Continuing to Look at the Viability of VR filming

VR

Welcome to my second post about VR filmmaking. The following might contain recapped elements from my previous post. Firstly the bare minimum that one might need to actually produce a 360-degree film is the same as regular filmmaking. A Video camera, a suitable lens, and a means to store the footage. But to shoot with one lens, suggested compromises are made which will the main topic of today’s discussion.

Firstly you must remember some important rules before actually trying to capture 360-degree video: one of them being a stable rig that is small as possible, to minimise parallax. The need to use identical cameras, with identical settings for each camera.
In this day and age people of all ages, I think are very spoilt when it comes to the camera selection. They often come with some signs but as is becoming credible, shooting VR is all about making compromises. Some resolutions are astonishing but the colour is just absolutely horrendous colour representation. There are other cameras which let you have full control over the amount of exposure you might get some other cameras might let you have complete control over the exposure and synchronization but are the size of small refrigerators.

VR, Filmaking

Finding the middle ground that will actually make you comfortable, actually, requires you to have an understanding of what significance each choice will have. The size of the actual camera has the most direct interconnection to parallax and as will play the biggest part in how what you have recorded will look when it comes to editing. When multiple smaller cameras are used, they can be placed together, and in other words, placed as close as possible to the ‘no-parallax point’. Although any offset from this point will cause errors to appear, in this case, smaller is definitely better. For an example the GoPro Hero 4 has an outstandingly small bod, making it very favourable for multi-camera setups. For VR the best option is to use 6 cameras just to make up one rig, which would be scarcely larger.

VR, Film

Larger cameras, you can imagine are much larger for a reason, because they have inside them larger sensors and more practical electronics. When comparing to the Go-Pro. A DSRL seems ridiculously large – but they offer lenses that can be changeable, the low light performance, manual exposure and remote control to name a few, are the features that are also included. The one downside that is heavily apparent is the fact that the Parallax is very heavy on errors.

Cinema-quality cameras which are used for Hollywood productions and that are not commercially available to the public, such as Arri Alexa and the Red Dragon are truly hefty and cannot be swung around easily. But with all the bulk, the features are also in abundance, because the features of a DSLR as well as true time synchronisation, uncompressed recording and a dynamic range that will make any camera owner to throw their current owned device in the bin

Bloody Zombies Fights it’s Way Onto PS4 – Game Review

Bloody Zombies is the newest offering of developer nDreams on PlayStation 4. A nostalgic co-op side scrolling beat em up with a modern sense of humour, and a wonderful twist.

The game is relatively easy for anyone to pick up and play. A short but informative tutorial sets you up with everything you need to know about the controls and lets you loose in Zombie invested London. This isn’t your run of the mill survive the zombie apocalypse though. Bloody Zombies sets you as one of four characters Teller, Rei, Mick, and Eddie. Four survivors in a zombie-infested London that has been walled off and abandoned by the authorities.

It was thought no one was left alive in London but as the 4 characters come together the authorities offer them help and guidance with finding the keycards that will not only help allow them to escape London but maybe, just maybe help take London back.

The gameplay itself is very akin to the classic Streets of Rage.The levels are left to right, defeating wave after wave of zombies and not able to progress to the next wave till you have wiped out the current set you are facing.

Bloody Zombies, nDreams

The controls are extremely simple for basic moves and special moves which makes the combat more free-flowing and frees you up to compete with your friends for the biggest streak, the only issue I have with the controls is that the speed the characters walk at is excruciatingly slow, even when you double tap to run you feel it should be the default walk speed.

The characters are fun, with great sound bites and quotes also having the option of local and online co-op really expands the fun you can have with friends.

I’ve purposely left the graphics till last in this review because this is where nDreams really come into their own and blow the competition out of the water. You can see from the trailer above and the screenshots throughout this article that its a very vibrant, comic book style of graphics and balances the mix of dirty London streets and colourful characters really well. throw in a little bit of cartoon gore for good measure and all is good.

Bloody Zombies, nDreams

Now put on a PSVR headset and nDreams knock it out of the park! Seriously this is one of the best games I have played in VR and there is no way for me to show you how amazing it is. The VR really adds depth to the levels as you move into the foreground and background to slay zombies.

Moving from a flat screen that scrolls through the level to simply looking to your right and seeing the entire level spread out waiting for you is so immersive but even the simple act of leaning forward and essentially zooming in on the game is perfect.

