Embark on an immersive journey into mixed reality with our beginner’s guide to filming yourself using LIV. Designed for VR enthusiasts and VR noobs seeking a seamless blend of real and virtual worlds with or without a greenscreen. This step-by-step tutorial covers everything from selecting the right hardware and software and the exact order to get your MR recording session up and running as smoothly as possible.
Table of Contents
Hardware Essentials for Filming in Mixed Reality
Embarking on your mixed reality filming journey begins with assembling the right hardware. This foundation is critical for capturing high-quality footage that blends real and virtual worlds seamlessly. Here’s what you need to start:
1. Camera: The journey into mixed reality often starts with humble beginnings. Many begin with a simple, affordable option like a Logitech webcam, which is sufficient for getting your feet wet. As your skills and needs evolve, upgrading to a more sophisticated camera becomes essential. I transitioned to a Canon EOS R50, noticing a significant improvement in quality. Depending on your camera choice, consider if you’ll need a capture card for connecting it to your computer and a dummy battery for uninterrupted power supply.
2. Green Screen/Background remover: A green screen simplifies the background removal process, allowing for easier integration of virtual elements. However, if you possess an Nvidia graphics card, Nvidia Broadcast offers a green screen-free alternative by leveraging AI to remove the background.
3. A VR Headset: Essential for true mixed reality experiences, a VR headset immerses you in the virtual environment. Popular choices among beginners include the Quest 2 or Quest 3 due to their accessibility and ease of use. For those with a more extensive setup, a PCVR system with base stations can enhance tracking accuracy and overall immersion.
4. A Decent Computer: Filming in mixed reality, especially with software like Liv, demands substantial computational power. You’ll be running the game, the mixed reality interface, and recording software simultaneously. This multitasking can strain even robust systems. I’ve found a setup with a 1080ti to be competent, and have since upgraded to a 4070, which offers improved performance and reliability.
5. Lighting: Adequate lighting is crucial. While studio lighting might be the gold standard, a well-lit room can suffice for beginners. Natural light or high-quality indoor lighting can enhance the quality of your footage without necessitating professional equipment.
Software Essentials for Filming in Mixed Reality
Equally important as hardware, the right software tools empower you to craft and refine your MR content:
1. Liv: This is the cornerstone software for mixed reality filming, allowing you to integrate and synchronize your real-world actions with the virtual environment. You can download it on Steam.
2. Steam: Essential for accessing a wide range of VR content and games, Steam acts as the platform for launching your mixed reality experiences.
3. Supported VR Games: Your mixed reality content is only as engaging as the games you choose. A comprehensive list of supported titles can be found at Liv’s supported games list. This ensures compatibility and enhances your filming capabilities. One of my favourites to capture is Thrill of the fight to check on my form.
4. OVR Advanced Settings: This tool is crucial for adjusting your viewpoint in the virtual world without the need to recalibrate constantly, enhancing the filming experience. You can download it from Steam.
5. OBS: Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is my go-to for recording mixed reality footage. It’s free, user-friendly, and supported by an extensive range of tutorials, making it ideal for beginners.
6. If you’re using a standalone headset you’ll also want a way to connect your headset to the pc. I’ve had success with the new SteamLink for Quest but I prefer virtual desktop.
7. Nvidia Broadcast: We will be using the background removal feature if as we are not using a physical greenscreen.
Step by Step to Setting up Liv
1. Let’s open Nvidia Broadcast, and make sure our correct camera is selected, where going to choose background removal.
2. Then we connect our headset to the pc using Virtual desktop, steam link, or airlink
3. Then launch OVR Advanced Settings from steam, this will also open SteamVR. If you’re not using OVR then just open SteamVR
4. Open Liv from steam, If it’s you first time you’ll need to create an account. Select Mixed reality capture
5. Here you’ll want to add a new camera, select Nvidia broadcast Camera from earlier, and select argb and the match the resolution of your camera,
6. Now go down to output and make sure you have it set to the correct desktop you want to record
7. Calibration so how I do this is walk up as close as I can to my camera and user the right controller point it directly at the camera and pull the trigger. Then I do the same for my back left and right corner
8. Then you can make some slight adjustments with the positions of your controllers, the biggest one for me is always the latency, I crank all the way to over 100.
9. Select your game from the supported list, hit sync and launch
10. Open up OBS or your recording software of choice. Select desktop capture and audio and hit record.
Tip: Never hold the home and reset you position, if you need to use OVR advanced settings which you can do by opening up the steam menu.