Virtual Reality Lectures – 6

Definitely underpixeled

It’s been a while, I’ve been stuck on lecturing duties, but we finally came around to testing the PIX PRO under different lighting conditions and distances. So, as the title already reveals, 4K is not going to cut it.

Okay we didn’t go all out with a continuous lumen, screen size and distance infographic. Instead we chopped it up. Setting up our rig at different distances to the projector and turning the light on and off in these conditions. Actually, having no clue about what the amount of lumen of the beamer actually was. I suspect about 2000.

We had a screen diameter of 2.7 meters or about a hundred inches. And we set up the PIX PRO at the first row in a relatively small lecture hall. We turned off the light and moved it a row to the back.

  • Row 1: 3 meters / 9.8 feet light on / off
  • Row 2: 4.8 meters / 16 feet light on / off
  • Row 3: 6.6 meters / 21 feet light on / off
  • Row 4: 8.4 meters / 28 feet light on / off

The footage below reveals that the screen is not readable in any of the conditions. No matter the distance or the lighting. In low light the camera overexposes and even worsens the image.

This auto exposure left us thinking that this could be due to us suddenly turning on the light. So, at the end we also tried starting with the light turned off. This also was with no avail. Only the first-row setup in the light on condition exposed some visible sentences but even then, the quality was way below acceptable.

It is safe to conclude that VR lecture recordings in 4K is a no-go if the goal is to also record the beamer and subsequently the laser pointer. Our initial complaint about the current lecture tech was the inability to see where the lecturer wants the students to focus their attention while watching the footage. Recording in VR does not seem to be the solution.

So, where do we go from here? Our tests did reveal that watching a lecture from the first-person perspective really gives a sense of immersion. You really feel as if you are in the lecture hall. We will therefore record part of an upcoming lecture which is a debate on Bayesian vs Frequentist statistics. No beamers needed there. We also recognize the potential for short instructional videos from a first-person perspective.

If you think we will drop our attempts to capture the laser pointer, you’re wrong. We have two options here. One is of course the obvious one. Don’t record in VR but with a normal camera, but at an angle which also captures the beamer presentation. The other one though is quite cooler. What about capturing the laser pointer with an infrared camera and mapping its position to the beamer recording stream. But we will save that one for a later project. For now, you can look forward to our final post in which we will present you with some actual lecture recordings.

Still need to read up on our previous posts? You can find them all by searching for 'klinkenberg Virtual Reality'.

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