Thursday, March 31, 2011

LEXUS + yellowBird + YouTube = WIN!

"Standard" Video from the event is not 360, but provides a great comparison with the 360 experience.

A screenshot from showing the new LEXUS CT 200h in front of Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye that was the canvas for a spectacular special effects show.

It is not the first 360 video that yellowBird has placed on YouTube, but it is the first to show off their new hotspotting linkage to more video experiences.  LEXUS choose yellowBird to document their Netherlands launch part of the new LEXUS CT 200h, the world's first full hybrid luxury compact vehicle.  Document they did.

Visuals go off around the LEXUS CT 200h on the facade of the Chateau.
 The project is home to at least eight different 360 video experiences, each accessible from the same YouTube page via the "L" icons placed around you from the start of the first video.  As you click and drag to look around you, you see that you are in the middle of the event from the start.  Before you, graphic projections dance across the facade of Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the new Lexus appears in the foreground illuminated by the light show.  To your right, a small lit up tent seems to be where the pulsing drumbeat supporting the show is eminating.  You click on the LEXUS icon above it and are taken inside the little tent to a viewpoint right on the drummer's set.  With the 360 control, you can watch the drum solo rain down on the skins all around you. 

Medi makes it rain beats
 You have to back out to the previous video to proceed here, which I think is a flaw, but a very small one.  The next icon you find in the original video leads you inside the big tent, where the party is going on.

There you are, in front of the showcased CT 200h.  Lexus icons becon you to explore more.  One sits above the car and one in the distance above the stage.  Clicking on the car icon, you are taken for a drive down a European country lane with a beautiful driver.  If you've ever tried to shoot video inside a car in the daytime, you know that contrast between light inside and briter light outside can be difficult, but the yellowBird shooters found a way around that with their new camera from Point Grey Research, the Ladybug 3.  The experience is extremely immersive here. 

There is even an option to go outside the vehicle as it drives down the lane.  Clicking "VUE EXTERIEURE" will place you on the hood of the car for the drive.  Clicking "RETOUR" will take you back to the party to check out the live music from Medi.  They start the set with the first single, "How Would You Do It?" off the new album, You Got Me (Moving).  The camera is well placed between the act and the audience, allowing you view whatever you want.  Like all 360 videos from music events, the online viewer should have the best seat in the house.  There is also another tune option, "Like a Runaway" to explore.

All together this LEXUS project by yellowBird for YouTube is one of the most immersive online experiences yet, will likely turn the heads of marketing executives around the world, and maybe even collect a few web awards.  All involved certainly deserve too.

As an immersive video evangelist, I do have some criticisms of the project, however.  First of all, this project has a limited field of view in that the viewer is blocked from looking straight up and on the initial home video, this design decision has consequences.  The very top of the beautiful architecture of the Chateau is cutoff, giving me the sense that I can't really see everything including the very top of the amazing visuals that the project is build around in the first place.  Dislike.  My second issue is less severe, but odd none the less.  For some reason, when the viewer pauses the video (say to grab a screenshot) the 360 navigation becomes locked and the LEXUS icons disappear.  Both of these issues are new to yellowBird projects, and I hope they don't represent a trend. 

When Immersive Media demostrated its live streaming 360 video capabilities, it reduced the zenith view in order to save on bandwidth for the stream, essentially determining that the view above the camera of the ceiling wasn't worth the transmission costs.  Personally, I think it is the freedom of movement that engages the user and the zenith is a big part of that, it's another whole dimension to explore.  Removing it didn't work for the now defunct Immersive Media and I don't think it works well here. 

One reason yellowBird or LEXUS may have made this design decision is to aid first time users of the 360 video, who do tend to get lost around the zenith view as they learn the navigation controls.  There has long been a learning curve to this new medium, and for some, like my mother, it is simply too steep.  As a large commercial project, the reason would be understandable, but with many very inexpensive 360 degree "cylindrical" video technologies emerging, yellowBird may need to brand their offering in contrast to the cheap stuff. 

More to come in the next post about some of those very cheap options for 360 video coming online, but here's a new one that has received a lot of attention today, which is good, because they are depending on crowdsourcing the development via -  Considering that GoPano is already 15% to their goal in just half of the first day bodes well for the project.  You might want to consider backing it, you know, since you're reading this blog and all...

BTW, thank you for reading.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Welcome to Immersive Video from Condition ONE

My Freedom Or Death - Condition ONE Beta from Danfung Dennis on Vimeo.

