Gradient

September 2017

360 and VR - Taking TV Out of the Box

By Richard Wormwell

We love exploring, experimenting and innovating with technology, and right now two of the most exciting technologies in our industry are 360 video and Virtual Reality (VR). The possibilities that these dynamic new mediums offer not only explode the traditional boxed-in boundaries of television but also offer a creative freedom that’s almost limitless. So, it’s time to let your imagination soar with fantastical ideas for truly breathtaking content delivered by dock10.

360 video, often called immersive video, allows the user to watch a whole panorama of live action from a fixed point. The environment is real and the user controls what they see and hear for a truly immersive experience. We’ve perfected the art of knowing where to position the cameras, the kit and the crew so that they can’t be seen on a shoot that offers nowhere to hide. What’s more, with narratives needing audiences to look where you want them to at any given moment, we’ve developed techniques to skilfully guide the viewer's gaze without them knowing, so we never shatter the all-important feeling of your audience being in control.

Perhaps the really big distinction between dock10 and other immersive content producers comes in post production. This is wonderfully complicated, with image stitching, editing, compositing, spatial audio-dubbing, latlong grading and 360 VFX, let alone rendering the 4K images for each eye. When you get all these things right, the results can be spectacular. But a professional production demands specialist hardware, software, hard-earned experience and expertise, and that’s what dock10 has on hand. Our specialists know exactly how to enhance 360 content, giving it the polished and professional feel you’d expect from the most exciting and immersive medium around.

When it comes to Virtual Reality the creative possibilities increase boundlessly. Predominantly a computer-generated environment that the user can freely explore and interact with, it is largely created through gaming software and is experienced through head-mounted displays or on mobile devices. What VR lacks in the photo-realism of 360 video, it more than makes up for with a phenomenal freedom of action and creativity – the results have been truly out of this world.

With all the cutting-edge technology and specialist skills needed to bring even the most fantastical ideas to life, we have pioneered or learned the techniques that are helping to push the boundaries of 360 and VR and to commercialise its use. Innovation excites us, and so we are always ahead of the curve on what can be done and what is coming in the future. Whether we’re recreating familiar places or inventing whole new magical worlds, through an in-depth understanding of the technology we can help clients achieve things they hadn’t even thought of. This means that when you sit down with our specialists to talk through your vision, there is almost always an inspirational moment when we say, “That’s brilliant, but I think we can make it even better by...” And that’s when the real magic happens, as we collaborate closely to make every project everything it can be and deliver what others can’t.

That doesn’t mean we know everything and we’ve stopped learning – far from it! Every day is fantastically exciting precisely because it brings new challenges to be solved and new possibilities to explore. We are pioneers in 360 and VR, working hand-in-hand with the most progressive content producers, to push boundaries and create something extraordinary and unique.