“Where’s Waldo?” For years he was discreetly hidden on the pages of a book, with his iconic striped red-and-white hat and shirt the only way to locate him in a throng of absurd illustrations. But that was back when newspapers were printed on paper and cost five bees. Today Waldo has adapted to the 21st century, which means he’s totally chilling in the Southern California sun, and you need to find him using an interactive 360° video.
Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to spot him, since his fashion choices haven’t stayed quite as current.
This video comes from the folks at Corridor Digital and is a modern take on the classic literary quest. Using various locations in Santa Monica, California, they created a living Where’s Waldo? that requires you to fully scan the environment in search of the bespectacled and elusive character. Just like the books, it is full of “almost-Waldos” and plenty of other interesting characters and events to examine.
Using 5 GoPros on a 3D-printed rig, they captured the full range of the shooting locales, which allows you to search for Waldo as though you were actually there (eventually the two Men in Black/Matrix style agents will help you locate him if you can’t find him). They used Autopano pro software from Kolor to synchronize and then stitch together all of the footage.
You can watch how they made all of it in this behind-the-scenes video they put together.
The “Rule of Finger” is not a phrase we would have expected to be associated with finding Waldo. I also love that people felt the need to go up and tell him, “I found you.” Yes, yes you did.
Besides using multiple locations like a real Where’s Waldo? book, they also placed plenty of other fun people throughout to give you a full spectrum of visuals to pour over and enjoy. (Did you miss Mario and Toad on vacation in So-Cal?) If you scan down at each different place, as though you were going to look for Waldo on your feet, they’ve listed some of those Easter eggs for you to find. My favorite was the “Friendly Giant” that just happened to be across from the Santa Monica Pier, almost like the totally chill antithesis of the usual over-sized monsters that head up the coast to destroy the Golden Gate Bridge.
Though,r don’t miss out on the “Troubled Travolta.” They should do another one of these where you have to find him.
They do note you need to set your YouTube setting to the highest quality for this to work the way they intended. And make sure you pause the video and scan further along on the timeline. It will give you an idea of how this really operates, because the preview for the image you could click on is the full panorama of the available spot. Like they say, imagine taking a globe and straightening it out to make a map. On the timeline you can see that concept in practice, which you can’t do when you are actively watching the video and are limited to what you are looking at in the moment.
It can be tough to capture the spirit of something when you transfer it into a totally different medium, but they definitely succeeded in doing that here. It turns out Waldo is alive and well in the age of technology, and it’s almost impossible for anyone to hide nowadays.
How does this 360° video compare with your favorites? Make sure to tell us in the comments below because we want a full range of opinions.
Image: Corridor Digital/YouTube