May 28, 2015

Google's New Jump Camera is a Crazy VR Rig with 16 GoPro HERO4s

Today at Google's I/O event, the company unveiled Jump, which is both a VR camera rig consisting of 16 GoPro HERO4 Black cameras, as well as Jump Assembler, the software to make it all come together. Here's a brief video giving a taste of what Jump is all about:

To see this in practice, check out one of the videos shot with the rig and spliced together with Google's software (move around with the AWSD keys):

While they used GoPro cameras for this, apparently the software will be capable of handling lots of different kinds of setups (from The Verge):

And while GoPro is obviously the first company working on a Jump rig, Bavor said that filmmakers will theoretically be able to use any off-the-shelf cameras. (The benefit of buying GoPro's instead of building your own, however, would be that the optimizations done on the back end would already be taken care of.) You can also make the camera array out of any material. "We’ve made one out of 3D-printed plastic, one out of machined metal, and for good measure, of course, we also made one out of cardboard," Bavor said.

But what good is all of this without the supporting technology behind it? Not only does Google have a solution in their cardboard VR viewer which now works with both iOS and Android devices with screens as big as 6", but they are also going to be supporting VR videos directly in YouTube. Watch the video below from The Verge for all of Google's big announcements, and skip to 7:47 for just the VR products:

But that's not the only VR rig that's been in the news, as GoPro just recently showed off Spherical, which takes a slightly different approach than the Google-led solution:

GoPro Spherical VR Rig

And here's a video shot with GoPro's Spherical rig, which should be released sometime later this year:

As with all of these solutions, time will tell if there is enough content and if it's something the general public will actually come to appreciate. VR requires a lot of support on both the software and the hardware end, but all the technology in the world won't mean much if people just don't care and the content isn't very compelling. We just recently saw Fast and Furious director Justin Lin tackle his own VR project with a custom RED rig, which hopefully means that in the future more people will take advantage of higher-quality cameras — even if it means things have to be that much more precise than the GoPro rigs with their large depth of field and fixed lenses.     

Your Comment

17 Comments

Yep... Pretty outstanding. Would be really cool to apply filmmaking fundamentals to a tool like this. I'd love to see something like Jurassic Park done in this way.

May 28, 2015 at 11:40PM

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Donovan Vim Crony
Director, DP, Editor, VFX, Sci-Fi Lover
429

Or the Thing.

May 28, 2015 at 11:50PM

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Edgar More
All
1297

I met with someone who wanted to producer VR recently, and he also wanted to make features. I don't feel like that's a format for VR. I feel like interactive games, shorts, and experiences is where VR will take off. Maybe niche features where you're the main character?

I just don't see what can be gained from 360 in a feature narrative format.

May 29, 2015 at 12:06AM

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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
694

We still don't know Zack, the future us weird. Still, 360 seems to be a little to much. I would choose at least 90 or even 180 degrees for some occasions. It may even work for movies live gravity. Or just exploring the jurassic island landscape.

May 29, 2015 at 12:28AM

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Edgar More
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1297

I just don't see the use for this. Seems to odd. 360 is not the way anyone interacts with the world everyday. We'll see.

May 29, 2015 at 12:49AM

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Imagine watching something like a detective narrative (Batman? Haha.) and everyone is going to have a completely different experience because each person might focus on a different aspect of the scene. A character could plant a note somewhere in the scene, but you're totally missing it because maybe an explosion caught you off guard. Does that make sense? I guess this already happens in films now, but this would be to the next level. Something happens on your peripheral that you totally miss, but maybe catch it in your second or third viewing. Hmmmm....

May 29, 2015 at 1:20AM

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Donovan Vim Crony
Director, DP, Editor, VFX, Sci-Fi Lover
429

While imagining this, imagine where you will hide the director, the lights, the guy(s)/girl(s) with a boom and that other stuff that usually hide behind cameras or walls. Indoors it might work out ok... but outdoors? Having a mystious van in every shot? ;-)

May 29, 2015 at 8:30AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9406

Total crap. Another P.T.Barnum gimmick pushed into the movies.

May 29, 2015 at 3:19AM, Edited May 29, 3:19AM

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Gerard M.
1194

I would rent that camera in a second for shooting environmental maps for accurate 3d composites. I've been waiting for something like this for a long time. Huge time saver for post. Pretty soon you will see behind the scene footage of some guy walking this through a Michael Bay set on a 6 foot pole. Tennis balls.... your days are numbered.

May 29, 2015 at 5:57AM

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Zac Heileson
D.P. VFX Supervisor
161

I think we will be seeing a lot of BTS videos by big productions shot on this rig. Imagine being a spectator on the Fury Road set... that would be mental! :D

May 29, 2015 at 8:35AM

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Lucas Ferreira
Cinematographer
448

Yes, I think for BTS and similar, sure. That'd be fun for us fans. I mean, Lucasfilm and a ton of other companies were doing this with 360 degree QuickTimeVR stills decades ago. This stuff ain't new, guys. It's so not ground-breaking- and there's been rigs with mirrors and/or multiple cameras that do the video idea of QTVR for at least a decade, they just didn't catch on. I would never want to watch a feature film done this way.

May 29, 2015 at 9:37AM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.

If a movie was shot specifically from the POV of a particular actor in every scene, or one character for the whole film, then you could be in the movie looking wherever you want. You could look at the person talking to you or the other guy sitting behind you. It could essentially make a movie instantly re-watchable in that you will see different things every time depending on who or what you're paying attention to. It would be a NIGHTMARE trying to light it properly though. Think about all the gear and people that are always just off camera=) It wouldn't be able to look as produced for sure.

Would make for a hell of a "low budget" looking horror movie though. Think about a chase scene or hiding in a closet or walking through the woods.

Its essentially an adventure game in real life.

May 29, 2015 at 9:30AM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
785

Right. It's a game. If you want a game, fine. If you want a story where you can control the elements of storytelling to tell a great story that looks great, it's a loser.

May 29, 2015 at 9:39AM, Edited May 29, 9:39AM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.

Who's to say you can't tell a story when you can look 360' =)

May 29, 2015 at 12:05PM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
785

This just killed Oculus Rift :))))))))

May 29, 2015 at 6:00PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4184

Really? Oculus rift is likely to have 4K resolution and provide a way higher quality experience than any smartphone can. (including for 360 degree videos) Besides that Oculus is optimized for gaming and interaction. We'll know more on June 11th.

http://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-send-invites-step-rift-pre-e3-event-june-...

May 30, 2015 at 4:44AM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
564

For films that need your attention on the specific story taking place "in front of your eyes" 360 degree vision may not work so well, but for documentaries, including nature documentaries with impressive landscapes and surroundings it could be spectacular.

May 30, 2015 at 4:37AM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
564