Identity Capture Camera
enables the technology behind Agent Emerson
The making of the VR Film Agent Emerson demanded innovation as it was very challenging and complex on every level of the technical process. To capture our first person POV film appearing seamlessly as one continuous shot in high quality 360 VR 3D filled with action, AND without disturbing motion to the viewer as 'Agent Emerson,' our team designed and developed a unique camera to capture the immersive intensity.
The most complex shot was the long continuous fight scene where 'Alexandra' (Lyndsy Fonseca), 'The General' (Tony Denison) and the guards walk from one camera into another and get up-close to the cameras. For the viewer to feel fully immersed into the action of the katana battle - as they are 'Agent Emerson', we were able to achieve the direct physical interaction with 'Emerson' in movement, creating one of the most complicated sequences ever filmed in VR 360 3D.
Our proprietary IC-Cam (Identity Capture Camera) is a head-mounted camera rig system capable of shooting 360 degrees stereoscopic (3D) video with the body in the field of view and no blind spots. The 21-camera, 3-axis stabilization system compensates for all the movements of the operator, resulting in a smooth camera movement, without uncomfortable motion for the audience watching the filmed footage in a VR headset.
As available standard stitching techniques were inadequate for the amount of action, our engineers utilized a hybrid of existing software and created new algorithms, developing a new dynamic stitching system which also solved 3D complications on the sphere poles.
When it came to the arduous task of the CGI, the scope of Agent Emerson and the very nature of filming in VR needed a new and state-of-the-art way of problem-solving for creating the high-level VFX seen on-screen. A good example is a scene where the viewer as 'Agent Emerson' is falling from the sky, which not only required modeling of 40,000 miles of visible photorealistic environment in every direction, but also creating an adaptive 3D algorithm to achieve high fidelity 3D as far as horizon, for every little detail to convey the dimension of the sky you're falling from. Moreover, the film involves a custom spherical rotation algorithm (based on a complex mathematical model) which adjusts the 3D for the direction of viewer's eyesight, so the 3D stays crisp and comfortable and never is a subject of ghosting, no matter how close the object is or even if it's on the poles.