The film Lexus Elevate is an immersive, 360-degree film experience that uses the Samsung Gear VR + Samsung Galaxy S6 to reveal what inspires pro cyclist Christian Vande Velde to love the sport of cycling.
The project is a 360° film, which means during the shoot we used a custom-built, stabilized camera rig consisting of six GoPro cameras covering a full 360° perspective.
We used several different methods to attach our camera rig to either the bicycle or Christian, the cyclist himself.
The post-production process for 360° films is complex, and involved a variety of techniques and softwares. Our different cameras are first roughly stitched together using software, and then they are re-stitched manually in After Effects, mostly a process of adjusting the overlapping cameras frame-by-frame, using blending and recoloring techniques to make the seam invisible and make sure there are no gaps or mismatches in the footage.
Following from this, we use Nuke to go through additional visual effects processes. This is the most complex part. In a 360° film, all camera equipment and the shadows they cast are visible. So we reconstruct some areas in the sky or on the road surface, and paint over parts of the landscape and our cyclists, all with the aim of removing all signs of our cameras.
Finally, when all footage is perfectly stitched together and cleaned up, we go through a traditional color grading process to bring out all the colors within each shot and balance the visuals throughout the full film.
Through a striking visual narrative shot in the mountains of Malibu, Lexus Elevate allows viewers to experience, from a unique perspective, how it feels to train and ride like Christian Vande Velde. In addition, by using groundbreaking technology and camerawork that is unprecedented in VR cinema, we created an unforgettably visceral perspective on the intensity of cycling.