Taken from DSLR NEWS Shooter:

Fresh from his documentary win at Sundance, cinematic journalist Danfung Dennis has announced some early details of his next project called Condition ONE. It looks to be a highly immersive virtual reality video project which Danfung hopes will allow viewers to experience news events more fully.

Danfung hasn’t disclosed too much detail about the actual system used other than to say it is based on a Canon video-capable DSLR which can capture the entire human field of view as a distorted circular image. The image is subsequently projected onto the inside of a dome for immersive viewing. The same image can also be displayed on an Ipad app which allows the user to pan around the video image as it plays.

The video [above] shows just how it would work and was shot not in a sterile test environment but rather on the frontlines in Libya, by photojournalist Patrick Chauvel. The new technology gives the viewer a totally different sense of what is happening.

Danfung Dennis on the project - “Visual imagery can be a powerful medium for truth. The images of napalmed girls screaming by Nick Ut, the street execution of a Vietcong prisoner by Eddie Adams, the shell-shocked soldier by Don McCullin – these iconic images have burned into our collective consciousness as reminders of war’s consequences.

But, this visual language is dying. The traditional outlets are collapsing. In the midst of this upheaval, we must invent a new language. Condition ONE combines the power of the still image and storytelling, the emotional engagement of tactile experiences, and the compelling nature of being an active participant in an effort to pioneer a new language that is so immersive, that it will shake viewers out of their numbness to traditional media and provide them a powerful emotional experience. Instead of opening a window to glimpse another world, we are attempting to bring the viewer into that world.

Our early prototype camera uses a Canon DSLR to capture the entire human field of view. It creates a highly distorted circular image. Once that image is projected onto the inside of a dome (image a sphere cut in half), the distortion melts away, giving the viewer a visceral sense that they are in the scene- the traditional frame no longer exists.. We have developed a virtual version of this dome for the iPad, which uses the full capabilities of the device. Condition ONE is developing next generation stories for next generation platforms.

Through our work we hope to shake people from their indifference to war, and to bridge the disconnect between the realities on the ground and the public consciousness at home. By bearing witness and shedding light on another’s pain and despair, we are trying to invoke our humanity and a response to act. Is it possible that war is an archaic and primitive human behavior that society is capable of advancing past? Is it possible that the combination of photojournalism, filmmaking and technology can plead for peace and contribute to this future?”

About Danfung Dennis:
Danfung has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006. His images have been published in Newsweek, Time and The New York Times. His footage in PBS Frontline Obama’s War was nominated for a 2010 Emmy Award. His documentary, Hell and Back Again, won the World Cinema Jury and Cinematography Awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. He is the founder and CEO of tech/media startup Condition ONE. His background is in Applied Economics and Business Management, consulting small and medium sized enterprises in emerging markets.

You can find out more about Condition ONE here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

LOUIS VUITTON brings Paris Fashion Week 2011 to you in 360° Video

Screenshot from 360° Video from the Front Row of the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show 
yellowBird, the busiest 360 video production company alive today, has done it again, and this time, they've done it with serious style.  Fashion icon Louis Vuitton tapped the Netherlands-based team led by Marc Groothelm to bring the world to the front row of its Fashion Show at Paris Fashion Week 2011.  According to The Telegraph:

"Widely said to be a "money no object" event for the multi-billion pound French luxury brand, the show was staged in a massive black tent in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum, with a cast of saucy French maids with feather dusters, four hotel doormen, and 67 models, including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.  The models were ferried up to the stage in four gilded elevators, inspired by those in Claridge's Hotel in London."

The user experience is almost as elegant as one would imagine the actual experience of the show was.  Once at the website, a full screen time lapse video begins panning the courtyard at The Louvre as the enormous black tent is erected. Upon entering the website, the user is provided with three options: Sit in the front Row, Watch the Show with [Designer] Mark Jacobs, or Enter the Insider's Experience.  Sit in the Front Row is an incredibly immersive, 12 minute experience of the Fashion Show itself.  Sitting in the front row, with the ability to watch the models from all angles as they file by is (almost) as good an experience as actually being there.

Watch the Show with Mark Jacobs is traditional video footage of the desginer and assistant watching the Fashion Show and providing detailed commentary on the designs.  When you click on Enter the Insider's Experience, you'll be asked to login to Facebook and "Like" the Louis Vuitton Facebook Page in order to get the Insider's content, which begins with another 360 video.