Bloody Zombies is a competent, nostalgic, side-scrolling co-op beat em up that will provide lots of fun for PS4 gamers but it is a must-have for PSVR owners.

Overall Score – 8/10

For more games coverage of nDreams and everything on show at EGX make sure to check back in daily at Clubit.tv

Toy Store Giant Toys ‘R’ Us Files for Bankruptcy in America

Toys 'R' Us

Christmas is without a doubt the most lucrative time of the year for toy retailers but it seems that even the impending surge of Christmas shoppers isn’t enough to save Toys ‘R’ Us one of the worlds largest toy retailers from having to file for Bankruptcy protection in the states. Further highlighting the plight and struggle of “Brick-and-mortar” retailers.

The company made the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing late Monday night in federal court in Richmond, Va., acknowledging that it needed to revamp its long-term debt totaling more than $5 billion.

The toy giant has faced increasing problems over the years as it struggled to compete with online retailers such as Amazon and Bargain chains in the states like Walmart.

 

Toys

 

The company faced $400 million in debt payment coming due in 2018 and was burning through its cash. It hired advisers, including the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, to help come up with a plan.

In a statement on Monday night, Toys “R” Us said the filing would help the company invest in long-term growth and “fuel its aspirations to bring play to kids everywhere and be a best friend to parents.”

Other retailers have closed thousands of stores and laid off tens of thousands of workers as they try to cut costs and compete with e-commerce.
But the company said its roughly 1,600 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores around the world would continue to operate “as usual.”

What are your thoughts on the news that one of the biggest toy store chains in the world is in such dire straights? Do you predominantly shop online or do you enjoy strolling around an actual toy store rather than a website? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And for all your daily toy, tech and gaming news, keep it here at clubit.tv

UN Urged to Ban AI (Artificial Intelligence) Weapons

AI

Founders of leading robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) companies from 26 countries have, in an open letter to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), called for an international treaty to ban killer robots.

Killer robots or autonomous weapons can identify and attack a target with no human intervention. They include armed quadcopters and drones where humans are not making the decisions, but do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones.

The 2017 letter, signed by 116 top AI founders, is the brainchild of Toby Walsh, professor of AI at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Released during the opening of the 3-day (21-23 August) International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017), the letter was to have coincided with the first meeting of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems, now rescheduled for November.

AI

The letter is a joint stance against the “third revolution” after gunpowder and nuclear arms. Among those who signed include Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX and OpenAI; and Mustafa Syleyman, founder and head of Applied AI at Google’s DeepMind.

The letter states: ‘As companies building the technologies in AI and Robotics that may be repurposed to develop autonomous weapons, we feel especially responsible for raising this alarm. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought on a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.’

What do you think? Should AI weapons be banned before they are created? Or are they the inevitable evolution of technological warfare? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments below and for all your toy, tech and gaming news, find it here daily at clubit.tv

Could You Be The Next Smyths Youtube Star?

Smyth's

Smyth’s ToyStore is wanting to find the next YouTube Sensations and it could quite easily be your child. The promotion called Youtube Stars is asking for children to send in their very own unboxing videos and footage of them playing with their favourite toys.

Children of all ages across the UK and Northern Ireland can take part for a chance to become a YouTube unboxer and win £100 worth of Smyths vouchers.

Those looking to take part are invited to upload a video to WeTransfer and email the link to videos@smythstoys.com for their chance to feature on the Smyth’s Toys official YouTube channel.

“We want to hear what kids have to say about their favourite toys,” said Amy Matthews, PR and events executive at Smyth’s Toys.

“Our new YouTube Stars campaign encourages kids to have fun and share their experience with others when unboxing and playing with their favourite toys.”

Tangle is All Set For Relaunch

Tangle

Zuru has joined forces with inventor, Richard Zawitz, to relaunch Tangle Creations’ flagship product, Tangle.

Already available at major retailers throughout the US, Tangle aims to inspire creativity thanks to its interconnecting links on a 90-degree curve that click together and pivot.

Designed for kids aged from five to eight, Tangle can be used as a fidget toy, a puzzle or a movable sculpture.

“I wanted to create something featuring curves and waves that would bring positive energy into the world,” said Zawitz.

