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Creating 360-Degree Videos For a VR Experience
November 10, 2017
Virtual Reality is a term that has really made rounds over the past couple of years in the tech realm. And why not? The concept itself of being immersed in a whole new environment and existence away from the one we already know, to see things from a whole new dimension is exhilarating, and quite frankly, interesting. Due to this thing called Virtual Reality, you can view things once perceived impossible from the eye of imagination and learn scientific concepts at large scales like the big bang, which saw the creation of the universe we live in, or to even small scales like those of the atoms and how they interact with one another to form other complex elements and compounds. In addition, Virtual Reality, or VR, as they like to call it, has completely revolutionized the gaming world due to this new dynamic experience.
experience first hand through Virtual Reality. Most of the work like creating Virtual Reality environments used for gaming, can be easily done using computers; but when it comes to creating real-life VR environments, a whole new outlook is required to get even the tiniest of details right. For one, the equipment required/used is totally different and special for this purpose, along with other complex considerations that have to be factored into the equation to create an impeccable scene in a Virtual Reality environment, closely related to its counterpart in real life.
Capturing and Recording the 360 Video: The Equipment Required
As far as this is concerned, capturing and recording the 360 video in real life requires special equipment as previously pointed out. In this case, 3D printed camera rigs, typically holding 6 to 10 cameras are used. The rigs, of course, hold the cameras in place in a spherical fashion in such a way that, each camera's field of view overlaps slightly with the adjacent camera's field of view. This way, the cameras capture a flawless 360 video in real time. The cameras themselves are not by any chance your standard type of video capturing equipment; instead, special cameras like the GoPro Hero4 cameras are used for this specific purpose. Recording 360 videos in this manner ensures that there is no gap left unfilled while viewing in a Virtual Reality environment, and to achieve this, the rig can be held in position by various means depending on what you're going for. For instance, you can use a drone, tripod or monopod, or even hold by hand as you record your surrounding.
Other Key Considerations to Keep in Mind
First, is the Field of Vision. You need to remember that this isn't your run-in-the-mill video recording, because unlike using one camera to do all the work, you have many cameras that are positioned to capture 360 videos. Take a moment to let that sink in; this means that every inch of the environment you're in, say a room, the cameras will record every detail from the ceiling, the floor, the wall, including the occupants of the room. Therefore, this should directly tell you to be mindful of your surroundings in order that everything in it blends well to offer a flawless Virtual Reality environment.
The Location of the Camera
The second thing you need to remember while recording 360 videos for Virtual Reality purposes is the location or placement of the camera. This largely depends on the plot or the purpose the person using the VR headset is to play inside the VR environment. Asking yourself this question will give you a few options on how and where the camera will be placed and/or located. Generally, though, the camera should take a central position, or another vantage point where your subject shall be able to view all and everything that is in the VR environment. Doing so just allows the person using the VR headset to interact with the environment all the more intimately.
Movement of the Camera
The whole idea of a VR experience is to be immersive, that is, the person in the VR environment needs to feel that he is part of that environment. For this to happen, every action or movement made by the subject needs to be purposeful and intentional, and therefore calculated, otherwise your subject won't get that immersive experience due to nausea.
Once the 360 video is captured/recorded, there is much still to be done, including downloading the video, synchronizing it and stitching it together, and more; but at least you get the idea of how it happens.