Check Out This Guy’s Captured Head In VR

by Ian Hamilton • February 17th, 2016

TimeSlice Films Used 53 GoPros To Volumetrically Capture A Man’s Head

An experimental GoPro array used by London-based Studio TimeSlice Films captured a short clip of a man making expressions and Sketchfab was able to host the volumetric capture.

Using the recently-added Cardboard button, you can view the experiment in VR right now in a compatible Web browser. I was able to check it out on my iPhone using Safari and a View-Master Cardboard viewer. The model is Tim Macmillan, GoPro multicam pioneer and owner of TimeSlice Films. I warn you not to view the model from behind unless you want to know what it feels like to wear Macmillan’s face Hannibal Lecter-style.

I hesitate calling something a first because the Internet is big and, as much as I’ve tried, I’ve not visited all of it yet. That said, I’ve not seen anything quite like this before. Whether the first of its kind or not, the ease by which people can share and view this kind of 3D content is an important step toward broader adoption of VR.

Tim, captured in 4D with GoPro
by Timeslice
on Sketchfab

In a blog post about the experiment, Sketchfab CEO and co-founder Alban Denoyel wrote “The 4D video itself was captured using TimeSlice’s pioneering 4D volumetric array, which in addition to their own custom hardware and software, incorporates 53 GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition cameras and experimental GoPro Sync technology.”

There’s even a version of the capture that’s embeddable on Facebook.

While hosting and viewing 3D models in VR is getting easier, advancements are still needed in camera systems to deliver higher quality volumetric models that can be captured more easily and cheaply. Few people have access to 53 GoPros. We’re watching companies like 8i and Uncorporeal for advancements on the volumetric capture front. Whether or not this technology can be easily transferred to more consumers, volumetric capture will be an important part of creating believable VR.  The technique makes it easy for creators to develop more immersive experiences by combining the performances of real people with a realistic environment.

We’re excited to see what happens next with volumetric capture technology. We’ll keep you updated.

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