Up until now, automotive brands have been experimenting with 360-degree video from inside the car looking out the windows or mounted on the exterior, showing off the landscape and the road. Now Subaru is upping the ante by combining both perspectives with their latest 360 rally car racing video.
In what appears to be an industry first, Subaru not only provides a 360-view mounted outside while slamming corners off-road, but also allows users to peer inside through the roof, offering an unprecedented view of both the course and the driver in action.
Combining the in-car and on-car view gives users an entirely new type of 360-degree racing experience.
Helping bring the idea to life was Ohio-based 360 video production studio UBIVUE. The company has been shooting 360 video content at a range of motorsports competitions since 2013 and really wanted to combine both views to give viewers “a new appreciation for the professionalism and teamwork required inside the car at this level of motorsport,” according to UBIVUE Managing Director Ryan Scott.
The “peer thru technology” used to capture the footage is quite simple. Speaking to VRScout, Scott explains how they used their proprietary patent-pending rig to record 360 exterior footage using four GoPros mounted to the roof. And for that God-view of pro-driver David Higgins and Craig Drew, an additional GoPro was mounted on the underside of the roof and the footage was just added in post-production. A simple enough of a technique; but when also combined with the audio conversations between Higgins and Drew racing, the idea of 360 racing videos takes on an entirely new experience.
The 360-degree videos UBIVUE produces for Subaru are all made specifically for their Subaru Motorsports mobile app which they typically don’t shoot the zenith (camera pointing upward) or the nadir (camera pointing down) to save on bandwidth and rig size when flying down the course on the roof of the rally car. So adding that 5th camera to the mix makes sense and lets the viewer appreciate the driver’s precision rally racing abilities.
When it came to challenges filming Higgins and Drew at full speed in their WRX STI rally car – dust, heat, and a ton of vibration. Scott explained that unfortunately due to space constraints they were forced to mount the interior camera onto the actual roof skin, which was quite flimsy and transmitted a great deal of vibration through to the GoPro. Either way, kudos to Subaru and UBIVUE for showing racing enthusiasts a perspective we didn’t know we were missing.
And yes, David Higgins won the event, closing out an undefeated season in the Rally America Championship; breaking a 28 year-old record.
In addition to being available on YouTube to watch in 360, the peer-thru 360-degree video can also be watched on the Subaru Motorsports app for iOS and Android. The app has a VR viewing mode which users can insert their mobile device into a virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard or Mattel’s View-Master, for an immersive VR experience.
Image Credit: Subaru Motorsports