We’re so close to the launch of Vive shipments we can almost taste it. As a matter of fact, our new gaming laptop showed up yesterday and we’re ready to party! Owlchemy Labs may have only listed four out of five roles in their upcoming title included with the Vive, but today they are touting a new feature that many devs will want to take notes on. This new feature is called spectator mode and is an alternate viewing mode that will give us more output options when sharing about our virtual experiences.
What is Spectator Mode
Spectator Mode consists of a floating camera that the VR user can place anywhere in the space or even hold it with a Vive controller like a camera operator. The mode also supports a full view camera, referred to as Camera #1 in the video below. And then the third camera is the VR user’s primary view through the HMD. These cameras can be used during editing to help share the user’s experience better with others.
One of the biggest obstacles of talking about VR is how hard it is to describe to someone outside of the virtual environment. You can watch a single view of the user’s experience in 2D, but without getting that sense of depth and the whole environment surrounding you it makes it hard to communicate the feelings involved inside VR. It can also be hard to imagine what the user is experience if you’re only watching through their HMD view, especially if their head is moving all over the place. It could be a shaky view, but would be something easier to understand if it were watched through an external shot like Camera #1 or Camera #2 as demo’d in the video above.
To help fight off that shaky face camera view the team even added a feature to smooth out the video replay for a better viewing experience.
Spectator Mode will be available in all job roles in Job Simulator and this title will be available when the Vive ships next week. Good job Owlchemy Labs and thanks for helping the community tell a more efficient story with your new mode.
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