Project360: Get Your VR Headsets Ready, 007!
Tim Schmittler started Project360 as a Swiss VR and 360° content creator. Being an extreme sports lover himself, Tim takes us to accomplish the breathtaking missions that we once saw James Bond or Ethan Hunt acting in the movies. Reaching to the unreachable site is no longer a dream thanks to Project360!
VeeR: How long has your studio been creating VR, and what inspired/motivated you to join this field?
Tim: I have been creating VR video since 2013. Previously for my former employer the CERN in Geneva and since 2015 as an independent artist. I discovered VR in 2012 and I immediately found a usefulness in my area of training which is radiation protection. I started making videos to limit radiation doses received by LHC workers. These videos allowed users to plan the work in the radioactive areas without having to go there to limit their dose according to the principles ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). Then I saw that the market was starting to open and I decided to become independent.
Skiing in Leysin, Swiss Alps (Photo by Project360)
VeeR: What’s the backstory of your studio title “Project360” ?
Tim: I simply reused the name that I used at CERN that was chosen according to computer rules because before becoming a recognized service it was a project that I had to “sell” to my hierarchy.
VeeR: Your content mostly focuses on sports, especially extreme sports, where did you get your inspiration? What do you hope to achieve with these works?
Tim: I like extreme sports but I have not always had the courage, money and time to make it and I thought that was the case for many people too. So I decided to allow these people (and me) to realize some of their dreams in virtual reality.
VeeR: It’s common consensus that VR storytelling is vastly different from that of traditional photography. What has been your biggest challenge in VR production, and what were some of your solutions? Also, what are some of the biggest strengths and weaknesses of VR filming in your opinion?
Tim: I am not very good at storytelling, I am more specialized in capturing and stitching. I prefer to leave this work to my clients (with my support and advice) and focus on the quality of the images.
FlyMe over the Mont Blanc (Photo by Project360)
VeeR: Would you like to share some tips with rookie VR directors (for example, the camera language and positioning, FOV, lighting, audio recording)?
Tim: Some people think that the POV is the best solution but I do not agree, for many cases it is more enjoyable to have an outside view rather than being permanently on someone’s head. It is essential to stabilize as much as possible to avoid problems of motion sickness and spend time in postproduction to limit the visibility of the stitch lines.
Inside CERN – The CMS experiment (Photo by Project360)
VeeR: Is there any low/mid/high price range productional gear/software that you would like to recommend (in terms of shooting, editing and stitching, etc.)?
Tim: To have fun and make small videos for friends and family, the Samsung Gear360 are perfect.
For extreme sports the rig like GoPro OMNI, or Freedom360 are perfect.
There are more new cameras now, some are affordable like Insta360 Pro or Zcam and other not so affordable cameras affordable like the Nokia OZO. No camera for the moment is perfect for all situations and it is difficult for small studios to have many different cameras, so it is necessary to adapt according to the needs and the financial means.
For stitching, I prefer Kolor AVP and APG but I also use videostitch.
For postproduction I use Adobe Premiere and After Effect with Mettle skybox plugin.