30 Las Vegas Movies In Virtual Reality

How me made our 360° video

We are a team specializing in 360º video based out of Moscow. Our goal is to create funny, entertaining and immersive 360° videos for YouTube.

360° video is a new popular format where a viewer can choose the viewing angle using a computer mouse or simply by moving around their smartphone or tablet. Such videos look especially impressive when watched in a virtual reality headset.

But so far, 360° format was mainly used to shoot travel and extreme videos. We wanted to expand these boundaries and create an entertaining video that people got used to on YouTube, with the advantages of 360°. Thus an idea to make a video about movies that were filmed in Las Vegas was born, with the opportunity to actually visit and look around the places shown in the video.

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Movies

We have watched over 40 movies that feature scenes from Las Vegas, in order to create the script for our video.

Shooting

360° video is shot using a 6 camera rig. Since in Las Vegas it was 104 degrees the cameras would quickly overheat, it woud only be possible to shoot for 5 minutes at a time, and then wait for half hour for them to cool down. But it was worth it — I believe we manage to capture the best shots.

Stitching

Video footage from all cameras had to be converted into a single panoramic video, using Autopano Video Pro software. I took a training class to work on this program in New York City before my trip to Las Vegas.

Color Correction

Protune mode in which the video was shot, provided the best image quality, but the colors were rather pale. We have corrected it using Adobe SpeedGrade software.

Patches

If you look down in many 360° videos, you can see the tripod with the camera. It destroys the illusion of presence. Therefore, by using Photoshop and a couple of tricks we have deleted them.

Special effects

Making graphical effects for 360° video has its own specifics. We used special software where all the graphics were created in a simulated 360° space in the form of a cube.

We decided to mark the hotels described with bright animated logos. We have tried several options before we found the one that fits Vegas style! We wanted to reflect the spirit of each hotel by its logo, and as a man who once lived in Vegas, I can say that we have managed it.

We decided to make pop-up screens with movies large enough to watch on the tablets and smartphones, but at the same time for them not go beyond a field of view of a virtual reality headset.

We wanted graphics to be more organic looking inside the space, so we made some of its areas transparent. This created an illusion that the screens and logos are behind the objects in the video.

Sound

After listening to thousands of various rings, dings and whooshes, we chose the right sounds to reflect effects even better.

Music

It would’ve been boring to play one melody for all 9 minutes. The decision to choose an individual melody for each scene was obvious, but the search for suitable tunes was not so simple. Everything was clear with Egyptian Luxor and pirate Treasure Island, but what tune to choose for not thematic hotels like Mandalay Bay and MGM? The decision was prompted by movies. Boxing-Sport melody was suitable for “Rocky”, and Sci-Fi-Detective melody is well suited for “Now You See Me”.

Voice over

I think we have found the perfect actress for this video. She has a very beautiful voice and was able to cope with the role of a funny movie-geek girl. Since the video is rather long, we had to write a lot of instructions and do a lot of takes, but in the end it turned out excellent, with very vivid emotions.

Final cut

All of the previously listed work was a preparation of the components, and now we had to combine all the finished components into one complete video clip. Very serious planning was required in order for everything to come out as it was forethought

Result

Making this video was challenging at times, but nevertheless always interesting. As the work progressed, we would run into several hurdles along the way and would find creative ways of coping with them to achiev our task . We are very proud of our video and soon we will be making a lot more in the 360° format for our brand new YouTube channel — VRstuff.

Vsevolod Tarasov, Kirill Kruglov, Alexander Nudin

Best regards, the MeraVR.com team