American Museum of Natural History 360/VR Experience| Jason Drakeford | Adobe Max 2016

American Museum of Natural History 360/VR Experience| Jason Drakeford | Adobe Max 2016

Jason Drakeford (Drakeford Films) explains his 360/VR workflow for “Fossil Hunting in the Gobi” for The American Museum of Natural History series “Shelf Life“. Working with his AMNH producer Erin Chapman, together they scanned in archival 2D photos and film reels, some up to 100 years old to create the piece. Using a combination of After Effects, SkyBox Studio, and Photoshop techniques to build a 360 environment in equirectangular format, layering in images, video, text and graphics, much like he would normally work in After Effects. For the live-action interview, the team used a Samsung Gear 360, and some clever techniques to keep it simple.

American Museum of Natural History 360/VR Experience| Jason Drakeford | Adobe Max 2016

The 360 scene is built from 2D archival images and video, some more than 100 years old. Panoramic photos were an ideal format. The 360 video format is built in layers in After Effects, using SkyBox Studio 360/VR plugin.

The 360 live action is shot with a Samsung Gear 360. A 360 photo is used in combination with a 360 video of the interview.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t rush the pacing

  • Ease the viewer into the scene

  • Environment scale is key

  • Guide the viewer with cues

  • Use a locked global camera

Watch the 360 video: Fossil Hunting In the Gobi 360 | American Museum of Natural History

Jason Drakeford weaves together stories through live-action, animation, motion-graphics and VR (virtual reality).  A few highlights include the “Out There” space series with The New York Times and the “Shelf Life” science series for The American Museum of Natural History. Most recently his film Ken Jacobs: A Pioneer of Avant-Garde Film premiered at the Independent New York Film Festival and screening at The Raindance Film Festival in London.  Clients and collaborators include The New York Times, The Museum of Natural History, TIFF, David Bowie, The Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Penguin Books, Adult Swim, Showtime, MTV, and Time Magazine.His previous VR/360 films include the documentary Interrupture and Science Friday The Golden Record Decoded.

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