A short-form one-man-crew VR project created for a 24-hour VR challenge. Based on a Native American folktale, two characters played by the same actor meet in the woods, both embodying rival spirit animals from the story.
To see what could be conceived, created, and published all within 24 hours using either 360 video or Unity, all while being forbidden from using outside help (aside from assets in the Unity store).
A tight deadline is a great teacher. By doing everything end-to-end, the director could play with several aspects of VR that were previously left to others. And in keeping with the spirit of a 24-hour challenge, there was a lot of freedom to take big, fun risks for the sake of creativity and experimentation in this new medium.
From brainstorming to post-production, everything happened within 24 hours. Because there were two 2K cameras being used to shoot, the actor could appear on both sides as two different characters in the same 360 by properly stitching the videos together for a seamless integration.
Even more than with film, you need your audience to know what’s happening in Virtual Reality pretty much immediately, because they have so much else to see and do. So, in the editing room, the sound design utilized familiar tropes as storytelling shortcuts in order to allow the VR experience to quickly dive in and explore the subject.
There were a few big takeaways:
360 video can be FAST. With proper planning & execution, current hardware & software can give you incredible results with an insane turnaround time.
In VR, you not only need to get the audience onboard with your plot but since most people are first-time VR viewers, you also need to teach them how VR works within the first few seconds of a project. A few elegant solutions were utilized to do exactly that.
Just like with film, the better your planning, the smoother the execution from concept to render. With a little bit puzzle-solving, there are always solutions to VR’s challenges.
One of the biggest hurdles in this field is to stop overthinking and just get out there and DO IT; get your hands dirty and make something so you can learn the ins and outs. All in all, this project was a whirlwind, but a great adventure and the final video is surprisingly good, given the constraints.