on the camera that Parker used in his award winning movie please visit the Vuze camera page .