Speaker Q&A: Aruna Inversin and the VR Filmmaking behind ‘NBA VR’

Creative Director and VFX Supervisor of VR/AR at Digital Domain Aruna Inversin will be at VRDC 2017 to present his talk ‘NBA VR’: Putting Fans Courtside with NBA Legends with Virtual Reality, which will showcase the VR filmmaking breakthroughs behind the ‘NBA VR’ app. Here, Inversin gives us some information about himself and the broader VR market.  

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VRDC: Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR

As a creative director, I am responsible for developing creative content that exceeds the expectations set forth by the client in marketing their products.  As a visual effects supervisor, I am responsible for the completion of that creative, whether by me or an external director, using the live production and VFX toolsets at my disposal.

Over the past twenty years I have worked in visual effects, of which the last three have been cross pollinating with virtual reality projects. I’ve completed about 15 VR projects, most with extensive VFX and CG augmentation. I have a unique skillset comprising of live action direction, on-set vfx supervision, visual effects compositing, and real-time development.

Some groundbreaking work that I’ve had the good fortune of running have been The Neymar Jr Effect: A VR Experience in 2015 and SyFy Incorporated “Welcome to the Quiet Room” VR Experience at SDCC 2016.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at VRDC

I’ll be talking about how we created and delivered high fidelity streaming content for the NBA, from pre-production and production workflows, all the way to digital asset creation and delivery!

What excites you most about VR/AR?

The ability to escape from reality is exciting, but  the ability to augment our real world will have the most impact.

What do you think is the biggest challenge to realizing VR/AR’s potential?

Creative and compelling, easy to digest experiences will drive consumer confidence in the VR and AR space.

Knowing that you had 360° of space to fill, what was the hardest part about filming for VR?

The project, NBA VR, wasn’t actually filmed in 360°!  We used a number of visual effects tricks to create the world in which our actors interact with it.

Because immersive filmmaking is still so new, could you describe what a stereoscopic movie atlas is in a few words?

A stereoscopic movie atlas is very similar to a texture atlas used in game development. The atlas is a panel of images, typically used for texture mapping. In this case, we are using it for storing stereoscopic moving imagery.

Register for VRDC Fall 2017 to hear more about filmmaking in VR from Aruna, and join other creators of amazing, immersive experiences at the premier industry event.