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Interview with Virtual Reality Technology Expert – Clyde DeSouza

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Clyde DeSouza_ virtual reality expert Clyde DeSouza is a VR Filmmaker, Speaker and Consultant. His non-fiction book, Think in 3D is well known with 3D filmmakers in Hollywood. His Scifi novel, MAYA, was published by Penguin | Randomhouse in 2015.

Recent projects include masterclasses at Google MENA for Google’s partner agencies and setup of collaborative Tech environments for Government and Educational Media institutions.

Currently, Clyde DeSouza is working on his second cinematic VR film, following the successful launch of “Dirrogate” – a short film that brings the graphic novel format to Virtual Reality.

Dirrogate is the only independent VR film invited by Samsung to be hosted on their SamsungVR platform.

Clyde DeSouza is invited by Leading film festivals to conduct the popular “Think in 360” VR filmmaking Masterclass to spread know-how to filmmakers looking at VR movie production. The next masterclass will be for the Govt. of India’s International Film Festival of India, in Nov 2016. 

How did you get into Virtual Reality (VR)? What interested you in learning Virtual Reality?

Clyde DeSouza: VR at least Cinematic VR (which is a lot different than 360 video) is a natural extension of Stereoscopic 3D filmmaking. That’s the kind where u wear 3D glasses at the Cinema. So I didn’t learn really, so much as undergoing an organic evolution in thought and technique. 

What is the scope of Virtual Reality? According to you, how can organizations today leverage Virtual Reality?

Clyde DeSouza: Virtual Reality, really is a medium of communication whose time has come. It was previously only accessible to well-funded Universities and the Military. With it being democratized and affordable today, any organization in any industry that has a need to communicate visually, whether internally or with the market at large can benefit from leveraging this medium.

To give examples – the Medical industry uses it for “mechanism of action” instructional videos, both to doctors, caretakers and even the public. Filmmaking and Gaming, we already know about and it doesn’t need to be mentioned. However, getting more specific, Digital Marketing agencies need to learn how to identify good VR from bad VR when deciding to leverage this powerful medium for their brands.

For the benefit of our readers, how would you define VR (Virtual Reality)? How’s it different from AR (Augmented Reality)?

Clyde DeSouza: Quite straight forward: Virtual Reality is where the audience is shut out from the real world (usually by means of a VR headset, but there’s also CAVES and other ways to experience of VR) and they are inserted into a computer generated ‘world’, at times, even a replica/representation of the real world digitized and then played back through a computer.  Audiences then can interact with the Virtual World in some way by gesture or hand and head tracking. In AR or Augmented Reality, it’s usually Computer generated (CG) elements overlaid over our normal field of view of the real world by some see-thru headset.

There are two forms of AR – optical see through, where you look through an optical device (think Microsoft Hololens) and there’s Digital See through, where the real world is captured by a video camera and the CG is then overlaid.

How can brands use VR (Virtual Reality) for fulfilling their marketing objectives?

Clyde DeSouza: People will put on a VR headset with an expectation to be transported to an alternate world that goes far beyond what current Cinema or TV can offer. In VR you ‘live’ the movie or you’re ‘in’ the advert, watching the scene unfold around you.

Since visual communication and story is what today’s marketers are after, and brand engagement rather than just brand visibility is the new mantra, I’d say the most promising use of VR is the fact that Marketers can immerse their audiences in the world of their brand if they do it right.

Share about your 3 favourite Virtual Reality case studies. What did you like most about them?

Clyde DeSouza: 

  • 3Spin’s use of VR in activation for Lufthansa Air – This was great use of VR, a far cry from what some brand agencies and Digital shops are doing with their so called “VR adverts” for airlines.
  • Felix and Paul’s Clinton in Africa video —  The VR video was done well, and really gave a feeling of being in Africa with ex-president Clinton visiting local dwellings to the market place and shanties.
  • I can remember these two that stand out. There are others, but these were the most standout ones I can clearly recall.

Which are your 3 favorite Virtual Reality Tools?

Clyde DeSouza: The Samsung Gear VR, Adobe Premiere with the realtime VR preview plugin from Kolor, and the Unity Game Engine.

What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Virtual Reality?

Clyde DeSouza: If it’s filmmaking in VR either feature length (usually about 20 minutes today) or 5-minute VR branding experiences, please produce it in stereoscopic 360 if you’re looking at making true “VR films”.

Shooting with today’s typical Gopro rigs just gives you what I call QTVR (Quick time Vr) which is what was done in the 1990’s only you’re now viewing it in a VR headset instead of on a PC monitor.

The VR world is all wrong in 2D 360. People look 20 feet tall, Car wheels look like giant ferris wheels – If you want to immerse your audience in a VR world and the VR world is not being created in a Game Engine, the very least you need to do is shoot in stereoscopic 360 video.

It’s a lot harder to create stereoscopic VR films. You need to spend time in post-production, but then again it does not mean you take the quick and dirty way out by shooting 2D 360 and calling it VR.

For other industries, such as medical, architectural visualization etc, learn a Game Engine such as Unity. You’ll be leagues ahead in your ability to craft compelling VR worlds.

You can read more on career building for the VR industry (emphasis on Film, Animation and Gaming) on the Real Vision Knowledgebase at www.realvision.ae/blog

How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Virtual Reality? Which resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) do you visit regularly?

Clyde DeSouza: In no particular order, I visit and read UploadVR.com, RoadtoVR, the Facebook Virtual Reality group and Reddit. 

How do you see Virtual Reality evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2017?

Clyde DeSouza: Well, I see it evolving to become part of our everyday life for sure. Throw AI into the mix and we’ll all have a 7th sense so to speak.

Top 3 trends:

  1. The emergence of VR cinemas; Imax is already on this. More will come.
  2. Virtual Worlds will become playgrounds for brands and Digital Marketing campaigns – look out for Project Sansar.
  3. Headsets will become more portable and feature full 6 degrees of freedom to move and interact in the virtual world.

Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Clyde DeSouza: 

I’d love to, after I’ve caught up some more on activities that Digital Vidya is into! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting your CEO, Pradeep Chopra, at a recent conference in Dubai and we’d got into an engaging though brief, discussion. Spreading knowledge is a good initiative Digital Vidya is undertaking.

Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).

[Sr. Associate - Content Marketing] A content passionate, Jasleen handles the content writing and marketing activities. Additionally, she leads Digital Marketing Internship Programme. Her deep passion and enthusiasm for writing guided her towards being the Associate Editor in English for her college magazine. Only deep passion and zeal can guide a person towards a professional writing career. Apparently, Jasleen is one of those persons. She is in the content writing and marketing fraternity for 5 years now. A top-notch individual, she is proficient in writing content for multiple requirements including blogs, articles, books, brochures and social media. She embraces practical knowledge of WordPress CMS. Besides this, she is also highly engaging in Social Media Marketing activities.
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