Target Halloween 360° Adventure

I got the opportunity to work on Target’s Halloween social media campaign this year – a 360° adventure through the House on Hallow Hill. This project was a challenge because I had no previous experience with 360° video what so ever before starting. I was able to work with a great director and art directors that made this a really fun project to work on.

Check out the playlist below to check out all of the videos! You can see them all on YouTube but I think the best experience is checking it out on your phone through the YouTube app. Also – Check out the write up and see some behind the scenes photos on Target’s corporate homepage.

Process

These 360° videos were shot on the 360 Heroes Pro 7 rig – it is an array that holds seven GoPro cameras shooting in 360 degrees. After the scenes were shot I took the seven video files and stitched them together in a program called AutoPano Video, the process for this is similar to what you would do for shooting a panorama photo, basically you are just matching up similar areas in the videos so the program knows where each camera is directed and knows how to put them all together. Once you have it all mapped out the program spits out a video distorted into an equirectangular format. From there the process of adding the post effects in After Effects was similar to what you would normally do on any regular shot, the only trick is also distorting anything that you do (painting out the tripod, adding smoke, lighting effects, adding in the raven, adding in floating particles.) To accomplish that I used a plugin for After Effects called Skybox Mettle, it would distort anything that I did into that equirectangular format just like the 360 video. There was not time or budget to add to many 3d elements aside from the floating tray with the jello brain and the floating candles in the Haunted Dining Hall shot. I animated the tray and candles and rendered them out of Vray, the nice thing about Vray is that is can also render in the equirectangular format which made it really easy to match everything up distortion wise, the trick for the 3d stuff is just matching the camera position and setting a good distance for your 3d objects.

What I found when working on these videos is that the workflow for 360° video post work really isn’t to different than what I was already used to, the only difference is that you have the one extra step of matching the equirectangular distortion.

Check out some stills of what the comp would look like, this is the video that you would render out and upload to YouTube, after you append the appropriate metadata of course.

Behind the Scenes

photos courtesy of Target:

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Crew

Director Todd Grabe
Art Directors Kyle Gustafson and Ryan Hanson
Writer Jeff Barbian
Animation and VFX Glen Faught​, Ryan Caughey
Executive Producer Jen Hodovic
Producer Bryan Shelley
DP Joel Weber
AC Kyle Franke
Gaffer Dave Underhill
Grip/Electric Craig Hanson, Dave Pope, Gerhardt Riautschnig