Today, we announced that the keynotes and esports events at OC5 will be livestreamed in Oculus Venues on Oculus Go and Gear VR, thanks to our partnership with immersive production company Supersphere. We sat down with Supersphere Founder and Executive Producer Lucas Wilson to learn more about the cameras and tech involved to bring the OC5 experience LIVE to VR.
How did your involvement with the OC5 livestreams first come about?
Lucas Wilson: Supersphere has produced dozens of multicam immersive livestreams and invested significant time and effort into creating incredible fan experiences. At E3 this year, we demonstrated pioneering live multicam streaming environments for immersive esports. We’ve worked with Facebook and Oculus quite a bit on several projects, including past events in Venues. They noticed our initial esports work and called us to work together on OC5.
What can you tell us about the cameras and related tech you’ll be using for the livestreams?
LW: Each event that we stream has its own needs, so we pick cameras and technology that are the right fit for the job. We have in-house immersive flypacks that are customizable and can mix any blend of 360°, 180°, 4K, or HD cameras as needed. Our solutions handle real-time geometry integration, live stitching, and painting cameras as part of our “VR CCUs” [camera control units], as well as mixing and delivering ambisonic audio. For OC5, we’ll use multiple cameras across the different events, among them the Z CAM K1 Pro and RED cameras configured for 180°. We also use products like ASSIMILATE SCRATCH VR, Blackmagic ATEM 12G components, and Globalstor CPUs, and we work closely with our integration team at Key Code Media.
How will your approach to broadcasting OC5’s esports events differ from the keynotes?
LW: They’re different formats, so we adjust our approach accordingly. For the keynotes, we’ll focus on switching live 180° cameras on the speakers, along with graphics integration. The esports tournaments will blend live cameras and multiple gaming inputs. We’ll also debut brand-new technology that creates immersive outputs from the game engines themselves, for a true 180°/360° observer view of the gameplay. This is the first time that viewers will be inside this rich, more immersive look at gameplay. We worked closely with the talented teams at Facebook, Oculus, and ESL to build a complete set of immersive environments that fans will love.
How do you think VR and AR will continue to change the cultural landscape over the next five to 10 years, both within the entertainment industry and beyond?
LW: I believe that immersive experiences bring people closer to the things that they care about, and the next five to 10 years will continue the evolution of the technology and its accessibility to give us deeper and more engaging interactive experiences. VR and AR are a natural evolution of technology, the same way we all shifted from SD to HD, and that new technology delivers higher value to consumers. Engagement will keep growing until immersive entertainment becomes the default over the next several years.
What’s next for you? Any exciting projects in the works?
LW: Supersphere is continuing to improve our technology and capabilities. We’re focused on delivering the best and most engaging content at the intersection of high-tech and consumer reach. Many of our upcoming projects are under wraps, but one exciting thing we can talk about is an upcoming multi-platform, multi-format immersive experience tied to the Night of the Living Dead IP.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
LW: The years ahead will be exciting times for fans of esports and other live entertainment genres. Fans have seen a little bit of content so far where they’re essentially sitting in a virtual living room and watching the tournament on a screen within that virtual space. This is really taking it to the next level with custom-built immersive environments, created in conjunction with the game developers and Oculus, that will completely transport viewers. We can’t wait to show the community at OC5!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Lucas! We’re excited to see how the crowds respond in Venues next week.
For more details on the Oculus Venues OC5 livestream and other ways to watch, click here.
— The Oculus Team