Arrival of a Train… and a new medium is born

Ever since watching Sascha Unseld’s talk at Oculus Connect last year, which prominently featured “Arrival of a Train“, one of the very first silent films, we’ve been noodling on a little side project concerning a VR capture of a train locomotive in action.

After many trials and errors, and much reverse-engineering of train schedules, and inclement weather, we’ve finally captured a nice little rough draft piece of footage. We’ve posted the 360 footage, captured with our Ricoh Theta, to YouTube, for your enjoyment.

Here are a few stills. Scroll down for the complete video. Be sure to a) fullscreen it using the little [__] icon in the lower right of frame, and b) click and drag around with your mouse (or look around if in googles).

Oh, and we’ve included the original “Arrival of a Train” for your viewing reference. The reason its so famous? Reportedly, crowds fled the theatres waaaaay back in the day, convinced that the 2d animation on the screen was in fact a train headed directly for them. This allegory is often used to communicate¬†how audiences viscerally experience a brand new medium — half is the content, half is the novelty of the experience.

gTrain-inbound-01

 

gTrain-midtrain-02

gTrain-freight-03

I was quite concerned that the train would knock over the tripod, it was within inches of the car extents. Thankfully, the rig survived, and we even got a friendly wave from the engineers.

 

 

and, finally, the original to which we pay homage:
Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (The Lumière Brothers, 1895)

Designing for Glass, by Glass

This is a wonderful treatment of a spoken word recording by Ira Glass, of NPR’s This American Life. He speaks the core truth of creative people: when you have a vision, translating it to reality is an iterative, lengthy process.

I think many of us who are experiencing Glass have great visions of its potential… and now comes the hard work of translating those visions into actual applications and businesses.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.