This time you are outside in the Louvre Courtyard again, walking through swaying, black balloons towards the enormous black tent.  You realize almost immediatey that you are being given the actual visitor's expereince upon entering the Fashion Show.  As you enter the shadowy halls, the audio of the show's last minute preparations fill you ears.  You pass through an empy hair and makeup area full of mirrors and the sounds of the dressing room during the show make a sharp contrast.  A label appears in the middle of the screen, unmoved by clicking and dragging.  When moused over, an HD video from behind the scenes in the dressing room begins.  Each of the scenes throughout, have additional content embedded into the 360 video.

This is another brilliant use of 360 video that yellowBird has been employing lately, as a container for a larger media package.  It's a logical layout and one that is intuitive with hotspotting and linkage.

Over all, I think Louis Vuitton will be winning website awards up and down the internets with this online experience and yellowBird is slated to release a number of new client works in coming weeks. 

Can't wait to see what the future holds, but with Kolor announcing the launch of their own 360 degree video player requiring no plugin through WebGL and HTML5-based browsers, yellowBird seems to realize that staying on top is not going to be easy.

Congratulations to all involved on this incredible project!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Night in 360° Video: BigLook360 Scores the Big Gig!

There have been some extraordinary 360 video projects lately from NorthStudio360’s Nimmo Bay Experience, which has gone organically viral with 25 million views, to Craig Werden’s surreal “Are We” concept music video.

If it doesn’t quite seem like 360 degree, interactive video technology is showing up everywhere yet, it just might after tomorrow night's 83rd Academy Awards.

from"Oscar All Access is a new premium service that gives Oscar fans the ultimate view of Hollywood's biggest night. Beginning with the Red Carpet, and continuing through the Governor's Ball, Oscar All Access members will get unprecedented, behind the scenes access and see the event like never before. With exclusive access to our groundbreaking "360 cam" technology, members can direct their own Oscar experience with just the touch of a mouse."
[UPDATED 2-27-2011]

"It's like standing next to someone," said BigLook360's CEO and founder, Lance Loesberg. "You're right there."

I've blogged about some of Lance's work at BigLook360 before, both their excellent Travel Texas project and their recording of the Implosion of Texas Stadium. This time, they've landed the ultimate proof-of-concept project. The right clients, audience, and expectations, I think, will combine here to push the 360 degree, spherical, immersive (official term yet to evolve) video medium over the summit of critical mass awareness. It has been a long climb up, with several dangers along the way, but 360 video (the term I've settled on here) is almost there.

The new Lexus car ads are touting "a virtual 360 degrees of video" around their cars. Trust me this feature is awesome while driving. When I was on the road shooting content for Google StreetView with Immersive Media's Dodeca camera on the roof of the car, I could keep the viewer control pointed at my significant blind spot in the VW Beetle we drove (this was mostly due to the equipment in the back seat). As we drove, we also talked about how helpful the video would be if we had an accident. Sony has already produced the first consumer 360 degree video camera in the Sony Bloggie, and mobile apps from such mega-stars as the Black-Eyed Peas are featuring 360 video content. Now, with an all access pass the second biggest TV broadcast of the year available online, producers will find the perfect compliment to any live event.

So, what will Oscar All Access look like? Well, it seems that like MATIVision's Muse Concert at Wembley Stadium, the viewer will have a group of 360 cameras to choose from in addition the ability to look around in each camera position. Celebrities that seated near these camera's will get full-time camera time.

What kind of cameras will they be using on Oscar night? According to the press release that was picked up by the Associated Press and further distributed, "Inside each [camera] are 11 separate cameras feeding a constant stream of video online." The only 360 video camera out there (only two types were ever sold commercially) that functions on an eleven sensor array is the Immersive Media Dodeca 2360. Big Look 360 was a client of Immersive Media, working with their cameras on several projects (see links above), but where are they getting six Dodecas for this project?

The reason I asked is that Immersive Media still has a website up, but is no longer an ongoing concern as the company changed its name and business focus (to "clean" coal investments, of all things) last summer. I know. I was an employee of Immersive Media until they suddenly pulled resources from the company to invest in energy sector enterprises. The marketing department was laid off/fired as well as several others in January 2008, at the extreme height of the global economic collapse, followed by round after round of lay offs of key positions in a very small business, until finally, change came to Immersive Media in June 2010. Everybody was let go and the doors were closed at the offices in Portland and Dallas.

