Canon EOS VR to Democratise VR Filmmaking
The advent of 360-degree filmmaking has seen the rise of a new genre of documentaries to captivate audiences, with numerous directors entering the domain of immersive storytelling.
Novel camera systems have empowered such creative works, with filmmakers gaining access to democratised, streamlined systems to capture volumetric video on-the-fly and with minimal setup.
XR Today spoke to Alan Bucaria, Director and Immersive Lead at Forvth Studios about his use of Canon’s latest EOS VR system to shoot the immersive film ‘This Is Bike Life’ and how he leveraged the system to pursue his passion for filmmaking.
A Closer Look at the Canon EOS VR
When asked about his thoughts on the Canon EOS VR system, Bucaria explained how the camera provided 8K, 360-degree video footage at a reasonable price point compared to rivals.
The EOS VR’s workflow allowed filmmakers to transfer their footage directly to Adobe Premiere for stitching, streamlining the entire process rather than requiring “a lot of time and money [as well as] a lot of people on set to handle all the equipment you need to do a VR shoot.”
He explained further, stating,
“With this camera system, you just set it up, hit record, stop recording, pull the card, and can even preview your footage. It’s got a phone app and all the things that you would want, which is really easy to use. The nice thing is it just allows younger, newer generations of filmmakers that don’t have the budget for a huge production to start experimenting with VR, which is awesome”
Filming This Is Bike Life with VR
When asked about his experiences with filming the immersive experience, ‘This Is Bike Life,’ Bucaria told XR Today that his crew needed to determine the proper camera systems to use.
“You want to be able to catch moments, especially if you’re doing these kinds of run-and-gun shoots, where we’re doing several locations and have 20 kids on bikes, popping wheelies everywhere, you just want to make sure you catch that moment”
He added that Canon’s novel system could catch “all the moments” by allowing quick deployments of cameras and shooting on the fly, which was “something that Canon is known for.”
Bucaria also explained how such new systems allowed for fresh immersive experiences to reach the immersion “we always wanted.” The industry had relied on GoPros with limited fidelity and frame rates, which would “make things a lot more difficult.”
He explained further, stating,
“I’m really excited about all the XR and AR stuff happening now, or just virtual production and how we can incorporate that with VR, how we can build a 360 environment by using either like LED panels or green screens, and we’re exploring just different ways that we can make that fun. We just want to make it fun or more immersive”
Bucaria said that there was more work to do in VR but that the technology was “just starting to get there.” Narrative VR filmmaking showed greater success with improvements and that immersive sports filmmaking showed massive potential.
Additional emerging technologies such as motion capturing (mocap) would also allow for more interesting experiences for replays and interactions with programmes and special events.
The interview comes after XR Today spoke to Gary Yost, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Co-Director for the WisdomVR Project, about his role in shooting the critically-acclaimed ‘Inside COVID-19’ documentary, which employed the cutting-edge Z Cam v1 Pro.
Regarding immersive sports, chipmaking giant AMD-Xilinx announced in June it had collaborated with Canon to deliver its Versal artificial intelligence (AI) Core series of processors. Canon selected AMD to design its Free Viewpoint Video System to empower live sporting broadcasts.