With the winter in the UK suddenly picking up a notch and bringing snow, the storm nicknamed the Beast from the East resulted to various travel disruptions for many participants. A few had to drop out or were unable to fly to the UK in time to make it, but twenty of the twenty-three participants who were selected managed to make it to Hobs Studio for the first VR Diversity Initiative of 2018.
The participants were divided into two groups. One group focused on 360 filmmaking which was led by Alex Ruhl, where participants learned the rules of 360 filmmaking. With the help of a GoPro Fusion and a laptop, the group learned about what a virtual reality (VR) film was, what types of cameras were available to shoot on, the benefits and negatives of filming for VR and finally went outside to face the snow in order to shoot various scenes which were then analysed on Adobe Premiere and viewed on a headset.
The second group got put into six teams of two and went hands-on with VR ready laptops, most of which were provided by BlueHire Ltd. They set up a profile on Unity and learned how to get their HTC Vive or Oculus Rift ready for creating a rough VR prototype. The morning was led by workshop leaders Kaw Tun Sein and Sam Perrin, who were later joined by workshop leaders from Dream Reality Interactive (DRI) in the afternoon. These were John Foster, Lead designer at DRI, Albert Bentall, Creative Director at DRI and Anna Hollinrake, Senior artist at DRI.
At the end of the day participants were able to try out the VR prototypes that were created during the day. Linda Mason a participant of the VR Diversity Initiative workshop said that she enjoyed being able to use the VR equipment with others: “Now I’m not afraid to get a camera – I’ve learnt the basics.”
Here is a small video showcasing the beginning of the day: