In Depth: 32 Uses of 360° VR + Some VR Tools to Get You In the Game

In depth: VR. Image credit: Uriel Soberanes @soberanes

We get asked all the time if we think that VR and 360° immersive video is something that is just a novelty or if it is an important technology. Plus, I’ll go over some of the 360° VR tools available for your favorite NLEs, 3D programs, and more to help you get started in VR.

Larry Jordan’s Digital Production Buzz asked me to come on as a guest and talk about VR and after doing a bit of research I thought I should write an article about it. VR can include 360° Video and immersive video in which the person experiencing it wears goggles. I’ll admit that really haven’t played with VR much but I’ll tell you, some of the VR setups at NAB were pretty impressive. There seems to be some interesting use in VR cinema, especially VR horror films, and, of course, gaming. Virtual tourism, which is cool and all, but is it enough to keep VR around? Is there more to VR?

Featured image credit: Uriel Soberanes @soberanes

What VR being used for, besides gaming and entertainment? Here are 32 things.

I spoke with David Baker, a digital media instructor at Ferris State University about this and got his take. David is someone I would call an expert in this area. He works in the digital media department and they’ve been incorporating VR into their curriculum for a few years. He explained that where he really thinks there will be growth is in the education field, especially in medical education. He gave me several ideas including medical uses and training, so I did a bit of research and this is what I found.

VR is being used:

  1. to treat PTSD in soldiers
  2. to treat anxiety and phobias, such as public speaking or fear of spiders
  3. to help cancer patients manage anxiety
  4. to help people overcome pain
  5. to cure disease. VR is being used used by medical researchers interact with cells and learn about the immune system.
  6. to help restore eyesight and lazy eye
  7. to help diagnose dementia
  8. to help children with autism
  9. to simulate autism so those of us who don’t have it know what those who have it experience.
  10. to help paralyzed people regain movement.
  11. to simulate migraines so those who don’t experience them know what it feels like.
  12. to help you reach enlightenment
  13. for surgical training and practice. Imagine being able to perform a virtual surgery without the risk of an actual human dying on the operating table?
  14. to help the elderly and shut-ins
  15. to help people empathize with those less fortunate (and “StoryUP and Fugitives Editorial both use Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects with Mettle 360/VR plugins, and both companies said working with immersive video isn’t that drastically different from editing fixed-frame video.”)
  16. to help raise money for UNICEF
  17. to stop sexual harassment
  18. to train new Walmart employees
  19. to train welders and other skilled trades
  20. to train police officers
  21. to train new teachers
  22. to help students learn math
  23. to help students find their career path
  24. to help the Chicago Bears quarterbacks
  25. to help injured sea turtles
  26. to control robots in space
  27. to help astronauts deal with extended time and pressures of working in space and to simulate vestibular disturbances
  28. to teach about Mars
  29. to explore the globe
  30. to train pilots
  31. to simulate distracted driving
  32. for forensics and crime scene reconstruction in the courtroom

VR is being used in full force in marketing right now to sell Audis, Bourisin cheese, and Happy Meals, too. And, if you want to check out an amazing 360° VR music video, one of my favorites is Gorillaz – Saturnz Barz (Spirit House).

VR Tools: You Probably Already Have Some!

If your clients are not yet working in VR formats, you can see from the list above that it’s a quickly expanding field and chances are, you will be working with VR formats within the next five years. Many major softwares have incorporated VR tools into their recent releases and here are a few. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a showcase of some popular tools at Toolfarm.

Adobe Creative Cloud Immersive 360° VR Tools

Adobe acquired Mettle’s VR tools last year and the tools are incorporated into Adobe tools such as Premiere Pro CC. Add virtual reality effects to your 360/VR videos without creating unwanted distortion at the poles or artifacts along the back seamline. Effects include VR Blur, VR Glow, VR Sharpen, VR De-noise, and VR Chromatic Aberrations to create colored fringes on video or graphics produced by uncorrected lenses.

New Immersive 360˚ Video Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018

Premiere Gal shows the new immersive tools in Premiere Pro.

360 VR Video Post Production with Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018

Hugh from CreatorUp! walks you through the VR Tools in Premiere Pro.

Get the Adobe Immersive 360° Tools

Autodesk 3ds Max to VR

3ds Max Interactive is a powerful VR engine which allows users to jump from Max to VR quickly and easily. If you’re a MAX subscriber and you’ve updated 3ds Max 2018.1, you’ll see a new interactive menu that launches 3ds Max Interactive, the new 3D to VR creative workflow.

Learn all about the all-new 3ds Max to VR Workflow.

Autodesk 3ds Max to VR workflow

Get Autodesk 3ds Max

Maxon Cinema 4D R19 Spherical Camera

Render 360° Stereo VR Video with R19’s Spherical Camera, which is included in both Cinema 4D Studio and Cinema 4D Visualize.

Cinema 4D VR tutorials

Check out Rick Barrett’s tutorial series on Cineversity, Render Virtual Reality Videos with Cinema 4D for more on working with VR video. Also check out Cinema 4D to Unity to Oculus Rift Quickstart and Render a Kitchen Concept in Virtual Reality: Series Introduction.

Get Maxon Cinema 4D

Boris Continuum

The latest release of Continuum introduces five VR tools to help users work in 360° video: VR Reorient, VR Insert, VR Blur, VR Sharpen and VR Flicker Fixer.

Continuum VR filters are GPU accelerated and support VR video formats: 180°, 360°, mono and stereoscopic.

Tutorial: Continuum 11: Intro to the VR Unit

Supported hosts:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Aftter Effects
  • Avid Media Composer.

Buy Continuum

Boris Continuum Unit: VR – Editors working in 360/VR filmmaking face VFX & post challenges that are often time-consuming. The VR Unit gives editors five new filters for every day VFX tasks that seriously speed up 360 workflows.

The VR Unit is also included in the following bundles:

Boris Mocha VR

Mocha VR brings high-end VFX and post-production workflows to 360°/VR filmmakers. Based on Imagineer’s Academy Award-winning planar tracking algorithm, Mocha VR features a native 360 optimized workflow most common 360° video post-production tasks.

Mocha VR is available as a standalone application or plug-in for Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer and OFX Hosts: Foundry’s Nuke, Fusion and VEGAS Pro.

  • 360° Planar Motion Tracking
  • Advanced Roto & Masking Tools
  • Automatic Object Removal
  • Horizon Stabilize & Reorient Module

Get Mocha VR

Moch VR is now included in Mocha Pro

More on Mocha VR

New: Mocha VR Brings High-End Visual Effects and Post-Production Workflows to 360°/VR Filmmaking

Torus Media Labs CANVAS360 Pro

CANVAS 360™ Pro is a workflow inside of Adobe After Effects enabling users the ability to composite 360˚ VR footage/renders together with traditional After Effects layers and non-360˚ footage/renders.

Get Torus Media Labs CANVAS360 Pro

Final Cut Pro X 10.4

The next version of Final Cut Pro has been announced and will have VR tools. Apple, in fact, bought Tim Dashwood’s technology and much of that will be integrated. Learn more

More about 360° Video

The Future of VR

VR is going to explode in the next 5-10 years, mark my words. Headsets and gear will come down in price and will be able to do more and it will be explored for so many purposes. The Oculus Rift is only a year and a half old and still pretty expensive.  It would be worth it, for your future, to learn a bit about how it works, even if you’re not working on any VR projects right now. David Baker tells me that Augmented Reality (AR) is growing faster than VR right now because it uses phones and tablets instead of goggles and people and companies are finding a lot of uses for it. Augmented reality is a topic for another article!

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Posted by Michele Yamazaki