These are seriously freaky in their modernity – and a snippet of Hollywood magic coming to GoPro owners in the future.
These two videos of the new AMG GT S on a racetrack can be watched from numerous 360-degree perspectives. Theoretically, each has full HD picture and sound. (In practice, it is not exactly high-definition.)
A quick three -step instruction will help you get the most out of these films without a VR headset:
— Bursor movement on the playing video changes the perspective
— Bottom right globe button makes it super-wide-angle. (Avoid!)
— A three-camera selector at the top of the page lets you choose cam’s from the noses, in-car or on the tails.
How did they do it?
It is similar to the latest smartphones that let you focus a picture after the fact. By taking perhaps 100 videos of the same exactly track run, the “Visualize” tech collates this mega data dump into seamless, simultaneous video streams. In terms of the technical bits, it looks like the perspective cam’s are mounted via outrigger arms that are digitally deleted for the final product.
Makes it feel like the camera is floating in space. With a VR headset, you just move your head to change the angle.
No chase car needed, nor helicopter or drone cam.
But perhaps wanted….
The production is a bit freaky to watch.
With only these close-up and oddly wide-angle perspectives, this tech is not going to replace BBC production values soon.
Even so, it is great to see the GT S out blasting around Laguna Seca with stonking audio from the nose and the tail.
Mercedes-AMG GT S Stars in Two Trippy Virtual-Reality Track Videos
APPY CHRISTMAS: SPECTACULAR 360 DEGREE MERCEDES-AMG FILMS LAUNCH
Will be available to be viewed for free using Samsung Gear Virtual Reality devices – also on desktop devices, Android platforms and the iPhone and iPad
Along with five times DTM champion, Bernd Schneider, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is the star of the films – being driven as hard as possible around the Laguna Seca Raceway
Viewer can watch from inside or outside the car – creating an exhilarating, unique experience only made possible by newly-developed technology
Never has Christmas telly been so vivid. And Mercedes-Benz is set to give festive viewing a 21st century twist, as it launches a series of spectacular, immersive 360 degree films – featuring some of the fastest and most exciting cars ever created. Best of all, they’re free.
Capable of being viewed through the Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) devices, the first two films feature the all-new Mercedes-AMG GT S being driven at and a little way beyond its limits around the Laguna Seca Raceway in California. The experience is so vivid, it feels like you’re hovering just off the front or back bumper of the new GT – a view even the most determined tailgater would struggle to replicate. Likewise, you can opt to take a virtual seat next to the driver to experience what the action feels like from inside the car.
Set to be available for free through the Oculus Store by searching ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’, the films were shot in real time using a total of 18 cameras mounted on special rigs. The output from each camera was then electronically stitched together to create one seamless lap of the Laguna Seca track in 360 degrees.
The resulting footage, shot by virtual reality specialists, Visualise, forms an app called ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’ which can be downloaded from the Oculus Store onto what is the heart of the Samsung Gear VR – a powerful Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Once the app has downloaded, the phone is inserted into the white and black-coloured Gear VR headset and the user can simply look around, just like in real life, to change their viewpoint of the action as the Mercedes-AMG GT is driven hard around the track. Tyres were harmed.
The smartphone is available to buy now, and the Gear VR has launched in North America already with its UK arrival set to take place over Christmas.
But, for those looking for a more immediate dose of AMG action, the footage can also be downloaded via the iTunes store – http://bit.ly/1GyvLog – or by searching ‘Mercedes-AMG GT’. The Android version is set to arrive in early January. Like the Virtual Reality version, the apps are free and can be put onto any iPhone or iPad and use the gyroscopic sensors inside the devices to allow you to move the camera angle in real time to give you a 360 degree virtual window into driving at immense speed around the Laguna Seca Raceway.
For desktop users, the footage of five times DTM Champion Bernd Schneider being chased down can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/16yubWM. A solo lap, with the GT S being driven very, very sideways can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1w6cvq0
The Mercedes-AMG GT app forms just one of 11 stunning 360 degree films shot over the past year. Cameras were recording when the Championship-winning MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W05 Formula One™ car was driven for the very first time in a pre-season test at Silverstone by Nico Rosberg.
Likewise, the 360 degree cameras were in place when 2014 World Champion Lewis Hamilton set out to destroy some rear tyres on an E 63 AMG S Estate around the track, and when Nico Rosberg demonstrated an often-overlooked skill for a Formula One driver – the ability to perform donuts.
The spectacular Goodwood Festival of Speed was captured in 360 degrees too – everything from a 1937 W125 Silver Arrow Grand Prix car to the more contemporary F1 W03 heading up the Hill had cameras attached to allow the experience to be relived in the most attention-grabbing and vivid way possible.
The Mercedes-AMG film allows UK viewers and potential customers to get a little closer to the car – albeit in virtual form – ahead of the arrival of the real car in showrooms and on UK roads in April 2015.