This was a LONG time in the making, the fully immersive 360° video is in the final stages of production.
Learn more about (and watch) the video trailer after the jump…
My first animated 360° video
You can look around the video below when paused or look around while it plays along. At the time of writing, you can view it on any mobile or portable device too.
The best experience is on a mobile device with, headphones, plus a headset (Google Cardboard), and the YouTube app set on full resolution (check the settings – a little cog within the app during playback).
I began working on the branding, video and image consultancy for the band known as The F*ck You Sound back in 2013. They had a stylised sound, and some online presence. I proposed several changes and presentation strategies over an 18 month period, registering and maintaining domains, hosting, installing applications on the server, online tools for the members to work together better etc. A consultation period found that a URL shortening service added to a cloud sharing facility away from corporate monitoring was the way forward. t4qs.fm was born. And they needed a logo.
An example of The Fuck You Sound prior to my arrival, the excitingly titled and fun packed Mo’Wax mix.
Infinity style or 360° drawing
So my journey began to create a universe for the new imagery, to create a complete environment for every image requirement. I planned to draw and build a city that could be as photogenic as the action appearing inside of it, sort of like they used to do in early stop-frame diorama animation or photo love stories. The environment and action is believable and immersive. From the very beginning it was clear that my affinity for 360 degree visions had to be a big part of it, cementing the psychedelia with my style – something the client wanted to shine through.
From work processed for Raw360, Mohawk and Pridstock I knew how large an undertaking this was – to draw a scene which is tolerant to alternative viewpoint whilst still being composed of flat drawings and quick texture mapping in Google Sketchup. I just hadn’t built a city before. These earlier development artworks also live in the same universe, the Chuniverse (ahem). It all began with a meeting in Amsterdam’s VondelPark with Matt Black from Coldcut. We etched the beginnings of an interactive scenario which was ultimately reactive, mobile and representative of both audio & visual style-based narrative. This was when Raw360 was born, worth a visit if you read this far. It is still in a beta stage with some development work required to create a more engaging experience to reflect the writings and life of one, Robert Anton Wilson.
Working with panoramic spaces began with my early days producing reflection maps in texture maps within 3DStudio back in 1994 when I worked in video games. A good friend, Elph told me about Sketchup years ago now, the first time I heard of it. He’s a fellow graffiti artist and technologist to (re)boot.
I started designing Microcity as an 8×8 chess-like grid, with four quarters: Residential, Industrial, Natural and Financial. These, too had correspondent colours.
- Residential – red
- Industrial – purple
- Natural – green
- Financial – blue
Early development of 360° video
The video below is one of the first sequences committed to YouTube with their new 360 meta injection, a super high resolution version created when I began to build Microcity in March 2015. It hovers you over the two-up/two-down and the old newsagents by the railway, towards the church and the financial district. I discovered that this description of where you are moving (on rails) or what you are look at (by choice) is easy to describe if it is a drawing, as if it were a believable scene. We are all used to seeing abstracted renditions, or cartooned versions of the real world, just thought I best build one faster than Rome.
Timelapse of building stage one.
The Banker’s first appearance in the skies, gesturing by one hand in a crafted glove puppet.