First 360 Video

Well, I have jumped into the 360 video pool and, while there is definitely a learning curve, it is quite fun.  The first video I am sharing comes from a recent trip to Arlington Park, a horse racing venue in the northwest Chicago suburbs.  Unfortunately, the link below won’t work in Safari.  Well, it will play, but it looks a bit wonky.  Firefox and Chrome should work just fine.  Check to make sure your quality is set to 2160p!  I write that, but know the actual quality of the content isn’t terribly exciting.  Rest assured, future 360 videos will be more exciting.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp-LOOHXZkM[/embedyt]

Equipment

This initial foray involves two Kodak SP360 4K cameras.  I chose those because there was an underwater housing that can hold two and go down 100+ feet underwater.  There are a few 360 cameras that are underwater ready, but they have limited depth.  When/if I get the stitching down (and win the lottery), Kolor makes an Abyss housing that holds six GoPro camera placed in a cube shaped housing…all for the reasonable price of $5,000 plus six cameras.

Software

Although Kodak does provide free stitching software, word on the Internet is that Kolor has some of the best software out there…albeit for a price.  Autopano Video Pro lets you stitch images from a variety of different camera.  Autopano Giga provides vertical/horizontal alignment tools and control points among other tools to give you even more control.  Trial versions are available with limitations of 30 second videos and watermarks.  Full versions run around $800.

Gotchas

  • In addition to the stitching and editing software, 360 metadata needs to be added so 360 video players will play it correctly.  Google makes a small app called Spatial Media Metadata Injector that does the trick nicely.  Next, I need to find out how I can add titles and a floating menu that allows users to pause/start when viewing with a headset.
  • Also, You Tube apparently renders higher quality videos offline, which I guess makes sense, but isn’t really stated anywhere.  the first time I uploaded an HD video, I was a bit anxious because the highest Quality in the You Tube settings was 360p.

All in, I’ve spent about 15 hours playing around, so there is a ton I still don’t know.  Shout out to Alex Pearce’s blog and his You Tube tutorials for shortening the learning curve. To be sure, I have to practice more, so I’ll post more videos.  Next weekend is the WI State Fair, so I should be able to get some good footage there

Oh, and it looks like Wakatobi in 2017!  Can’t wait for the hot mint-scented towels.

David

David

I have been diving since 2002. While my technical and editing skills have not risen as fast as my passion for shooting video, I am enjoying the opportunities I get to learn and grow. Many thanks to Leslie for her love, partnership, suggestions, wit and equally compulsive technology interest.     Must...get...more diving in...