The new company, Emberclear, has now resumed trading on the Toronto Venture Exchange and recently thanked two departing board members, Geoff Rhoads and Winston Guillory, who helped guide the company through its transition stating, "Both directors have been champions on behalf of our shareholders with their ability to embrace the facts and accept the logical conclusions no matter how difficult." Logical conclusions? What were those? Were they published? According Emberclear's own documents where it has repeatedly stated that the "camera business" has been undergoing a "strategic review" and all operations have been discontinued. No conclusions from this review have been revealed to investors in Immersive Media Corporation (now Emberclear) whose share value was significantly diluted in the awkward, year-long transition. The regulators who approved the transition might be interested to know what this Oscar announcement from Big Look 360 seems to indicate, that it is still doing “camera business” with Emberclear/Immersive Media. Something fishy there.

In fact, one would guess that since Emberclear has so publicly devalued its own "camera business", Lance Loesburg and Big Look 360 must have gotten a great deal on the six Immersive Media cameras they'll be using tomorrow night .

A great deal is about the only reason I can think of for Big Look 360 to use Immersive Media cameras on this project. Compared to commercially available Ladybug 3 cameras from Point Grey Research, the resolution of the now ten year old design of the Dodeca is terrible, with its eleven sensors being only of VGA quality. Resolution will be key to spotting celebrities and digitally stalking them. Ladybug 3 cameras have recently been used for tests on NASA's new Mars Rover, Google's Art Project, and even the new companies that Immersive Media's former CEO has started, Immersive Ventures and 3D360, which is a partnership with Edo Segal and and built the BEP360 iPhone app. It was used in the first 360 video on YouTube, Professor Green's "Coming to Get Me" which also has iPhone app for Doritos' multi-million dollar "Late Night" campaign. It is surprising that with an ultra-high profile event like the Oscars, Big Look 360 would not choose to use the current state of the art and resolution standard. Then again, this is a proof-of-concept project and a deal is a deal, and who knows, the curtains may drawback tomorrow night and we'll see six Ladybug 3 cameras around the venue.

Oscar Night's All Access "Invitation" will cost $4.99, and I think they have the right price point for this. My only question is in the complete exclusivity of the service to only paying customers. This is a new medium that most people have never experienced and you want them to give it a try, right? Give them a little taste... Open up one camera for free, and the content and human curiosity will sell many more subscribers. Once viewers have had a chance to explore a live event like this, they will pay five bucks to get five more camera feeds.

While I usually join the hundreds of millions of other viewers on Oscar night, I DVR it and come back later. I have to admit that this news gets me really interested in watching the live broadcast. They'll get my five bucks on Oscar Night, will they get yours?

Congrats to Big Look 360 on the big, big gig! Break a leg.

John Lasseter, a member of the Academy, creative officer for Disney and Pixar, said: "It's going to give the viewer at home more access to the Oscars ceremony than even people going to the Oscars".

Christian Bale

Mario Lopez

Donald Trump

Helena Bonham Carter

Taking a Photo on the Grand Staircase
Some guy texting

The Smiths Johnny Marr spotted being interviewed right next to the 360 video cam

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Black Eyed Peas New iPhone App featuring 360° Video!

Look just about anywhere else to find out more information about the new BEP360 app. Check out TechCrunch, will.i.apps, or Twitter #BEP360 for the latest updates. The press release from the newly minted will.i.apps, a mobile app development company, is copied below. If you're hoping to learn more about the 360 degree video behind the app, then you found the right place.

On Monday, The Black Eyed Peas launched their new iPhone app. The world has been re-re-introduced to the new medium of 360 degree video. Congrats to everyone involved in the project, especially the dedicated team of engineers in Dallas that have really pulled off a real feat here despite some incredibily difficult situations over the last year or two or three.

The BEP360 app (available for $2.99 at the App Store here) was brought to you by a number of parties,, Edo Segal of Futurity Ventures, a new company called 3D360 and, likely, a half dozen ad and pr agencies, but who shot the 360 video, and with what camera? Who developed the mobile app (which is the true tech breakthrough here)? Why can't I experience the 360 video for this project on my computer via a Flash player and embed here on the blog?

Readers will notice the name of 3D360's CEO, Myles McGovern, as the former CEO of the 360 video pioneering company, Immersive Media, which,in the last year, changed it's name to Emberclear and released Mr. McGovern of his duties. 3D360 is a joint venture of Immersive Ventures (where you can see a pretty great video of Fergie's first experience with 360 video) and Futurity Ventures (appears to be a placeholder website). 

