Lovely short VR video: “Pearl”

A while back, Google created a system for viewing VR/360° videos called “Google Spotlight Stories.” You can view the short films in YouTube or in the Google Spotlight Stories iOS app, or possibly in other VR systems; on a mobile device, the viewer lets you turn around and see different things going on in different parts of the world of the movie.

I'm not doing a very good job of explaining it. I recommend trying it out.

If you download the app, you can download and view the videos directly in the app. But if you just want to get a sense of what it's like, you can visit the Spotlight Stories site, which includes links to various of the videos in YouTube. On a computer screen, you can click the four-way controller at the top left of those YouTube videos to look around.

All of the stories that've been published so far have been pretty cool in one way or another. But my favorite by a fair bit is the most recent one: “Pearl.” A lovely, sweet, 6-minute story of a girl and her father and their car. I think you can get most of the impact of it by watching it in plain 2D on YouTube, even without using the fancy VR features, or maybe just rotating a little bit left and right.

But as discussed in an article by Mark Wilson, if you do use the VR features, you can get different perspectives on the story, including (for example) sitting in the front seat of the car or the back seat.

For more about the making of the movie, see an article by Kwame Opam.

I also like the song that goes with it, “No Wrong Way Home,” but it doesn't seem to be available in any other format at the moment.

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