Fader: An easy to use VR tool

Fader allows you to create VR stories easily and fast. All you have to do is upload your content, arrange your immersive 360 files into various scenes, click publish, and you are done.

Fader allows you to create and publish VR stories. Add multiple layers of information to your 360 spheres, design scenes and tell your story. Easy, fast and web-based!

These are exciting times for us. We’ve been working on Fader for a few months now. So what do we aim for with Fader? Fader allows users with little or no VR journalism experience to create 360 experiences easily and fast.

With Fader, we want to specifically cater to tech-savvy users who can use their already existing content (anything from 360° videos/photos, but also text, audio, documents and content they find on social media) and arrange the content according to their needs, and then publish their VR story quickly.

This is how you create a VR story with Fader:

  1. Go to fader.vragments.com and sign up/ sign in.
  2. Open up a new VR story.
  3. Add a title to your VR story (top left corner) and get started within your first scene.
  4. On the left hand side, pick a media type you’d like to upload to your scene.
  5. Open up a new scene.
  6. Pick another media type you’d like to include into your new scene.
  7. Repeat until you finish your VR story.
  8. You can always preview your story by clicking the play button at the top. Use that preview URL on your mobile device as well. (Android only so far).
  9. Publish your story and share with your friends.

With the help of the second round of funding from Google’s Digital News Initiative, we will extend Fader into a VR tool that can be used by journalists within their newsroom settings. We will be able to cater to different journalistic needs by working together with two organizations: Deutsche Welle and Euronews.

We are looking forward to kicking off this second part of our project. If you have any questions regarding the project or if you’d like to be part of this somehow, let us know.

Vragments project: Stasi interrogation as a VR experience

Have you ever been interrogated? Are you aware of interrogation methods being used to get confessions? Yes? No? Have you ever heard of the REID method?

We just released our latest VR experience. In cooperation with Deutschlandradio Kultur, we created a VR experience about interrogation methods. We exemplified the issue by using original audio footage from 1989 of a Stasi interrogation. The case portraits Uwe Hädrich , the last person who was imprisoned by the former East German “intelligence”. So far, the experience is in German only. It is available as an app for Android and for iOS.

Screenshot of the interrogation room

In this immersive experience, the user is inside an interrogation room. As a secretary, the user can follow this Stasi interview in a passive role as a secretary in the room. Throughout the experience, the user will switch into an interactive mode, triggering further information about interrogation methods. The 3D interrogation room and objects inside that room are built based on original material.

One unique storytelling method I specifically like is the constant switch between passive immersive storytelling (following the interrogation) and the active interactions (triggering events by gazing at objects). That way, we avoided to completely re-stage an interrogation scenario and we were able to provide journalistic context to the story.

Deutschlandradio Kultur broadcasted two radio features on this topic here.

How did all this come about?

Deutschlandradio journalist Jana Wuttke came to us with the idea and we immediately took on the challenge. Jana was researching on interrogation methods and forced confessions and together, we developed the concept and the flow of the narrative.

The whole team met up frequently and discussed the latest versions

3D artist Jens Brandenburg and VR producer Stephan Gensch

360 stories I created with Fader

Our tool Fader allows users to create their own 360 stories very easily and fast! In the past weeks, I’ve been able to go to different events/demos/happenings in the city. I brought my 360 camera with me and created the stories on the spot.

Here you can see some pretty intense scenes at the I am Muslim Too Rally two weeks ago at Times Square.