VR & The BCC Nature Trail

One of the very best parts of my job is getting to explore new ways to use technology.  Recently BCC’s Marketing group and I teamed up with STEM to help create a Virtual Tour of campus that can be experienced in 360 video or VR. That project should be completed very soon and the final editing is underway.

For some time now there has been discussion of creating a web tour of the BCC Nature Trail.  Now that we have some new equipment, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out using that equipment for a different project.  Last week a small team of us got together and hit all 16 stops on the Nature Trail, put down the 360/VR camera and took some video — or at least that was our plan!  It turns out that nature has it’s own plans (as always) and some of the stops we couldn’t locate because the maker posts were gone.  Stage two of this project is to replace the missing and worn posts, but if we can afford it we would like to replace every post.

Here’s the first test made from the video we captured.  It’s 4 of the stops just edited together to see how it looks.  In the first part don’t mind us creeping around in the back.  One of the challenges with VR is once you start the camera, where do you go if you don’t want to be in the frame?  We found ourselves hiding behind trees and staying quiet, which I found to be rather therapeutic and meditative.

There is one thing I will be changing next time I do this, and that is to use a smaller tripod.  This tripod is so large it seems to show up in most of the shots.  There is also a spot near the end where the trees are too close to the camera, causing some less than perfect stitching. All things to improve for next time.  One of our eventual ideas is to capture video of all four seasons in the same locations on the trail.  The audio is also quite loud, so I will be adjusting that before the final editing.

BCC Orchard from Above

BCC Orchard from 200 feet

After capturing all the VR video, the weather was gorgeous and it was time for some drone flying. First up was some video of the Nature Trail itself and the buildings on campus.

Next, I turned my attention once again to the newly planted BCC Orchard.  Some overhead top down shots were requested for the donors so they could better see the organization.  Here’s what one of those looks like, click the image to see a larger view.

I’m always excited to have an opportunity to fly on campus, especially when the weather is so good as it was this day.  I shared the video files with our Marketing team so who knows, they might very well end up in another BCC commercial.

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