All We Are and Draw & Code collaborate on an innovative VR music video
The genre-spanning Liverpool band All We Are contacted Draw & Code about collaborating on a virtual reality music video back in 2014. Two years later the result was an ambitious research project that went beyond 360 video to explore the future of film.
Their vision was to create something that was technically innovative, taking the music video to new places. Creatively we sought to offer the viewer the chance to feel like they are in All We Are’s intimate rehearsal space with the band performing just for them. Ebb/Flow was the song chosen for the experience and we set about how to present their performance in a whole new way.
This was a long process with the concept first starting to take shape nearly two years before it was complete. The production was treated as pure R&D rather than a straightforward project with a deadline.
It all started with a the idea to ‘film’ the video using 3D scanners rather than conventional cameras. This is a technique that we have used before when working on ‘The Oculist Reason’ with FACT and Australian video artist Lauren Moffatt. That work informed how we approached Ebb/Flow with the full freedom afforded by recording in 3D allowing us to create a ‘true’ 3D experience that allows the viewer to move around the scene.
For the ultimate feeling of freedom and immersion we selected the HTC Vive as the VR headset to use for Ebb/Flow. Although our original experiments with this project involved an Oculus Rift DK2, it was clear that the Vive offered us that vital element of body movement that helped to create a feeling of immersion.
Revealed at Liverpool’s inaugural Binary Festival, Ebb/Flow VR was a hit with the band and the gathered tech enthusiasts. It took the ‘point cloud’ aesthetic created by the use of the 3D scanning technology and turned that into a defining feature with points of data flowing from one band member to the other.
Since its Liverpool debut we have added another dimension to Ebb/Flow VR – a haptic element. The SubPac is a vibrating backpack that allows you to feel the music through your body. We took a modified version of Ebb/Flow VR to SubPac’s showcase held during London Tech Week where we were joined by other exciting uses of this hot new wearable technology including an interactive experience from Marshmallow Laser Feast and a 360 video for Run the Jewels.