Filming Stan Lee with Stereo Red Weapons in 8k

Filming Stan Lee with Stereo Red Weapons in 8k

Last week I had the amazing experience of filming Stan Lee with Stereo Red Weapons in 8k. This was for a virtual reality interview with Kevin Smith. This was a stereo shoot and took place in Stan’s small office in his home above Sunset Plaza. The shoot was for Legion Entertainment. They wanted to document important people in the comic book industry so that we could view them in Virtual Reality in the future. Which is why we went with the new Red Weapons in 8k. Stan was there with his wife and daughter and was very engaging and friendly with everyone.

red dragon 8k stereo

Behind the Scenes Filming Stan Lee

Derrin Turner, our resident VR Director and Head of Production, frames the camera.

On set with Stan Lee
on set with Stan Lee and his wife

Technical Details

As the Technical Director for VR Playhouse I designed the camera system that we used. For this shoot, we used the new Red Weapon 8K. We shot the cameras as stereo pairs on an offset nodal rig. We made sure to keep all action in one shot. This was why we had to use such a wide angle lens. This way we could shoot a clean plate, then the whole interview from one position. After the interview was finished, we then shot the remaining angles of the office.


This way we were able to blend between the interview footage and the rig removed clean plates. In the end we shot eight wedges at 8k resolutions. We were able to get decent stereo stitches out of Cara VR for Nuke. It will be challenging to rectify the lighting between the final wedges, and will probably require some finessing.

Red Weapon Stereo Arii 8mm Primes
Stereo Red Stan Lee

Other Houdini Tutorials:

Volumetric Video for Virtual Reality

Volumetric Video for Virtual Reality

Volumetric Video for virtual reality using Google Jump, Houdini, and Nuke. I love the visual aesthetic of point clouds and their ability to represent and recreate three-dimensional space. I used to bake out final gather points out of Mental Ray. I would ombine them to re-create a static visual cue of the entire animation sequence. At the time, I would also use them as combined elements for lighting calculations. With Houdini, working with point clouds is just so much fun. Currently, point clouds are everywhere,. We use them from everything from storing values, geometric reconstruction, and volumetric video. I can also just enjoy their pure visual beauty.

Google Jump Point Clouds in Post Production

Depth Maps

We can now get depth maps from the Google Jump Assembler in resolutions up to 8k. This allows us to implement some more advanced film techniques into the world of virtual reality production. As well, we can begin to see how we will start to create new production workflows. In the near future there will be tools for handling volumetric video. We will use this for 3d reconstruction in order to create a more immersive experiences. While not “light-field” in that this won’t represent correct light changes that are view-dependent, it will allow for greater depth and parallax. As well, it allows for better integration with CGI in the world of Stereo Virtual Reality. This is very tricky and inherently has problems.  In these examples, I am using the Foundry’s NukeX, Cara VR, and Ocula on the front end. Houdini from Side Effects on the back end.

Google Jump Point Clouds in Post Production

Point Clouds

This image shows the perspective of the viewing camera of the scene with both point clouds from Nuke and Houdini merged using deep and viewing through nukes viewer. The 3D tree is rendered through Mantra with a deep pass using the point cloud generated out of Nuke as reference geometry. This is important for correct spatial alignment of depth, as the depth, in this case, comes from the Google Jump Stitcher. This is not a spatially accurate representation of real-world depth, rather a spherically projected approximation. At this time, the biggest caveat is the 8-bit banding. This can be solved with a special plug-in that would incorporate a bilateral filter that would process the points while preserving edge detail.

Google Jump Point Clouds in Post Production
Google Jump Point Clouds in Post Production


Reality Capture  is my current go-to program for photogrammetry. I am just getting the hang of how it functions but it is incredibly fast, especially if you compare it Agisoft. These photos were a test using my studio space. This is with only 377 photographs. I can see where I need more camera positions to capture the whole space and will shoot it again soon. The maximum amount of images that I can do with the version of Reality capture that I have is 2500, I am not sure that I need that much, but I would like to test with around 1500.

Other Relevent Projects:

Tracking and Stabilizing in a Spherical World for Virtual Reality.

Tracking and Stabilizing for Virtual Reality.

Recently, I have the need for tracking and stabilizing footage in a spherical world for virtual reality. As a result, I started building some tools and methodologies for dealing with stitched spherical footage. As well, the footage would be coming from a variety of go-pro rigs. In addition, there is a need for 3D development and integration with 360 stitched spherical lat-long footage. In this case, all shot footage is usually coming from a six, ten, or sixteen camera rig with Autopano doing the initial stitching.

There is surprisingly little information out there on this subject, but there are some great videos done by Frank Reuter that got me on my way. As well as a few posts on the Foundry’s forum.

The idea is pretty straightforward. We want to convert our spherical stitch into a rectilinear cube map or 6 pack. In Nuke this is done with the Spherical Transform node. Through rotating along the Y we can get the four sides, and with a 90 and -90 rotations along X, we can get the top and the bottom.

Now that we have the six rectilinear images we can pipe them each into a project3D node, which in turn gets piped into their respective cameras. Create one camera with a 45-degree FOV and a 90 degree horizontal and vertical aperture. Duplicate the camera six times, one for reach axis and rotate them into position. I then project those cameras onto a sphere, re-creating my initial image perfectly. I then chose one sequence out of the six that would be best for performing a 3d track. Once the footage has an acceptable track, I then link the tracking data to an axis node that drives my camera rig.

I then create my render camera and pipe in the same tracking data and then invert the rotational curves for a nodal setup.

Other Houdini Tutorials: