The Future of Video? 360->Standard - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-13-2019, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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The Future of Video? 360->Standard

Many film and video professionals are excited now about 360 cameras. Not because they are interested in VR and headsets and all that, but because with a 360 video you can create a standard video much more creatively and cheaply than with a conventional camera. You can pan, zoom, show different views all from one perfectly-stabilized video clip shot from a stationary camera. All the "direction" is done in post, not on site.

There are many demos of this on the web, but most are by vloggers walking around and showing themselves or their car with different views, and lots of gimmicky "tiny planet" video. To try this out for making a more conventional video, I shot two 360 videos from a stationary camera in two locations (GoPro Fusion) at 5.6K. I then, using keyframes, created two standard (with a slight fisheye look on purpose) 4K videos; that is, two separate views from each single stitched 360 clip. You will also see smooth pans and zooms, as if I was manipulating two cameras in real time. This is "over capture" or "free capture". And of course, you can also move with the 360 camera if you want as well, and get nicely stabilized movement. But, you do not need to.

Now, this is not a terribly creative video, just a demonstration. And I could do better pans and zooms. But you get the idea. We all expect at least 8K 360 cameras soon at reasonable cost, so that the carved out regular videos can be true 4K videos.

No need for gimbals, zoom lenses. Just sit and let the camera record, all the work is at home in an armchair, electronically directing.

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post #2 of 2 Old 06-15-2019, 03:05 AM
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IMO Two things would need to happen before 360°VR video could catch on on a wider scale for the consumer market. The first one is more affordable higher performance camera/sensor modules to be fitted on VR shooting devices. Currently, the fisheye or near fisheye (170°) FoV and 5.7K recording per each camera module are the industry's higher end standard. These specs by themselves seem adequate or more than adequate for rendering final videos at 4K as we normally see from most 4K non-VR video cameras nowadays but only if there are enough number of them recording the footage simultaneously on a single shooting apparatus.

GoPro has or used to have such device with 6 separate 4K Hero action cameras, each one pointing outward to cover all the six directions of the XYZ axises. The problem is the whole setup is both costly ($5,000) and too big and heavy for casual shooting. The data streams are huge thus making editing and rendering not practical on most consumer level computers but only on the higher end professional workstations. And worst, the image quality itself after that much is said and done still falls short (often far short) of what one can get using the same single GoPro camera to shoot regular videos.

To have the final image quality on par with regular videos there has to be either as many camera modules as one can get on the shooting device or a more limited number of modules, such as 2 or 4 but each one having a much higher resolution sensor and higher resolution raw files. Either way, higher resolution per camera with a smaller number of cameras or lower resolution per camera but higher number of cameras, the requirements in post production (6 simultaneous streams of 5.7K footage or 2 or 4 of 8K streams) are simply too much for the kind of computers most consumers or hobbyists are using now. So, the second thing consumer VR needs is more powerful computers, more user friendly VR capable NLEs and yet all this has to cost at levels more affordable to a wider range of users.
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