Myles McGovern (with Craig Adkins)
applying bubble gum to the problem
 Full disclosure: I used to work for Mr. McGovern at Immersive Media and often admired his stamina when dealing with adversity. I was impressed once at a company picnic when we were trying to shoot a fun video with the camera's inventor, David McCutchen, and the camera malfunctioned. Among a group that included the head cameraman, several daily shooters, the camera's inventor, and the service team, it was Myles that saved the shoot by (and I'm not kidding here) making an electrical connection with a paper clip and chewing gum.
the bubble gum fix
Myles, David, and I in line with camera for rollercoaster

That's me upside down next to David's helmet 360 cam

Whether or not it was a good idea to put the camera on David's head for a G-force-based rollercoaster ride, is another discussion entirely.   David suffered no ill-effects from the rickety old ride in Oaks Bottom Park in Portland, OR, and it made for a great demostration video.  Unfortunately, like a lot of the good things shot for fun and profit at Immersive Media, I'm not able to share them with you as they are no longer online.  The company's website is still up, but Emberclear (the new/old parent company behind it) has been very clear about its discontinuation of operations of what it calls (rather passive aggressively) "it's camera business" and is now a "clean coal" investment firm.  I know, right?  Investors who bought in during the heady days of Immersive Media's agreement with Google to provide content for Street View were left scratching their heads as the company fell apart, the stock price plummeted then flat lined, and eventually changed names and business focus entirely. 

So, it seems that Mr. McGovern has embarked on a new venture with 3D360 and Immersive Ventures, and I wish him and the team with him continued great success, but what camera are they using?  From photos on the Immersive Ventures web site, it would seem that they shot the BEP360 video with a Ladybug 3 Spherical video camera from Point Grey Research

BEP360 appears to be powered by Immersive Ventures i360TM Player, which says it includes sample videos but lets you download and install additional media.  It also says that it creates simulated 3D for stereo viewing mode and has anaglyph 3D playback.  Both of these concepts have not been seen before.  There is a software developr's kit (SDK) for i360 that lets developers create their own iPhone apps that provide smooth playback of spherical videos on mobile devices. It supports both finger drag and motion navigation.  They also mention a desktop player for local viewing of spherical videos, but there is no mention of an online player, which may also be the reason they don't have any of their own 360 videos on their website or why there isn't an online version of the BEP360 video at, will.i.apps, or 3D360's site.  Seems to me that the app is worth the $3 for the "motion navigation" alone, and giving users a 360 experience online (where they still have to use the mouse) would only sell more apps, but I could be wrong.  More than likely, it's a timing call and the online version will pop up in one of these places, eventually. 
The point is that the mobile device with augmented-reality-like "motion navigation" is a great user experience with 360 degree video.  It removes the disconnect between the users eyes and the mouse and reduces the learning curve for the first-time viewer to about half a second.  Just like head-mounted display devices like vr goggles, with the mobile device, the user only has to make a gesture to look around and immediately gets the fact that they are surrounded by video content for the first time.  As you can see in the before mentioned video of Fergie being introduced to the content, the reactions are often those of amazement and excitement.  Read the comments at any place discussing 360 video for the last three years, they are overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic.  People love this stuff.

This may be the project that pushes 360 degree video out front for the critical mass of attention it has needed to gain wide-acceptance, but we have hoped for this before.  There is no doubt that with backing mobile development in this area, and suddenly being announced as Intel's new Director of Creative Innovation that 360 video's time may very well have come. rocking his new Intel badge

From the Press Release:
New ‘BEP360’ App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch Takes Fans Inside “The Time (Dirty Bit)” with 360-Degree Motion Control and Augmented Reality Developed by Peas Front Man

LOS ANGELES January 24, 2010 - Music industry pioneer and front man of The Black Eyed Peas,, today announced the iTunes App Store launch of BEP360, an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch app that immerses fans in a 360 degree universe of the legendary music group. Featuring the world’s first 360-degree view music video (“The Time 360”), BEP360 features the song “The Time (Dirty Bit),” the first single from new CD, “The Beginning”, now available on Interscope Records.

BEP360 is the first release from will.i.apps,’s new digital media production entity dedicated to pioneering and producing application-based entertainment experiences. BEP360is the first in a line of upcoming applications that will converge the worlds of creativity, music and advanced digital technologies.

