Find yourself in a state of free-fall, lost in space,tumbling out of control in the orbit of our home planet, Earth.

I have always wondered what would it feel like to find myself lost in space.

From 2001: Space Odyssey to Gravity to ADR1FT, science-fiction media presented this scenario (often in first-person perspective) yet I could never feel like I truly experienced it. Now, with help of Virtual Reality, I am finally able to attempt and recreate the sensation – tumbling out of control in orbit of our home planet, Earth.

Watched in stereoscopic 360° video, Freefall 4K is capable of fooling your senses, letting you experience this unique scenario for yourself.

Freefall 4K is best experienced using high fidelity HMD (Head-Mounted Display) such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or GearVR. Google Cardboard offers a great entry-level budget option for anyone with a smartphone anyone.

You can download the high-quality video for local playback through a link below. If you’d rather watch the streaming version, make sure to set the video quality (gear icon) to at least 1440p.

The original 2015 Freefall was a rather quick exercise – I wanted to see how Octane Render performs with extreme quality textures (source Earth maps were in 16K and above). I needed to test the compositing workflow for stereoscopic VR – mainly unwrapping equirectangular animations to cube maps, adding vfx and then re-wrapping.

Finally, I wanted to give the camera a continuous rotating motion on all three axes to determine the range of speeds that are acceptable for VR viewing. In the end I feel I found a sweet spot where the motion is quite disorienting, yet does not induce nausea.

In late 2016 I decided to remaster this video, resulting in Freefall 4K – a new version of the original experience, improved in nearly every aspect. Special thanks to Noble Rot studios for lending me their render farm and making this project possible.

Download for best quality

For best quality, I recommend viewing Freefall locally, using a dedicated app on your computer or mobile device. I had best experience using Virtual Desktop on Windows 10 with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. You may also side-load it onto a GearVR device and watch using either Samsung VR or Oculus Video apps.

To decrease loading times and increase compatibility, the downloadable version has been scaled down to 2K.

Freefall 4K by QubaVR (4K, Stereo 360, 627MB H.265)
Download from Google Drive

Freefall 4K by QubaVR
(4K, Stereo 360, 627MB H.265)
Download from Google Drive

Needless to say, the download is offered for your personal enjoyment and does not authorize you to re-upload or re-publish it online or offline without prior written authorization.

Watch it online

Here are a few options for watching Freefall online. All should work on both mobile and desktop. Swipe for more options.

360° Stills

Unlike flat photos, 360° stills faithfully represent a slice of their original source, allowing viewers to experience a micro-moment of the larger piece. You may view them dragging with your mouse or finger to look around.

Technical details

Freefall 4K was animated and rendered in OTOY Octane Render and mastered in Stereoscopic Equirectangular 4K (4096x4096px) at 60fps. Editing and compositng was done in Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. Original satellite imagery by NASA Visible Earth. Rendered using Noble Rot render farm.

For more information about the project, have a look at Remastering Freefall article on the site.

Freefall 4K

Find yourself in a state of free-fall, lost in space,
tumbling out of control in the orbit of our home planet, Earth.

Running time2:28PremiereJanuary 2017Directed byQuba MichalskiAudioQuba MichalskiRendered atNoble Rot