The latest Within original blows away Tribeca audiences with exciting new light-field technology.
One of my favorite things to do while rocking a VR headset is binge watch various 360-degree videos from platforms such as YouTube, Jaunt or Within. They’re simple to access, easy to watch and plentiful. As entertaining as they can be however, most examples of the still-budding medium lack many of the features that add the extra level of immersion shown by more advanced VR experiences. Key components such as room-scale VR, parallax effects and head-tracking add to the realism of virtual experiences by making movement seem much more natural. These elements have been missing from most live-action VR experiences, until now that is.
Created by Zach Richter, Bobby Halvorson, and Eames Kolar in partnership with VR platform Within, Hallelujah is a groundbreaking musical experience that uses Lytro Immerge Technology to bring a beautiful reimagining of Leonard Cohen’s most prolific song to life.
The experience began with me alone in a pitch black space. Slowly I started to hear the faint acapella of composer/songwriter Bobby Halvorson as he slowly chanted the famous lyrics of Hallelujah. Soon enough Bobby himself was standing in front of me, carefully performing his own rendition of the iconic track. Before I knew it, four other Bobby’s were surrounding me, each taking on their own layer of the song in a beautiful acapella reconstruction. And just when I thought the experience was coming to a close, the black void I had originally found myself stuck in evaporated into a spectacular cathedral where an enchanting choir joined Bobby’s performance. The whole experience made all the more immersive thanks to the Lytro Immerge Technology which allowed me the freedom to move about the scene and explore.
The light field technology uses an impressive amount of cameras to capture every angle of the subject and scene, allowing users to move freely in a 3D space and experience a highly-accurate sense of depth and dimension. This is due in large part to the state-of-the-art Lytro camera. The massive, hexagon-shaped camera features a total of 95 cameras shooting large slices of a scene which are eventually merged together to form the final 3D product. By shooting the scene in these wedges, the director is able to remain behind the camera and maintain complete control at all times. This combined with high-quality, localized spatial audio delivers a true sensation of volume and depth.
“In 6DoF experiences you can make eye contact with the performer, lean forward to look closer, shift side-to-side to see around objects, all with perfect stereoscopic visual, perspective, and parallax,” the company states on its official site. “It’s Lytro’s Light Field technology that enables 6DoF, so live action VR content in headset for the first time behaves as it does in the real world.”
Hallelujah is currently available for public viewing at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC now until April 29th.