Epic Games launches Unreal Engine 4.20

Epic Games has introduced Unreal Engine 4.20, which allows developers to build even more realistic characters and immersive environments across games, film and TV, VR/AR/MR and enterprise applications. Unreal Engine 4.20 release combines the latest realtime rendering advancements with improved creative tools, making it even easier to ship games across all platforms. Continue reading

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HP intros new entry-level HP Z lineup

HP is offering new entry-level workstations with their HP Z lineup, which is designed to help accelerate performance and secure pros’ workflows.

The HP Z2 Mini, HP Z2 Small Form Factor and HP Z2 Tower, as well as the HP EliteDesk 800 Workstation Edition, feature built-in end-to-end HP security services, providing protection from evolving malware threats with self-healing BIOS and an HP endpoint security controller. Continue reading

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Lenovo intros 15-inch VR-ready ThinkPad P52

Lenovo’s new ThinkPad P52 is a 15-inch, VR-ready and ISV-certified mobile workstation featuring an Nvidia Quadro P3200 GPU. The all-new hexa-core Intel Xeon CPU doubles the memory capacity to 128GB and increases PCIe storage. Lenovo says the ThinkPad excels in animation and visual effects project storage, the creation of large models and datasets, Continue reading

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Combining 3D and 360 VR for The Cabiri: Anubis film

Whether you are using 360 VR or 3D, both allow audiences to feel in on the action and emotion of a film narrative or performance, but combine the two together and you can create a highly immersive experience that brings the audience directly into the “reality” of the scenes.

This is exactly what film producers and directors Fred Beahm and Bogdan Darev have done in The Cabiri: Anubis, Continue reading

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Behind the Title: Spacewalk Sound’s Matthew Bobb

NAME: Matthew Bobb

COMPANY: Pasadena, California’s SpaceWalk Sound 

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service audio post facility specializing in commercials, trailers and spatial sound for virtual reality (VR). We have a heavy focus on branded content with clients such as Panda Express and Biore and studios like Warner Bros., Continue reading

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VFX vet Rob Bredow takes helm at ILM, Gretchen Libby upped to VP

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has named Rob Bredow as SVP, executive creative director and head of ILM, which is a division of Lucasfilm. Bredow will be in charge of all of ILM’s four studios worldwide — in San Francisco, London, Singapore and Vancouver — and report to Lucasfilm GM Lynwen Brennan. Continue reading

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The-Artery explains benefits of a VR workflow for Mercedes spots

The-Artery founder and director Vico Sharabani recently brought together an elite group of creative artists and skilled technologists to create a cross-continental VR production pipeline for Mercedes-Benz’s Masters tournament brand campaign called “What Makes Us.”

Emmy-nominated cinematographer Paul Cameron (Westworld) and VFX supervisor Rob Moggach co-directed the project, Continue reading

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“Making 360 Video Easy for Publishers”​ at 7th FOKUS Media Web Symposium

Perspectives on the digital video world from JW Player’s SVP of Technology

My interest in virtual reality started in 3rd grade, when I was obsessed with a book called Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy. It’s about a kid who is given a dragonfly robot that can be controlled with a “telepresence helmet” and gloves. He uses his ability to virtually exist in other places to enforce justice, specifically exposing a Spelling Bee cheater and preventing the dragonfly from falling into the hands of people with sinister motives.

The book was published 44 years ago—obviously the authors were quite prescient. It was not the first work of fiction to describe virtual reality, however (in English, anyway). That honor goes to the 1935 short story “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” by Stanley G. Weinbaum.

My point is, people have dreamed of immersing their consciousness (minus their bodies) in other realities for a long time, but we have only recently developed the technology to actually do it.

So why are so few people, myself included, using it? By consumer electronics standards, sales of VR headsets were minuscule in 2017, as they were in 2016, though analysts are predicting a surge in 2018—as they did in 2016 and 2017.

I think it’s primarily because, despite huge investments and promotion from Google, HTC, Facebook, Samsung, and others, using VR equipment is still too expensive, difficult, and awkward for most consumers. After the initial novelty of VR, people can’t be bothered to strap a viewing device to their head simply to watch a few videos.

However, I also think people would put up with the clunky user experience if there were more interesting content to watch, specifically 360 video. But creating and distributing 360 video content is still incredibly difficult and expensive for most publishers.

The people at Fraunhofer FOKUS have invited me to speak about 360 video at 7th FOKUS Web Media Symposium in Berlin on May 15. I won’t be demoing any robotic dragonflies, but in the session “Making 360 Video Easy for Publishers,” I will discuss the challenges facing publishers who want to get their 360 video on the web and some ideas for overcoming them.

JW Player offers products and tools to make publishing 360 video easier today. For more info, see Pearl’s “360 Video: Looking Back and Ahead” post and Henry’s series on “360 Video & Virtual Reality (VR) in JW Player.”

 

To learn more about JW Player’s 360 video support, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

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