Singapore shophouse in 360

Five things I Learned on my first 360 VR shoot: just because you can…

(This is the third of five related posts. The first is here.)

360 VR...why?

Just because you can shoot in 360, does not mean that you should. Visual technologies should, probably, only be used to invisibly support a creative statement.To shoot 360 without fully utilizing the creative space it provides is a waste of time. In the case of our project, Beach Road, I wanted to create an ambient and poetic learning experience. Hiverlab generously supported this idea with technical support and helpful advice. As mentioned in another post, every location was carefully chosen to provide the viewer with something to look at in every direction. However, the simple actions took place mainly in front of the viewer, within the normal 180 degree area that we are accustomed to.

That is not surprising, but what if there was an unused space behind the viewer? What about at the very tops and bottoms of the 360 sphere? In practice, these unused areas are often modified so as to appear to be clearly out of focus. Sometimes production companies even put their logos on the very top or bottom.

The point is simply, that 360 video should be used only when there is a need to tell a story/present information that will, at least occasionally, need more storytelling space than can be obtained with conventional cinematography and a wide-angle lens.As I write this, we are in the final stages of post-production and I now see possibilities that would have been nice to explore had I been aware of them before production. Next time!


The visual field is uneven. It is not uniform and has its maximum definition in its central part.

Harry Moss Traquair describes (in 1927) that our visual field as "an island of vision or hill of vision surrounded by a sea of blindness".[4] The 'island of vision' corresponds to a sudden change of definition we have. Its empirical elliptical limits in the longest (horizontal) axis, are our Blind Spots.

Kim Lloveras in Montserrat, argues[5] that in the Romanesque age, people were aware of the particularities of our blinds spots as horizontal limits of the central good vision. Further, they know that more than a change in definition there is a strong change of perception of space. The observer feels inside the central area and understands their borders as 'their enveloping', making them a very helpful principle for architectural design. The exhibit La experiencia del Espacio Personal[6] at the Barcelona School of Architecture explored this phenomenon, using a large ellipse (TK), whch is 3.10 meters tall (twice the height of a person) and has a major axis of 3.94, located 6.38 m from the observer (these dimensions are very similar to those proposed by Traquair for the limits of the "visual island").

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