We wrote about a projection mapping project from Wow Inc. not long ago. The Japanese studio is also pushing the boundaries in 360° video. Their stunning Tokyo Light Odyssey is a video that pays homage to Tokyo, arguably one of the greatest cities in the world. The video begins with a dark void. Soon, we a pulled in by a forward motion, and what appeared to be glimmering stars are really buildings hurling through space: petrol stations, shops, train stops. The soundtrack builds anticipation as movement speeds up and we are presented with a wall of flickering lights — we are now scaling a kaleidoscope of skyscrapers. And all the while, you can use the 360° navigation to look around. Shifting the view point transforms the experience again and again.
Soon, we are driving past a turbine-like television tower, then floating through people’s apartments in a sea of bobbing high-rises. The music takes on a melancholy note. We zoom down highways and make our way through the narrow corridors of train carriages. A rush of people engulfs the claustrophobic space. Thankfully, before long, we are spat out back into he darkness, mysterious planets emerging and then passing us by.
The experience is simply beautiful. It is surprising how immersive it is, even when watched on a small laptop. The magic is made by the attention to detail, high quality renders, and an artful mastery over atmosphere. The visuals and the sound are a compliment to one another. Just imagine watching Tokyo Light Odyssey on the big screen, or in a VR environment. While that may not be possible, I do highly recommend loading the full 4K HD version of the video. It may take a little while, but you can still have a look around the scenes as they load. For more innovative work from Wow Inc., check out their website.