The making of Capoeira World VR — My journey into the Oculus Launch Pad — Week 3

If you missed Week 1 and Week 2 stories, you can catch up on my blog and also check out this article from the Oculus Launch Pad organizers themselves, for good background information on the program and this year’s class. This weekly developer blog is about the making of my first 360 VR experience, Capoeira World.

Week 3 was marked with Independence Day, aka the Forth of July, a US federal holiday traditionally filled with parades, barbecues and fireworks. This made for a shorter work week but also a good opportunity to test my Samsung Gear 360.

Little Planet of Redwood City’s 4th of July parade

As always you can hear about my progress in my weekly Vlog!

Vlog Week 3 — You can subscribe on YouTube to be alerted when the new video is ready every week

Main progress this week

  1. I made unexpected progress in the form of a new capoeira event to film. The power of social media was fully demonstrated when a friend of mine commented on week 2 post that I shared on Linkedin and asked if I was looking for more capoeira groups to film. I was about to respond yes, when I got a comment on my YouTube channel from a lady saying she got the link to my vlog from our friend in common and mentioning her capoeira group, UCA Berkeley Capoeira. This group happen to have their batizado next week! That’s usually an annual event and it’s a major highlight in the life of any capoeira group. It would be a great opportunity to shoot some of my film. There are still a few details to iron out but I hope it will work out!
  2. I did some research into sound design and got a lot of help from my fellow ‘launchpaders’. We are a group of 100 VR content creators in the program and there is a big bunch of people with way more experience than me in 360 VR film making. Everybody is so generous with their knowledge, it’s very heartwarming. They gave me lots of information and the bottom line is that I need to get a microphone. A few options were recommended, in particular the Zoom H2N and the TetraMic. The Zoom H2N is way more affordable and seems like a decent option, so I’m likely to go for that one for the prototype phase. If I win a scholarship, I’ll be able to upgrade ;-)
  3. I captured some test footage with my Samsung Gear 360, including at the Forth of July parade in Redwood City. The camera is very easy-to-use and intuitive, which makes it a great consumer grade 360-degree camera. I realized after a few videos that it was not set to the highest quality by default. I changed it to make sure to capture videos in 4k. I feel a lot more comfortable with the camera now, that will be helpful when I shoot next week.
360 test footage shot with Samsung Gear 360 at the Redwood City 4th of July parade

What’s the plan for next week?

  1. Next week I will have several shooting opportunities. None of them is confirmed yet, let’s see what works out. The batizado of the Berkeley group is over several days and I’m hoping to get their permission to film some of it. There is also an open roda with the new group from Stanford that I trained with once. Again, I’m hoping to get their authorization to film. It’s a busy week for Bay Area capoeiristas!
  2. I need to prepare for those shootings. There are a lot of details to take into account, including getting the green light from the capoeira events organizers, planning how to get consent from the participants and the location to be featured in the film, not to mention preparing the gear.
  3. Speaking of gear, I am missing 2 important items! I am planning to purchase a microphone and a tripod. I already have a monopod/tripod, but it’s too short and I need one to place the camera at face height.

That’s it for this week, rendez-vous next week for further updates!