“Throughout the last 37 years, the feedback has been phenomenal. Tangle’s encourage good old-fashioned play for kids that don’t involve screens and engage the brain to think creatively using both the right and left hands. It also promotes a sense of calm and joy.”

The very first version of the Tangle toy made its debut in 1981, with over 120 million units selling in over 40 countries since launch.

Nick Mowbray, co-CEO of Zuru, added: “Zuru is thrilled to be launching the latest version of Tangle. We worked closely with Richard on how to re-purpose his original vision and create a new version of Tangle, which is set to enthrall a new generation.

“While there’s been a focus this year on fidget based toys, Tangle has more applications and opportunities for creative play, which we feel will give it a long life in the marketplace.”

Hyper Loop One Reveals Top 10 Strongest Potential Routes

Hyper Loop

Hyper Loop One announced its top 10 strongest potential routes today as it takes the next step to completely changing the transport infrastructure of the world. The company’s goal is to build transportation networks for both people and cargo, using super low pressure sealed tubes and pods that float along a track using magnetic levitation, based on a technical concept first proposed by Elon Musk.

Hyperloop One wants to build a real, working Hyperloop – but it’ll need strong partners to make it a reality, across both industry and government. That’s why, in part, it held a global competition requesting proposals for routes around the world. The winners of that competition have now been announced, and the resulting routes span the U.S., the U.K, Mexico, India, and Canada.

Hyper Loop One has assessed each proposal from hundreds of teams who applied from around the world, examining the potential of each from the perspective of infrastructure, technology, regulatory environment and transportation concerns. As a result, it identified the strongest candidates with the following routes:

U.S.

Cheyenne – Denver – Pueblo (360 miles)
Chicago – Columbus – Pittsburgh (488 miles)
Miami – Orlando (257 miles)
Dallas – Houston (640 miles)

U.K.

Edinburgh – London (414 miles)
Glasgow – Liverpool (339 miles)

Mexico

Mexico City – Guadalajara (330 miles)

India

Bengaluru – Chennai (208 miles)
Mumbai – Chennai (685 miles)

Canada

Toronto – Montreal (400 miles)

Hyper Loop

The goal of Hyper Loop One in terms of getting actual operational Hyper Loops up and running is to have three routes working in a commercial capacity by 2021, so this is a key step towards helping accomplish that.

Elon Musk releases Hilarious Space X Blooper Reel

Space X founder Elon Musk teased the internet last week when he said he was putting together a Space X blooper reel. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long as the technology pioneer delivered on his promise earlier today.

The video (which can be seen above) is set to a soundtrack of John Philip Sousa’s “The Liberty Bell” march (which also served as the theme song for “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”). It shows a series of rocket-landing fails dating back to 2013 as SpaceX tried repeatedly to perfect the technology needed to land the first stage of its two-stage Falcon 9 rockets back on Earth.

The simply titled “Blooper Reel” is a visually amazing and explosive journey through the development of the Falcon 9 rocket accompanied by some hilarious captions through out. Such has Watching Musk touring the F9R wreckage.

“Rocket is fine,” a caption reads. “It’s just a scratch.”

In January 2015, another booster ran out of hydraulic fluid and made a spectacular night time crash into the drone ship.

“Well, technically it did land,” a video caption reads. “Just not in one piece.”

Space X blooper

A sticky throttle valve doomed a rocket-landing try in April 2015. The booster gets so close to a successful landing, then falls over and explodes.

“Look, that’s not an explosion … it’s just a rapid unscheduled disassembly,” the video states.

Space X has spent millions of dollars on founder Elon Musk’s vision to create a reusable space craft that will enable the colonisation of Mars so it is great to see that even when things go up in smoke that he can have a sense of humour about it. Whilst the Space X blooper reel is hilarious it is also a wonderful look at the progress the company has made. Culminating in the successful landing of a rocket with the simple caption

“You are my everything”

Space X blooper

Do you think Musk will be successful in his quest to colonise Mars? Check out the video above and as always let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

iPhone 8 and £1000 iPhone X Features Examined.

iPhone X, iPhone 8

£1000. That’s how much the new iPhone will set you back for the newest line of Apples smart phones. The main physical attraction the phone is boasting is a display that goes from one edge of the phone to the next without having the need of a home button. The future is here now, with the phone requiring the user to use facial recognition software and the use of wireless charging.

