The ATACC Group invited me to North West Air Ambulance training session, to take some 360 photos and video using my Ricoh Theta S camera. The aim of the day was to establish best practice going forward for the use of 360 cameras in training.
The ATACC group use actors, medics and lots of fake blood to create real life like training scenarios. The day included a number of scenarios; a chainsaw accident, mushroom poisoning, drowning, mountain bike accident, overdose, parachute accident, Truck running over a person and a gorilla attacking a Zoo keeper. Training took place at Cheshire Fire & Rescue head quarters and in the evening at Delamere Forest.
The day provided an interesting opportunity to look at how 360 cameras can be used to provide or aid training. Here are some lessons we learnt:
- Positioning a 360 camera to get the best benefit for 360 viewers is a challenge, as you don't want to impact the scenario with positioning a tripod in the middle of scene. The best approach would be to position the camera in the middle above the heads of those in the training scenario.
- 360 photography and video would be best utilised to allow trainees to review their actions post training session, either using 360 view on a computer or in Google Cardboard goggles.
- To create a good 360 VR training video requires more choreographed scenario, where the camera is placed at the centre of the action.
- One key value of 360 camera, is it provides the viewer with an immersive experience, enabling the user to get a feeling of what it would be like to be in the training scenario. In essence making the training feel more real.
- To get the best from a 360 camera requires minimum of 4k images, preferably 4k per camera. 360 video at lower resolution is just too poor to use in an outside environment.
- Drowning training scenario: https://youtu.be/8hC9WQPlZfc
- Gorilla attacked a zoo keeper and a second keeper accidentally shoots themselves with a tranq dart scenario : https://youtu.be/RwS9cU2oTyo
If you would like to see the pictures using Google Cardboard viewer, go here on your mobile: https://kuula.co/explore/collection/7fyfSkuula.co/explore/collection/7fyfS
Thanks again to the ATACC Group North West Air Ambulance and Cheshire Search & Rescue for letting me spend time with them. It was a humbling experience to see such dedicated and capable people there to catch us when we fall.