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Boys Win International 360-VR Film-making Competition

Tuesday, 08 November 2016

Boys from Years 7 and 8 of Bolton School Boys’ Division, along with their teacher, Deputy Head (Academic) Mr Nic Ford, have won this week’s Viar360 Grand Cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) Storytelling contest.

The 360-VR film submitted by the School offers a virtual tour of the Boys’ Division and begins outside Senior School Reception in the Riley Sixth Form Centre Quad. Viewers can then scan around 360 degrees and move into the building via Reception; the tour incorporates information points and short videos and allows virtual visitors to view 360 degree panoramics of the Great Hall, a Science laboratory on Open Morning, a classroom and the first floor of the Riley Sixth Form Centre.

Mr Ford takes up the story: “We used a Ricoh Theta 360 camera to take a selection of 360 photos and video. The original purpose was to look at shot selection, choosing the right locations that would create a good experience for people who might want a glimpse inside the school. I edited the tour together using Viarbox software, having edited photos and video with the boys beforehand.

“I think VR and 360 film making are really powerful learning tools and both are set to be large industries in the very near future. I wanted the boys at Bolton School to not only experience the best of the content that already exists, but also learn how to create 360 and VR content.  We therefore have a 360/VR film club that is really popular and runs weekly as we look at creating our own content.

“Virtual reality and 360 films are an exciting and growing area of technology that let the user step in to the environment and be a part of it, rather than just watching it. In a 360 film you can look in every direction and see everything, and in VR you can choose and interact with the environment. All this is viewed through a headset.  We have started looking at the use of this in lessons and have recently taken Year 7 to explore Roman ruins, Year 8 explored the Amazon rainforest and Year 9 stepped into the human circulatory system - all virtually of course. Looking towards the future,  we plan on looking at VR creation on computers and once we have some more cameras, we will be looking to create new films of our own, perhaps of concerts, sport and outdoor adventure at Patterdale Hall.”

The prize money of $200 will go towards a new 360 camera which can record in 4k. In total, there will be eight individual contests and the authors of the top stories are automatically entered for the grand prize of $1000.

The tour created by boys of Bolton School Boys’ Division can be viewed here (select Panorama mode).

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Club members set up a shot on the Ricoh Theta 360 camera

Club members set up a shot on the Ricoh Theta 360 camera

The opening shot from the boys

The opening shot from the boys' winning virtual tour

Boys in the club with the camera

Boys in the club with the camera