Prospective, future building works are often hard to visualise when conceptualising remotely or even when onsite. By utilising VR, viewers are able to gain a sense of presence and understanding of the anticipated world around them, rather than having to rely upon their own visual creativity when looking at 2D architectural drawings. The use of modern technology however must encompass the traditions and history of the college, expectations of the alumni and memories associated with the importance within the educational and wider world.
Clare College, Cambridge University wanted to be able to show their audience of alumni and sponsors the outcomes of the proposed renovation works to be undertaken, as part of the ‘Campaign for Old Court’ fundraising scheme to enable the historic buildings to be carefully repaired, modernised and extended, as part of their ongoing desire to make the grounds and buildings more accessible to all students, running as part of the 700th Anniversary Year of Clare College.
The project fell into two main parts: a 360° film and an interactive 3D model, both viewable with VR hardware.
The 360° film footage was captured using an Insta360 Pro 2 8K 360° camera. The real world footage, finalised 3D 360° renders and interactive 3D models were taken into a mobile VR application for Oculus Go headsets, in Unity.
A 2D traditional flat screen version was created for TV broadcast, and a 360° video also uploaded to the college YouTube video for magic window viewing or with other mobile VR headsets.
Make Real worked with Michael Danks, BAFTA and Emmy nominated sound engineer and film-maker, to shoot the 360° film footage onsite and carry out the post-production edits. Filming took place over a couple of days to allow for daily life at the college to continue, and capture the dawn and dusk timelapse sequences. Traditional, vox-pop style interviews were carried out with the dean of the college, alumni and other members of the campaign team.
The interactive 3D models of the finished building and accompanying 360° renders were compiled in Unity for the Oculus Go VR headset with simple 3DoF input controls.
In order to maintain the highest quality video visuals possible, in this current case 5K supported by Oculus Go, the final edit videos were sideloaded onto devices during deployment to avoid maximum Android APK filesize limitations affecting overall playback bitrates and over-compression of the video frames.
The main event around the fundraising campaign centered around an alumni weekend where previous students attended the college once more to meet and learn about the plans to retain, restore and enhance elements of the college buildings.
Make Real was on-hand for the event to operate a VR 360° film viewing area, where many of the guests viewed the experience.
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