Take A Nosedive Into Pixels WITHIN Pixels
Having been dabbling with 360 video since early 2015, Sergio Kotsovoulos began his R&D after a 360 content request from a multinational news network based on an installation they saw in the Acropolis Museum in Athens. VR’s ability to have viewers experience stories and music in an immersive way, made him want to combine his skills as a director, set designer and a 3D Artist to “ultimately tell stories in the most immersive way known yet”.
He then came together with Constantin Pilavios, Dimitris Kanelopoulos and Yorgos Yiacos, and the four co-founded WITHIN.
The name WITHIN came about, according to Sergio, as “a classic tale of the whole being more than the sum of its parts”. He was putting the finishing/compositing touches of the promo for DIGITIZED 2014 which consists of pixel-perfect pixel art by @castpixel inside live-action footage inside a tablet inside 3D. This Inception-fashioned production inspired the four co-founders to come up with the name and logo instantly.
Sergio explains to us that WITHIN is more like a hub than a traditional studio, where creatives of different types are housed at a single location without the same roll call per project.
Their production cycles vary on a case-by-case basis. They have spent 60% of the time on pre-production layouts, storyboards development and script, 5% shooting,5% music and 30% post-production and on a client skeptic about new media. In another situation where their client realized how impactful the end result could be, they devoted their time equally to pre-, mid- and post-production, as well as music and sound design.
The greatest challenge they’ve ever met, was to maintain high artistic values on a new platform for a very strict and demanding client. In the end they succeeded by convincing the client to forego a basic video approach and embrace an artistic interpretation of their brand values in an immersive experience.
Currently the WITHIN team has 3 Blackmagic Production 4K Cameras. Case in point, they shot a soon-to-be-released video in Blackmagic 4K, animated it using 3ds Max, composited in After Effects with Kolor Eyes (now GoPro VR Player) for preview. Now for less demanding content creation, Sergio has used Samsung Gear VR/Gear VR 17, Ricoh Theta and occasionally the 2.5K LG 360CAM.
All being said, Sergio also reminded us our current technical solutions might soon become outdated:
“Everything in this response can be rendered obsolete before a week passes.”
As for his expectations for future VR projects, he’s always wished to create an experimental virtual reality musical where instead of going the “choose your own adventure” road, the participant will choose music styles for the cast to present the story to you. Industry-wise, Sergio predicts that 1080gtx graphics cards will become the standard in mobile devices sooner than we can imagine. This will mean that mobile VR will be as good as the desktop counterpart, enabling creators like himself to make immersive virtual binaural experiences.
For more information, visit WITHIN’s official website: https://www.within.gr/
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