Baahubali 2 had created a milestone in the world of Indian Cinema history with its striking features that include a 360-degree camera.
It is almost 60 years by this month, ever since that epic Telugu and Tamil film, Maya Bazar featuring screen immortals NT Rama Rao, Gemini Ganesh, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Savitri was out. In its usage of the special techniques of the day to make a mythological fictional world, the movie was a path breaker. It was a fabulous precursor to upcoming developments in generating a fantasy world. Yesterday: Movie Maya. Today: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
Though VR is a computer-simulated realism that substitutes the real world, AR augments the actual world with computer-generated visuals, video, and audio. One is complete virtual; the other is actual with certain virtual add-ons. Just we as we believed we had all that reckoned out, they have invented another buzz word Mixed Reality that is a masala mix of both VR and AR, also recognized as a hybrid reality, somewhere the real and virtual worlds combine to create a completely new environment.
This is not complete fun-n-games, but thoughtful science. Here is a specimen: A surgeon is carrying out an operation grounded on a patient’s prior ultrasound scan. Now he would stick the inflated scan on a stand and refer to it as he uses the dagger. Tomorrow, virtual ultrasound pictures will be draped on the patient’s body and the surgeon will work, faster, more precisely. Real world content the patient’s tumor and virtual content the scanned pictures mix with each other i.e. Mixed Reality.
Indian players like Navi Mumbai-based D-Ammo Imagineering –have been in the front position of these new tools, crafting VR series for worldwide games like Assassins Creed and Indian cinemas like Phillauri. “Mixed Reality is a generation onward of initial VR efforts”, speaks D-Ammo co-founder Indraneel Guha, “It will fetch a new level of immersive involvements to customers and proficient users alike.”
At the Computex display in Taipei, Taiwan past week, Microsoft had disclosed the first MR headsets made to its strategy by Acer, Asus, Dell and others. These will be accessible to developers by the month of August. The Acer headset and motion controller kit costs about $399 (Rs 26,000) and it works with Windows 10.
At World Wide Developer Conference in San Jose, California, the previous week, Apple had entered the MR pitch. It cleverly avoided the headset route. As an alternative, it plans to use its giant installed base of iPhones and iPads shrouded with AR software named ARKit.
Which tactic will survive the shakeout? We certainly don’t know still but we the customers will decide. In the meantime, we might as well duck ourselves in the valiant new world where both real and virtual fuse into a new digital Maya Bazaar.
Immersive video is here
However we wait for VR, AR and MR to sort out which technology triumphs, there is one imperturbable video tool we can all relish today, without a special kit. It’s named Immersive video or 360-degree video, where the vision in each direction is recorded at the similar time. When played back, the viewer can regulate the viewing path with a mouse or just by twisting the mobile phone. Baahubali 2 crew had used this camera to get high resolution and had set a milestone in Indian Cinema industry.
Hunt in YouTube for ‘360-degree videos’ and you will acquire Rs 2.4 lakh results. Special cameras to shoot all-around video are now accessible.
A combo of 24 cameras named ‘bb360’ with AMD Radeon software was used by the creators of the Baahubali 2 movie to create a 360-degree video of the huge sets as well as 3-D versions of the picture.