CEO Tim Cook and his team at Apple have also launched the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens respectively. Like the iPhone X, the 8 and the 8 Plus encompass an all-glass design as well as also being able to be charged wirelessly.

iPhone X

To the uninitiated one might wonder why Apple would call the ninth iteration of the iPhone, with an X but that is because of Apple celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Mobile device, with the phone boasting a drastic redesign and new implementations of technology.
The 5.8 inch OLED screen, which encompasses the entire front of the product, is made possible with the removal of Apples now iconic home button and the introduction to facial recognition software perfectly named, ‘Face ID’.

As one can imagine the Face ID is used to unlock the phone, but what you might not know is that this technology also allows authentic Apple Pay.
As of writing this article fans of Apple iPhone line only have to wait 43 more days to get the Full Apple iPhone experience, as the phone starts at just a mere £999 here in the UK, with the 256GB model going for £1,149, whether it be in Space Grey or Silver. Fans can pre order from October 27th with Shipping only a couple of days away on November 3rd.

iPhone 8/Plus

With all the excitement of the X, you must not forget about the 8 and the 8 Plus. These phones have a 4.7 inch and 5.5-inch screen for their respective phones. They are shipped with the newest operating system, IOS 11, which can be available to current iPhone from the 19th September, with benefits being an upgraded camera and a faster processor.

Apple being confident, stated that company has made its biggest leap forward since the inception of the original iPhone, and CEO Tim Cook believes that this is ‘The Future of Smartphone’. Nay Sayers might call it a bold statement, but with tough competition from companies like Samsung with the S8, Apple did this to say to everyone in the world of tech that they do not care what their rivals have to say.

As for the event itself, this could have gone a lot smoother. As a live demonstration fail occurred, because of the faults in the new facial recognition software, reception to the initial reveal has been mixed. With other Tech sites, like The Verge calling it a ‘Pretentious Farce.’
With some people saying that for hardcore Apple Fans the price tag will never be an issue due to the loyal fanbase that Apple has created over the years.

Love Bomb Cushions Conquers Dragon’s Den

Managing director of Love Bomb Cushions and good friend of Clubit.tv Sarah Agar-Brennan appeared on the hit BBC show Dargon’s Den earlier this week. Her pitch to the Dragon’s, like any good piece of television viewing, was full of drama, emotion, tension, and twists.

First off Sarah started brilliantly. She was strong and confident straight out of the gate. A high-quality product, a confident and experienced MD at the helm and an amazing first-year turnover meant she had the Dragons eating out of the palm of her hand. It looked like it was a no brainer, There was no doubt she would be leaving the den with the 80 thousand pound in return for 10% of the business. Who wouldn’t invest in a business that made over £500,000 in its first year?

Love Bomb

Unfortunately, things took a bit of a turn for the worst when the Dragons asked their questions. When asked why Sarah was asking for the Dragon’s help. Sarah kind of put herself down a bit by answering “you are better than me” this lead to a staunch telling off from Deborah Meaden

Things continued to slump when questioned by Tej Lalvani. Sarah informed the Dragons that although the company traded over £500,000 last year so far in the first 9 months of this year the company has traded around £90,000. this sudden drop meant that any potential investment from the textile merchant suddenly disappeared.

Just as things started to look beyond saving Sarah showed her amazing strength and resilience once again. Questions from Peter Jones resulted in Sarah sharing a difficult and emotional personal story that, to be honest, she didn’t seem really comfortable in sharing on television. Explaining the dark days she went through and how she used those dark days to become a skateboarding coach and founded the educational company  Sk8 safe.

Love Bomb

This display of depth of character and perseverance alongside a truly remarkable product ended up with Sarah having to make, quite probably, one of the most difficult decisions of her life. Does she choose to take the offer from Peter Jones of £80,000 in exchange for 40% of Love Bomb Cushions or take the joint bid of Jenny Campbell and Tej Lalvani of £80,000 in exchange for 34% of the company?

After a short period of intense pressure and deep consideration at the wall, Sarah managed to successfully negotiate the Dragons to accept 30% in exchange for the full £80,000 she requested. So Sarah walked into the Dragons Den, stared them straight in the eye, stood her ground through an emotional roller coaster of a pitch and successfully left with the backing of two incredibly successful dragons.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sarah and Love Bomb Cushions and wish her and everybody at the company the very best of wishes moving forward.

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