6 Degrees of Movement in a virtual world

A simple explanation as to Degrees of Movement in a virtual world.

The difference between 3 degree and 6 degree movement in virtual reality has to do with how a user’s movement in the real world corresponds to movement within the virtual world.

Essentially it is a function of the headsets na dhow the positional tracking interprets movement. All VR headsets have some type of positional tracking and there is a significant disparity between how different models work. Tracking functionality can generally be broken down into three distinct categories, chiefly distinguished by the ‘Degrees of Freedom’ they offer.

3 Degrees of Freedom (DoF)

Headsets with Three Degrees of Freedom (3DoF) tracking:

All phone-based VR headsets including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, as well as some standalone headsets such as Oculus Go.

3 degrees of freedom is the simplest form of user tracking in virtual reality and relies entirely on the inbuilt accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers which phones use to measure movement. These tools  measure how a device is moving in three types of directional rotation (aka 3DoF) and movements are registered by the sensors and translated so the VR program can respond.

Roll is where the head pivots side to side (i.e. when looking around a corner)


Pitch is where the head tilts along a vertical axis (i.e. looking up or down).

Yaw is where the head swivels on the horizontal axis (i.e. looking left or right)

2.    6 of Freedom (DoF) – Rotational and Translation movement

Headsets that use six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) tracking:

PC-based headsets including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality.

A more sophisticated version of positional tracking is 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF), which incorporates the 3 rotational measurements (rolling, pitching and yawing) and adds 3 further directional movements allowing a person to move around in a virtual space, rather than simply standing in one spot.

This type of tracking is crucial for whole-room VR experiences and affords the user far more freedom to explore VR environments and to better interact with the virtual world.

With 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) both the headset and the controllers worn by the user are tracked. This can be achieved either by using external sensors to capture movement (known as outside-in tracking) or using sensors attached to the headset itself (called inside-out tracking) which continuously relays the positions of the headset and controllers back to the computer.

Elevation is where a person moves up or down (i.e. when bending down or standing up)

Strafe is where a person moves left or right (i.e. when sidestepping)

Surge is where a person moves forwards or backwards (i.e. when walking)

3.    3 and 6 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) – Hybrid tracking

With a number of wireless headsets on the horizon, attention has turned to a hybrid positional tracking system, whereby the headset offers 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) but the controllers can only recognise 3 Degrees of Freedom (3DoF).

This reduction in handheld controller tracking is a result of prioritising the movement of the headset and although it won’t offer quite the same functionality as a 6DoF controller, it does allow standalone VR to offer an almost-comparable experience while reducing the amount of processing power required.

Choosing the right headset for your needs

Deciding on which headset suits your needs will depend on the end application. For a stationary experience such as A VR technology demonstration or something like viewing a home being sold off-plan, a 3 DoF headset might be suitable. However, for any VR experience where the user needs to have the freedom of exploration, 6 DoF tracking becomes a necessity.

It is always worth discussing your needs with your VR design team before deciding on one or the other, as they might be able to find an innovative solution for what you’re looking to achieve.

Afghanistan 3

The Luscious International documentary Afghanistan: The Australian Story was screened on Channel seven twice, first on Sunday the 6th then on Remembrance day, Friday the 11th. It rated well for a documentary coming in not far behind sixty minutes at number 14 nation wide.

If you missed it you can see it on the Channel 7 PLUS app. It shouldn’t be missed.



The Supermoon Astronomical event of November 14, 2016.

I took these on my Olympus Pen F hand held. It is pretty impressive for a small sensor camera. The built in stabilisation is amazing. The lenses are so small I can carry a couple in my pocket.

It looks like the sky was clear but this was a fifteen minute window as the moon passed over the back yard then it was broken clouds again.


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Geometry Global

I have 14305435_10210665722578906_3990261890537994764_o 14361465_10210665721138870_8360400315629414044_o 14311222_10210665723538930_6384747621301408161_o 14305285_10210665724938965_2691221372100933523_o 14258288_10210665725098969_8803547979236557735_o 14310449_10210665727299024_8450338842453819244_o 14289915_10210665727699034_1322690427346950318_o 14305262_10210665729939090_4603935155839156677_ojust finished a fun shoot for Geometry Global. We rigged a MOVI off a pulley system so as to execute a single dynamic moving shot over thirty seconds.

Enably-Light Bulb

I have just finished Directing and DP’ing two thirty second spots for Enably. The first to go to air is LIGHT BULB. It is a single shot comedy spot featuring a man who is teachng his cat to change light bulbs, with little success. I am glad to report the shoot was a huge success.

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Afghanistan: The Australian story

Here is a good article about our new Afghanistan documentary. (The amazing Chris Masters brought his formidable editorial and journalism expertise and his historical involvement as producer of the original exhibition multi screen production).


Afghanistan 1

The Australian War Memorial launched Afghanistan: The Australian story last night at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to a fantastic

reception. Thanks to all the staff at Luscious, all the freelancers
involved and Chris Masters for all the hard work.


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Traveloka 2

Part two DOP/directing and traveling to some pretty cool looking places with some great people on a special project. I have now mastered the
drone (If you don’t count parking it in the snow twice).

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Traveloka 1

I am half way through a great job I am DP/directing at the moment. I never get over how lucky I am to travel to some really beautiful places
and get paid for doing so. This time I am even getting a few days off along the way. More to come when I surface again in a couple of weeks.

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