VR Pain Management

So it’s been a while since the last blog post on here, the reason for which is purely down to not having any major projects to write about, that’s not to say that I haven’t done anything of note, just nothing major to write about here. I’ve spent my time learning the likes of Blender and Unity so that’s taken up the majority of my time.

Now back to the point of this post, this project has been circulating for the past two months, which is the main reason why I haven’t written anything on here because I’ve been working on this project based around using VR as a way of managing the pain levels of patients with chronic pains like burns and back/neck pain.

I’ve been researching the effects of VR pain management, especially with burn victims in mind, looking through I found that the use of games and videos significantly reduces the level of pain a patient feels when getting their bandages changed and wounds cleaned, the popular method was an interactive VR game; Snow World.

The problem with this solution is that this game is over 10 years old and the VR technology has been updated countless times over during that time. So over the past few months, we’ve discussed ways of effectively achieving this and came to a conclusion that using 360 videos as a meditative form of pain management. So Eoin and I (with the help of our intern James) we travelled up to the North Coast to some places we know quite well that would be perfect to capture for this project. We went to the Mussenden Temple and the Portrush beach (with more to come in the future), we also shot locally at the Titanic museum beside the Lagan river to get a variety of scenes needed to create a demo composition to show to our client.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been editing the clips together trying to figure out a dynamic that would work well, so during a meeting a few days back we decided to create a platform based on a tiered model of levels of pain the patients have. For instance, a patient that is having relatively low levels of pain would start on level one which is the basic footage with little to no editing added, whereas someone who is getting their bandages changed will experience pain level three and the exact same footage is shown only this time it will have a variety of effects to help distract the patient from the procedure.

The effects were achieved through a blend of some in-house effects in Premiere Pro and the Mettel third-party plugin (which is as of writing now part of Adobe) which is based around effects produced for 360 video in mind, making the editing for this a lot easier and gave me a wider scope to take from.

Although the project is far from over it has been one of the more enjoyable projects that I’ve worked on as it lets me get back to my roots (though not fully) in filmmaking, even if it is just scenic views at the moment it at least lets me sit and edit for a while.


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