We recently produced a 360 degree ‘movie’ version of the VR adventure Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads which we’ve been creating with Mez Breeze Design, Bradfield Narrative Designs and Chris Joseph. Perpetual Nomads sees 19-year-old Alice stranded on a broken-down auto-bus in the middle of a remote desert at sunset with her phone blinking at 1% charge. In short, she’s in a bit of a pickle. 🙂

Compatible with mobile VR headsets such as Google Cardboard, Daydream and Samsung’s GearVR – and comprised of no less than 36,000 4k frames compiled into video sequences (it’s taken weeks to capture), this non-interactive version of Alice’s latest adventure lasts for around 24 minutes and offers the full narrative. Minus the bits where you can make some navigation choices and digress along alternative routes.

We’ve created a number of 360 videos before, including this short, atmospheric music video featuring a soundtrack by M1nk for WALLPAPER VR. The results are generally no substitute for the ‘full VR experiences’ – viewable on higher end headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – but they do offer an effective and immersive ‘teaser’ into the wider works.

They’re also generally much easier to access. Slotting your VR-capable phone into a Cardboard headset and peeking into Alice’s world is certainly more accessible than investing in a high-end gaming laptop and tethered headset. Due to the sequence being a pre-rendered 360 video clip, the graphical quality of the experience is also richer than would be possible in a ‘real time 3D’ mobile VR experience.

Producing this version of Perpetual Nomads involved rigging up a 360 degree camera within Unity, automating (via scripting) many of the interactive scenes so that they ran ‘on time’ rather than waiting for user input, and producing over 40 ‘mini-films’ in monoscopic stereo. These were then imported into Adobe Premiere and stitched together into a full sequence. When viewed as flat image files, they look like the weird panoramic screenshots that pepper this post. The view captured from standing in the lift – shown below – looks particularly strange. 🙂

The 360 video version of Perpetual Nomads will be available shortly along with the final release – keep an eye on PN the website for more information.