Mixed Reality Video

So while my aging Sony TD10E still looks fab in a virtual 3d screen in VR I have been looking for something that sits better within the expanse of VR both for personal and with impending Virtual Reality project work..

The Hoot camera was indeed a Hoot (sic) but a little too low resolution wise and the promising LucidCam hasn’t proved to be reliable enough.

And so the other day I noticed that last years’ Gear 360 was down to around £80 and I got to wondering if I could jury rig a stereoscopic 180 camera from a pair?  I already knew that it was possible to run the Gear 360 in 180 mode (using only one of it’s lenses) and so this morning I got the hacksaw out and put together a basic test rig.  This essentially consists of a flash mounting on top of a shooting stick with the two gear 360’s mounted using their standard mounting pins.  Not especially elegant but should be fit for purpose!

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Video resolution should be a respectable  2560×1440 pixel resolution at 30fps for each eye. and although they will not be linked based on previous experience video synchronisation shouldn’t be too much of a problem.  Of course I will need to settle on a suitable 180 video format (perhaps the LucidCam that provides compatibility with the Gear VR might be the most suited?) I will blog again once I have something to show but at the moment this is a bit of a side project to other more pressing VR developments.

I finished off by mounting on an old monopod stand that I had lying around that will hopefully provide a little stability for my test video.

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IMAX 3D “Edge of Tomorrow”

One of the benefits of not working (or“resting” as I like to call it),  is the opportunity to spend some time with the kids while they are on their half term holidays.  Of course they are both working hard at the moment, Emily for her GCSE’s  and Daisy for her end of year exams… but ….

So we were very excited to have been invited by Stuff magazine to attend the premiere of ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ at the BFI IMAX  (For my part, anyone who knows me will appreciate that I am excited by all things stereoscopic/ 3d and this will be the first opportunity I have had to see a film at “the largest 3D IMAX in Europe”!)

I am doubly excited to be going with my eldest daughter, Emily, who is a massive fan of Emily Blunt who is planning to attend  the premiere. with her co-star.

So Is there a down side to this trip? Well, we are getting the 1:30am coach from Gloucester to get in to London at 5am …  (Red Carpet at 7am, Premiere at 9am – all over in time for brunch!)

As the opening scenes of the film take place in Trafalgar Square and Waterloo Bridge I thought we should walk from Victoria, past Buckingham palace, down the Mall, across Trafalgar Square and over the Hungerford bridge – offering us a great view of Waterloo bridge, before heading over to the BFI a short walk past the site of my first ever workplace (in Chicheley Street – ironically now a bar!).  Of course I have pointed out this particular site many times before so have an idea what I can expect – but I guess that is all part of the fun!

The Film

I might as well start by telling you to go and see this film on the largest 3D screen you can find.  It’s just simply an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours!  Better than Godzilla (which I enjoyed) and probably my favourite film of the year so far (and I wouldn’t be surprised if it stayed that way).  Don’t expect surprises (there are some), don’t expect romance (there is some), don’t expect a comedy (but expect to laugh a bit). Do expect action (lots of it), do expect suspense (buckets) and perhaps most of all, expect to be thrilled!

The Experience

I have never attended a film premiere but when I mentioned to the girls that I had tickets to the new Emily Blunt film they nearly wet themselves, and so the date was on!.    We arrived early and were escorted to our spots on the red carpet and shortly after a limousine pulled up in front of us and out stepped Tom Cruise.  I have to say I came away loving Tom (not in the biblical sense you understand).  He spent hours outside with the crowd and while all other stars were gracious with the fans, signing autographs and smiling for the cameras, they couldn’t match his commitment.  A quick breakfast inside and we took our seats, a quick introduction from Tom and the crew and the film kicked off!

What a great experience!  Thank you Stuff magazine and Warner for looking after us!

Sony Bloggie 3D vs LG Optimus 3D vs HTC EVO 3D

Anyone that knows me appreciates that I am an all round geek, and have had an interest in 3d cameras, devices and paraphernalia for more time than I care to mention.  So I was especially excited to get my hands on these devices, albeit only for a short period of time.  It will come as no surprise that my interest in these devices was in their potential as a 24/7 ‘back pocket’ device for taking 3D video and photographs.

So I don’t intend doing a particularly scientific test, nor reproducing technical specs (which are available elsewhere) but I thought it might be useful to compare some real world video and images taken at the same location, at the same time, using each devices’ default HD settings (with apologies for the rather overcast weather).

Video Quality

Sony Bloggie 3D

NB The Bloggie is the only camera to support full 1080p 3D video.

For 3d viewing options watch in YouTube.

HTC EVO 3D

For 3d viewing options watch in YouTube.

LG Optimus 3D

For 3d viewing options watch in YouTube.

Conclusion

Having has some chance to play with all 3 devices here is my general conclusion.

If all you want is a tidy and petite 3D Video and stills camera to carry about for everyday use then the Bloggie, with it’s superior 1080p resolution and dedicated/simplistic functionality wins out.

If you need a combined 3d camera and phone my personal preference is the LG Optimus 3D though in all honesty there is little to choose between the two devices (In fact I would be tempted to go for whichever gave me the best price on the day)

(This post is a work in progress)