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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Murchie

Ghost in The VR Machine

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

Our Paranormal Investigation livestream broadcast from The Real Mary King's Close went without any major problems last week. Fortunately none of the spirits present interfered with the equipment on the night however there appears to have been a strange incident earlier in the day with my VR camera down in the Close.

It's important to say at this stage I'm thoroughly sceptical about anything supernatural and what I'm about to discuss could easily be explained as some kind of random hardware error but to balance this I've also never had this problem previously and not particularly seen anyone having discussed anything similar in the support forums online so I'll leave it to you to make your mind up.

During our rehearsal late Friday afternoon I went down into the close to capture some 360 stills for possible future use, I was using my Insta360 One X for simplicity and speed and shooting using their simulated HDR mode. I've just downloaded the images in order to process them and found over half are kind of mis-stitched or look like on their side which they definitely weren't when they were taken.

I took several shots from the upstairs "studio" area and control console then down the stairs and onto the Close itself. All these shots stitched together seamlessly and came out excatly as would be expected. The last couple of these shots with some of the Scottish Paranormal crew was taken just next to Andrew Chesney's workshop. My next shot was taken in the workshop and gave me no problems (as you can see below) although as there was no-one else around I did feel somewhat uncomfortable.

And this is where it started getting strange. Every shot from this point on was weird, almost like the camera was on it's side - the automatic horizon correction that the camera provides was no longer picking up the correct direction. It should be noted all the shots were taken upright on a tripod so even if the camera hadn't picked up the horizon correctly there shouldn't have been this issue.

It's difficult to demonstrate here but for clarity here's some of the flat images taken after the workshop which you can compare to the ones above and you'll see the bizarre problem.

Well it was kind of strange, I don't have an explanation for it. I've just tested and can confirm the camera is now back to shooting normally. It's up to you to decide whether it's a digital glitch or something else. I just can't really explain it one way or the other.

Andrew Murchie is a creative technology consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland specialising in virtual reality, augmented reality and wider filmmaking skills. He has produced Virtual Reality films & experiences for clients including The Real Mary King's Close, Dynamic Earth, Loch Lomond Distillers, Highland Spring and Tennent Caledonian Breweries.

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