VRCameraman Turns Your HTC Vive Into A Virtual Film Camera

by Jamie Feltham • February 20th, 2017

Developing with a VR headset doesn’t necessarily mean you’re developing a VR app; the HTC Vive is finding unexpected use as a camera for virtual worlds, too.

UK-based Abyssal Arts and GSProductions want to capitalize on that with the release of VRCamerman, a Unity extension that allows creators to use the Vive to shoot footage and trailers as if they were really camera men inside their software. It allows developers to create multiple shots within a scene with intuitive controls, and then hit record to film gameplay or cutscenes in a cinematic fashion. You can have static angles or even set cameras to follow a set path.

Your Vive wands become the camera, and a virtual screen showing what they’ll record is shown above you hand. Once you’ve captured your footage you’ll be able to import video just like you would any other footage and edit it. While it’s great for trailers, we can’t help but think what it would be to film entire animated movies in this way. Imagine stepping inside a Pixar film and walking around the set like you were really there to find the best camera angles.

This is the latest in a number of experiments we’ve seen with VR filming. On the physical side, there’s obviously the advent of 360 degree video, but we’ve also seen some innovative and experimental setups like taping a Vive controller to a phone that’s looking into a virtual world to act as a physical camera you can use outside of a headset.

VRCameraman costs $25 from the Unity asset store. We should see this being a great reason to own a Vive even if you’re not making a VR game, and it’s an intriguing complement to Unity’s own Editor VR, which allows you to edit game worlds from inside your headset.

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