Hello, immersive journalism friends!
What a year. One thing that we’ve been grateful for is this community, and we’re ending the year with a celebration of what immersive creators have built in 2020 and what we’re looking forward to seeing in 2021.
Join us Friday, Dec. 11 at 12 p.m. ET for an end-of-year Journalism 360 meetup. We’ll be sharing work that we loved, and you’ll get a chance to meet some of the creators working on the projects that just won the latest round of Journalism 360 Challenge grants.
We’re also interested in hearing about what you’re experimenting with and what support you’re looking for from the immersive community next year. We’ll be using Wonder, a new platform that we’re excited about where we can hang out together and easily create side meetings (don’t worry, you won’t have to download anything in advance or register for the platform). This event is open to anyone who is interested in immersive storytelling—feel free to invite friends and colleagues.
And about those new Journalism 360 Challenge winners! This year, we are investing in 12 projects from a diverse set of creators. From testing out 360 animation to community-based projects to training rural youth reporters on immersive techniques, these projects span a wide range of tech and storytelling ideas. We are thrilled to support them, and really excited that you’ll be able to meet some of the creators at our meetup.
Dinosaurs in the Living Room. National Geographic’s new Instagram AR experience (built with Spark AR) allows viewers to layer life-sized dinosaurs over their surroundings, along with voiceover and text walking viewers through the latest discoveries.
Design Flaw. While conducting a study that asked participants to wear an Oculus Go headset, researcher Arwa Michelle Mboya found that the headset straps often broke while trying to stretch around Black women’s hair—so she created her own prototype to better accommodate the texture, size and styling of Black hair.
Inside COVID-19. The Voices of VR podcast recently spoke with producers Gary Yost and Adam Loften about their 360-video series Inside Covid-19, which centers on a doctor who manages emergency departments at five different hospitals and who contracted the virus himself.
iPad LiDAR. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology student Chaemin Na has written an impressive review of 2D and 3D modeling tools using iPad Pro’s new LiDAAR sensor. Check it out for an exploration of ARKit 4, scan techniques and how to build a 2D plan.
Queering VR. The inaugural episode of Container magazine’s new podcast focused on queer VR content currently available, and the opportunities and imaginations a queer VR future brings.
Building Mt. Resilience. Last month, we shared an AR project from ABC Australia that demonstrated how extreme weather affects individuals in a community. Now we’re lucky to have a behind-the-scenes look on how that project came together, including how the team collaborated while working under coronavirus isolation restrictions.
Painting with Math. San Francisco-based designer Inigo Quilez makes “mathematical art” video tutorials, walking you through how different formulas yield 3D images—like this girl taking a selfie.
The Queen and The Crown. The Brooklyn Museum and Netflix have collaborated on a virtual exhibit of costumes that appear in the series The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown. Users can navigate through the museum, see clips from the shows, watch interviews with costume designers and zoom in on costume details.
Social Merge. The AR-enabled Merge Cube—a popular teaching tool for educators—now works on Instagram and Facebook, with four filters available that allow users to hold cells, viruses, human anatomy and the solar system in their hands.
Nerfies. University of Washington and Google researchers have developed Deformable Neural Radiance Fields, a new way to generate novel views of humans with photo-realistic quality, using only a casually captured smartphone video.
We always welcome your comments, links and other inputs to future issues. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re taking a break in January, look for the next edition of this newsletter on Feb. 5.