Assimilate is going deeper into virtual reality, expanding Scratch's basic 360-degree toolset to include more advanced grading and compositing tools in the new Scratch VR Suite.
Scratch VR Suite is being sold as an annual license that includes Scratch, a basic Scratch web account, and Assimilate's full feature set for VR dailies and review, headset support, and creative DI.
"Working in a new technology like VR can be complex, and the Scratch VR Suite simplifies the workflow so that creators can stay focused on the content while maintaining high levels of productivity and quality," said Assimilate VR Producer Lucas Wilson in a prepared statement.
The full toolkit for working in VR using Scratch runs the gamut from dedicated controls for head-mounted displays (HMDs) to the abilty to render out a standard-frame 2D version of a 360-degree production. Controls for the Oculus RIft are overlayed on top of the in-headset image, allowing a mouse to be used to operate timeline controls without removing the HMD. If you have good muscle memory, you can use your control surface to create a basic grade while wearing the HMD, Assimilate suggests.
Special yaw, pitch and roll controls allow the repositioning of a equirectangular shot, reorienting the viewer inside the 360-degree environment. This will also enable image-stabilization to be applied, or camera motion to be reduced or replaced, via spherical projection offsets. Effects wrapping helps eliminate seams in the image when effects are applied by sampling pixels from the opposite side of the image during effects calculation, and "360 repeat" ensures that shapes will wrap across the 360-degree projection if a composited layer's canvas falls outside of the main image.
Among the customers who have been using Scratch's VR tools to finish projects are Jaunt VR and Local Hero, Assimilate said, noting that the latter developed a Scratch VR workflow in early 2015.
The annual license of Scratch VR, including Scratch and Scratch Web, is priced at $1,995, but an introductory coupon code available at the Assimilate website takes $1,000 off, the company said. NAB demos will take place at Assimilate's booth (N8525) in the VR Pavilion, located in the North Hall.
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