When Sony wanted to highlight the immersiveness of movies available on the Playstation Store, they turned to UK-based agencies Studio Output and Marshmallow Laser Feast to create a series of shorts around the theme "great films fill rooms." Using the Playstation Move, the production team shot a handful of scenes depicting an ordinary man going from his couch to flying above skyscrapers as a robot and fighting sea monsters. The best part: not a single aspect of these videos was added in the editing room.
The scenes are stunning by themselves, but the fact that the production team swears they did not alter the scenes in any way after shooting makes them doubly impressive. No fancy editing or post-production CGI; just traditional camera tricks, several projectors, and a single take. Set pieces vanish and reappear from the walls seemingly out of thin air, while the actor on screen appears to take one fantastic journey after another without leaving his couch. At a certain point, it becomes difficult to tell what is an actual physical object in the shot and what isn't.
This technique, called "projection mapping," has become more common in advertising recently, but has always been limited by the effect only being visible from a single, static point. The production team found a way around this using Sony's Playstation Move. To create the short videos, the team connected a Steadicam to several Playstation Move controllers that were synced up with EyeToy cameras situated around the set. These devices tracked the movement of the camera to adjust the angle of the background visuals on the fly, giving the scenes a more realistic handheld look. The rest of the action is filled in by creative props and some on-screen manipulation by extras.
The films certainly prove the concept of projection mapping an entire room in real-time is sound. Studio Output hopes that this technology could one day be used for home entertainment, bringing us one step closer to the infamous holodecks from Star Trek. Definitely check out what the future of augmented reality might be in the videos below.
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