I have released some of the best VR content in the world. I have worked with independent creators as well as large studios globally and released their content across multiple VR headsets. Each title had to go through Wevr's extensive release pipeline before being published. The challenge every time was to make sure that the content looks its best and also meets the memory and performance criteria of the device. The release process can simply be divided into 3 stages-
There are 3 types of content posters that exist for each title on the Transport VR platform :
CONTENT POSTER CREATION
The challenge with coming up with the specification for the 2D poster was that it had to be small enough to load fast and the resolution should be such that it would hold up both on the Samsung Gear and the HTC Vive headsets. After doing numerous distance, scale and resolution tests, we came up with a poster size of 720 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall. A highly compressed png was the format of choice. Once this specification was tested, it was released to the graphic design team who made many beautiful 2D posters which gave Transport its character.
In Headset Screenshot of the 2D posters in Transport.
3D Featured Posters:
Transport featured 3 titles at a time, in its "Featured" section. We really wanted to celebrate our content and thus came up with a unique layered featured poster system which was larger than life in scale. This poster system took advantage of a depth mask culling shader which made it feel like you could look inside the poster and gave it a nice parallax effect on the HTC Vive. I collaborated with the engineering team to come up with this system and then documented the process and its specification for the rest of the team to use. I also built all 3D Featured posters and tested them in our engine before release.
Maya Mockup of a Featured Poster
In headset screenshot of the Featured Poster
3D - 360 Poster or "Dome":
Each piece of content has a 360 Poster or “Dome” where graphics and information are displayed around the user in a 3D scene. This is also the space where the user downloads and plays the content. The Dome is accessed by clicking on either the Featured or 2D poster for that piece of content. This space is crafted using elements that pertain to the piece and put together in transport using 2D graphics and 3D geometric elements. The scene is put together in a 3D package like Maya and then .obj or .fbx files are exported out to assemble the dome as a wvr format file which gets uploaded to Transport. In collaboration with the graphic design team, I built all the 360 domes for TransportVR.
Transport VR Waves Dome
360 Render of the Waves Dome and some others that I built for TransportVR
I have custom transcoded all of TransportVR's and OrangeVR's 360 video content library for release on iOs, Gear, Cardboard, DayDream and PC headsets using custom FFMPEG recipes.
In order to encode these properly I had to keep mind a variety of factors like the type of footage (live action/animation etc), type of master source, video and audio format and the specifications of the playback device. I tried to standardize the encoding process by creating a set of Profiles that cover most common usecases and devices.
I have also researched and maintained a database of over 250 mobile VR hardware device model numbers and associated them with the proper device groups in the content management system. This exercise made sure that each content Profile was associated with a proper device group - always assuring that the best quality content is being delivered.
Later in the development cycle the Wevr engineering team worked on a cubemap solution for the content which resulted in not only a file with better visual quality than the equirectangular version but also a smaller file size. I tested and familiarized myself with this pipeline and converted all our content to cubemaps. Below is an example of one such cubemap from TheBlu - this is a side by side stereo frame.
POPULATING THE CMS
Once all the assets were prepared for launch I had to coordinate between the creator, the marketing team, the executive producer and QA to gather metadata and approvals. I then populated the CMS with the following attributes -
Title and descriptions
Length of experience (in case of linear video)
Platforms the title was being launched on
GeoBlocking (Orange Only)
Localization - the cms supports 7 different languages
All profiles of the Content or the executable
All the Posters (2d,Featured and Dome)