How Felix & Paul Studios shot VR in outer space

i 5 the first shots of the first vr camera in space

The producers of a digital actuality sequence in regards to the Worldwide Space Station (ISS) and its crew have constructed a 360-degree 3D camera that can generate the primary VR experiences shot from out in space.

The 8K digital camera is mounted on an out of doors robotic arm arm that may prolong the digital camera greater than 50 ft away from the space station. It’s simply now delivering the primary photographs it’s taken from the vacuum of space.

A flattened 360° picture of the Worldwide Space Station, shot from under, close to the Cupola Observational Module [Photo: Felix & Paul Space Studios]

The digital camera was designed and engineered by the VR manufacturing home Felix & Paul Space Studios, which is utilizing it to shoot upcoming episodes of its Emmy-winning VR sequence Space Explorers: The ISS Experience. The studio has spent the final two years taking pictures the four-part sequence, which paperwork the lives and work of the ISS’s eight-member crew. The sequence was coproduced by Time Studios (the video arm of Time journal) in collaboration with NASA and is on the market in VR on Oculus headsets.

The manufacturing crew used a smaller 360-degree digital camera to seize scenes inside the space station, however essentially the most spectacular a part of the astronauts’ work includes venturing outdoors. That’s the place the “outer space digital camera” comes in. The digital camera can observe the astronauts throughout EVA (extravehicular exercise).


“Space walks are a particularly essential a part of a NASA mission of the Worldwide Space Station, so we needed to offer the viewers a style of that as properly,” says Felix & Paul cofounder and inventive director Félix Lajeunesse. The digital camera will also be used to get high-quality, 360-degree footage of Earth, in addition to photographs of the space station from the surface.

An unfolded 360° picture of the Worldwide Space Station shot from close to a docked Soyuz spacecraft [Photo: Felix & Paul Space Studios]

“It’s a reasonably totally different expertise and course of to function a digital camera outdoors the station,” Lajeunesse says. As director of the product, he sits on Earth, 254 miles under his digital camera, at a management middle in Houston. Footage captured by the digital camera is shipped down from space, however slowly. A one-frame-per-second preview feed arrives at Lajeunesse’s display 30 to 40 seconds after it’s shot in space. He says that it’s adequate to indicate whether or not the robotic arm and the digital camera are positioned accurately to get the specified shot. The studio wrote software program that enables the director to regulate features of the digital camera equivalent to focus, pan, and shutter pace.

An unfolded 360° view of the Worldwide Space Station shot from a ahead place, with a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked to Node2 [Photo: Felix & Paul Space Studios]

Due to the acute warmth of direct daylight in space—unfiltered by an ozone layer—and the acute chilly when the solar is hidden behind the Earth, the digital camera has to have its personal onboard thermal regulator.

Lajeunesse says you get one thing from taking pictures out in space that you just simply can’t get from taking pictures from contained in the ISS. “You will have a way of floating outdoors the space station,” he tells me. “You get a way of scale; in VR you may really really feel it. You may expertise it how you’d with your personal eyes.”

Felix & Paul makes use of one digital camera for photographs contained in the ISS, and one other for exterior taking pictures. [Photo: Felix & Paul Space Studios]

Astronauts who’ve seen the Earth from space usually report a singular sensation. It’s come to be generally known as the “overview impact.”

“It’s this emotional and psychological expertise of watching your world as a complete,” Lajeunesse says. “You see its excessive magnificence, and its fragility, and you’re feeling a deeper connection to your planet.”

Due to Felix & Paul’s expertise, now these of us caught right here on Earth can expertise a few of the similar sense of surprise.