In the market since 2011, omnidirectional cameras are undoubtedly one of the finest creations we have today. While the earlier ones only captured panoramic images, modern ones are able to capture panoramic videos using multiple cameras. The videos captured by these cameras have allowed the creation of interesting pieces of art, educational videos and travel documentaries.
Artists have now become interested in experimenting with immersive animations, creating installation art that is either interactive or experiential and sometimes, both. I came across some very interesting immersive videos during my research which in turn, inspired me to experiment with the medium.
The Fake Factory:Immersive Mirror Room (https://vimeo.com/284354179) by Italian video designer, Stefano Fake is one of the most detailed works of immersive video/animation that I have ever seen. It involves a room with mirror walls. A video, in which there is no sense of inside, outside or a flat plane, is projected onto those walls and reflected onto others. Thus, the person who enters the room is unable to experience a space where human mind does not register the surroundings and walking, sitting or standing becomes largely confusing, allowing the experience of alternate realities.
Another highly interesting work of immersive art is Self on Shelf by Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, curated by Christine Miele at the Spring/Break Art Show 2018, New York. The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1c-66TN1zo. Inspired by children’s picture book ‘Self on Shelf’, the video was installed inside a space designed like a children’s bedroom. As the visitors enter the bedroom, the video responds to various clues and events, creating a variety of graphics all around the room.
While this is just my initial research into omnidirectional cameras, panoramic videography and immersive videos and animations, my understanding of the subject has been aided by the relevant works that I saw. Immersive videos and animations are an excellent medium when it comes to the creation of educational material. With a 360o view of any space, explanations becomes a lot easier with the learner able to control the direction as the flat screens of mobile phones, tablets and computers allow for a limited view.
Travel documentaries have shown the most beautiful use of omnidirectional cameras as they have allowed travel bloggers and TV channels to lessen the difference between virtuality and reality of a space. Perhaps, these videos and documentaries are a step forward in the subject of augmented reality.
Installation art has moved ahead of photographic and/or sculptural form with the usage of immersive videos and animations. Experiential and/or interactive, immersive installation art has provided artists and video designers, an ability to give out messages with a sense of feel along with seeing. Introduction of other senses such as smelling, hearing and tasting can make up for even more enthralling experiences.
All of this makes immersive video and animation a great discovery in the worlds of art and science. The field surely has a lot more room for exploration and development. As for my study of the subject, I am looking to grasp it even better with deeper research and understanding.