Thirty years after the first music video aired on MTV, the will.i.apps team has reinvented how fans can be further immersed in the world of their favorite artists by pointing and swinging an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad around a 360-degree axis that then changes the point of view. An entirely new form of music video, BEP360 uses digital teleportation to take fans deeper inside the world of The Black Eyed Peas. A demo of BEP360 app featuring The Black Eyed Peas and the making-of behind the scenes video can be seen at:

“will.i.apps and the BEP360 app have been established to help artists tap into the potential of our hyper-connected mobile world and bring fans deeper inside the music far beyond a four minute audio
recording. It’s a unique and completely new way to experience 360 degree music immersion that will bring artists and fans closer together,” said

Key Features of BEP360

•Point iPad, iPhone and iPod touch device at the cover artwork of the band’s latest album, The Beginning (Interscope Records) and watch augmented reality take form with BEP avatars dancing to the beat
•Direct a virtual photo session with Fergie,, &Taboo allowing users to capture their own shots and share them.
•Stay up to date on everything about the Peas via an aggregated Twitter feed
•Play an addictive Peas-inspired puzzle game
•View pictures and comments posted by other BEP360 app users on a virtual earth

The BEP360 app is available for $2.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, or at

will.i.apps partnered with Metaio to facilitate the cutting edge augmented reality experience bringing the Peas into the fans world. 3D360, the technology leader in 3D360 video was also part of the team that pioneered this ground breaking platform allowing capture, and then play back of the unique 360 degree video. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to allow fans to get closer to The Black Eyed Peas and realize’s vision of the first mobile 3D360 music video,” commented 3D360 CEO Myles McGovern.

About will.i.apps
will.i.apps ( is a digital media company focused on delivering ground- breaking entertainment applications for mobile devices. Co-founded by music industry pioneer, producer and
The Black Eyed Peas front man and Edo Segal of Futurity Ventures, a New York-based Innovation Engine, will.i.apps partners with leading artists to bring their creative universes to life by embracing the power of mobile apps. Fans can also visit to learn about futureBEP360 apps.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Rogers & Cowan for will.i.apps
Sallie Olmsted
310-854-8124 Interscope
Hillary Siskind

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Heli Hallelujah! 360° Video Over Nimmo Bay, Vancouver Island

Click the FULL SCREEN ICON on the player for total immersion!

northStudio360 created this stunning 360° video for Nimmo Bay Helicopter Fishing and Wilderness Adventures

[UPDATE: Nimmo Bay Helicopters and northStudio360 have received over 2 million views on this video since it made the front page of The Huffington Post]

Sweeping through a high mountain landscape in a helicopter is an experience few will ever have.  Hanging outside that helicopter with an unobstructed field of view, is an experience no one should real life, anyway. 

Online, the freedom of 360° video taken from such a vantage is breath-taking.  Set to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as sung by The Canadian Tenors, this 360° video takes you to places normally reserved for eagles and gives you their field of view.  Ryan Whitehead, of northStudio360, created the video by first designing a unique 360° camera rig from 6 prosumer grade cameras.  He built the camera array solidly enough to withstand the rigors of external helicopter shooting, and evidently devised a means of dampening the vibration that normaly makes heli-mounted shooting so difficult.  This was only his first acheivement as part of this project.

Next, Ryan had to "stitch" the imagery from all six cameras into a unified image.  There are a number of excellent stitching software tools available for stitching still images, but stitching video is not a simple function command in those packages.  northStudio360 seems to have also developed a new "video merging" software as their media release states.

Ryan told me via Facebook, "We constructed a aerial 360 camera rig built from consumer cameras and just stuck them on the end of a pole. I then took the videos and with my own workflow, stitched it all together".  Sounds simple, right?  Trust me, it's not.  There are difficult challenges to that workflow that resulted in a spectacular experience here.

Delivering that experience required a unique video player also, and for that, Ryan turned to yellowBird, the Netherlands-based firm behind so many recent events in the 360° video world.  The interactive, spherical yellowBird video player is social media enabled and powerfull enough to deliver a smooth experience with the content.  In full screen, the viewer is immersed in the scenery and the sound, with video controls available when needed, but disappearing when not.  Controlling the field of view in this video, following a mountain peak as the helicopter flys by, peering into a glacial crevasse as you float over it, swerving back and forth as you cruise upriver just feet over the water, all of it is simply marvelous to experience. 

My hope is that everyone with an internet connection around the world gets to have this experience and what are sure to be many more from Ryan Whitehead, northStudio360, and yellowBird. 

It is beauty for beauty's sake, and it is quite a ride.  It will also, likely, sell a lot of helicopter flights.
Ryan's team has also put together a fantastic virtual tour for Nimmo Bay Helicopter, Fishing, & Wilderness Adventures