We are living in an era that impacts of global warming are projected all around. What if we can not combat the changes? What would the earth look like in 50 years? What would be my role as an artist in this era? Seasonal changes by climate change would affect leaves, trees and wildlife. We might not be able to see all four seasons anymore, Fall and Spring would be missing due to all the changes on earth. I wanted to represent the aura of a park in Fall to capture and archive the beauties of nature that we can see today, and to save it for our children in the future. I was to capture people in the park and their interaction with the components of the park, plus the nature and its beauties. I wanted to represent a park in Fall of 2019 from my own perspective.
In order to represent this concept, I documented a park in Vancouver (Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC.) in Autumn by a 360 installation (360 video and 360 spatial audio) at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
I shot 360 footage with an Insta 360 camera. Production on rainy days was my biggest challenge. Basically, I had the camera for three weeks and most of the days during that time were rainy. I had to find two dry days to shoot; one day for test and one for shooting.
Having a 360 camera in a crowded park was another problem that I was facing. My idea was to capture the aura of the park. This aura involves the presence of people and how they interact with different components of the park. But not everyone is ok to be filmed and I had to be conscious about where to set up.
To capture the sound from the camera’s perspective, both camera and sound recorder were placed.
The first moment I started thinking about this project, I was excited about the audio. I had done 360 audio before by spatializing tracks that each one was recorded on one channel (mono). But this was the first time doing spatial sound recording and using 4-channel Ambisonic tracks. To have the 360 spatial sound, I recorded audio in Ambisonics B-format (full sphere) with a Zoom H3-VR recorder.
The process of post was challenging because of the large size of video files. I found out about the use of proxies in Adobe Premiere. This was very helpful in terms of faster edit.
Removing the tripod was the next step. The process of tripod removal was different in 360 footage; to be able to edit a 360 footage in Premiere, it has to be in Equirectangular projection mode. I removed the tripod in that view and it looked fine. When I was back in VR view, I noticed the appearance of a black hole in the footage at where the tripod was placed. So I had to toggle between VR view and Equirectangular view after each change I made, to not mess up.
Uploading the video on a wireless headset was the last step.
Sound post production is always the most interesting part of a project for me.
After I recorded all my audio files in Ambisonics B-format, I used Zoom Ambisonics software to edit. I changed the listening position along the x, y and z axes to correct localization and spatial accuracy. Ambisonics B-format is a 4-channel audio, so I needed four speakers to hear the sound perfectly; whereas I had my 2-channel headphone connected to the headset. I read about Binaural format that I could decode the Ambisonics into. This audio format makes the full sphere sound able to come out from just two channel headphones, without missing the details of the sound in space.
I did sync up the audio files with my footage in Premiere.
This installation took place in RBC Media gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
The installation had three different interactive components:
- VR headset and a pair of headphones connected to it
- A laptop projecting the video on the wall. People could interact with the projected video by changing the angle of view through the laptop.
- Three statement papers about the concept of the installation in different places of the room.
For the laptop, headset and speakers placement, I used two white high plinths. I wanted everything in the room to be in neutral colors, so the colors of the video (colors of nature in Fall) could draw the audience’s attention.