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Old April 28th, 2016, 07:56 AM   #31
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360 VR Time-Lapse Using the Two Kodaks

Vimeo flat version:


Select 4K.

YouTube VR version (look up and around at the clouds):


Select 4K.

Settings: 2-second interval, fixed WB. Each camera makes a 4K 30p video; these are stitched in the software just like regular videos.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 03:10 AM   #32
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us


El Pais, a leading Spanish newspaper, has started showing 360 mini doc videos. The first is about Fukushima.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 09:38 AM   #33
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Maclaurin View Post
El Pais, a leading Spanish newspaper, has started showing 360 mini doc videos.


Although this is a bit more interesting way to apply 360vr in documentaries I got dizzy by turning around at every single shot and I stopped watching it before it reached halfway the film. I still much prefer watching something like this where you get more longer continuous shots:
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 12:24 PM   #34
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I still much prefer watching something like this where you get more longer continuous shots:
I agree. The whole point is to be able to look around. If the shots are quick, there is no time, or you have to rush. No fun at all. 360 VR needs long takes for leisurely exploration of the whole scene.

I disagree that action sports with fast movements of the camera is an ideal use for 360 VR, as this in part demonstrates.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 04:12 PM   #35
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Mark:

Thanks for posting your 360 videos, they are very interesting to me as someone who is dipping their toes into VR for the studios. Does your Kodak stitching software work as a plug-in or a stand alone? PC or Mac or both? Have you viewed your footage with the Rift or any other higher end headset?

Also, how come there is a black doughnut at the top and bottom in your school campus VR? Doesn't the Kodak app cover those two holes?
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 07:03 PM   #36
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Mark:

Thanks for posting your 360 videos, they are very interesting to me as someone who is dipping their toes into VR for the studios. Does your Kodak stitching software work as a plug-in or a stand alone? PC or Mac or both? Have you viewed your footage with the Rift or any other higher end headset?

Also, how come there is a black doughnut at the top and bottom in your school campus VR? Doesn't the Kodak app cover those two holes?
The stitching software is standalone, and there is both a mac and a pc version.

The black doughnut hole is there because there was no way in the Kodak program when I made the video to merge the stitched clips. And the program I used to merge the clips could not set the correct resolution 3840x1920 for Youtube, so you get the holes. Now (update) the Kodak software not only stitches each clip but you can combine stitched clips *losslessly* at the correct resolution. I should redo the YouTube one (the original Vimeo version was redone and replaced).

I have viewed them so far, besides on phones and computers directly, using the Samsung Gear VR.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 08:58 PM   #37
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The corrected YouTube Campus Video


No holes.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 08:27 AM   #38
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Thanks Mark. The quality of your video on the Vimeo clip is encouraging if that is roughly what you would see when viewing with headsets. The YouTube VR engine, to me, looks like crap, no matter what the input and unfortunately this is how almost all viewers will view VR content. It's soft and low resolution looking with what looks like a blur vignette but until the YouTube quality improves, that's what we are stuck with. I have to say, if anyone had your Kodak rig in stock, I think I would buy one, just to experiment with. Unfortunately, we are leaving in a few weeks for the big VR shoot and I don't think anyone will have the Kodak in stock, although I have not checked everyone but Amazon, B&H and Adorama are back ordered. The idea of wrangling ten Go Pros at once, ten sets of cards, making sure that the Go Pro remote triggers all ten cameras each time is not appealing to me at all but that's what it looks like we will have to do. I am assuming that ten 1440 60p 4x3 videos, stitched together, will look decent, I hope. The idea of stitching together two videos is a lot more appealing, just one seam. The Go Pro VR engine, which can be viewed on Facebook, at least, seems to be clearer and sharper than the YouTube engine. https://www.facebook.com/gopro/video...3776997236919/

Also, the rental house has told us the reason for us to rent the ten camera Go Pro rig over the six camera is the stitching point and FOV on the six camera unit means that there are "holes" where is talent is closer than four feet to the rig, all or parts of them will not be recorded. With the ten camera rig, talent closer than four feet from the array will be easily visible and no distorted. What about the Kodak rig? When you are, say, two feet from the array, does the rig see all of you and could that shot be used or do parts of you distort or disappear when closer to four feet from the rig?
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Old May 4th, 2016, 10:01 AM   #39
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

If you are in the US, you can order the Kodak dual kit from:

https://store.mypixpro.com/?route=pr...&product_id=76

They will ship same day.

I have not tested the subject closeness issue. Given the 235-degrees for each lens, there is plenty of overlap across cameras for 360 stitching.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #40
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

I am very curious how this Kodak footage will compare to the footage from the six and ten camera Go Pro rigs. If we are shooting with more Go Pros, at 1440 60p per camera, that should mean each slice of the VR image should be higher resolution than the overall image from this Kodak, correct? OTOH, we have all experienced the sub-par resolution and softness of the YouTube VR encoder. From what I have seen, almost anything shot on any resolution comes out on YouTube looking like crap. So I am wondering if renting the 6 camera and 10 camera Go Pro rigs at $2,700.00 per week and $3,600.00 per week is worth it, at this point in time, if our client's primary audience will view it on YouTube mainly? If we shot with the Kodak, we would use the Kodak software to stitch the footage as you have, correct? What about editing it and adding in the "blinks"? Do you end up with a 4k H264 QT or what is the end output from the stitching software? Can that file then be edited in FCP X and or Adobe CC Premier? Which plug-ins would be necessary at that point with FCP X or Premiere? The Dashwood plug-in or ?? Just trying to see what the actual workflow would be from footage from this Kodak for a professional project? I take it the stitching is pretty simple? Is it render heavy?

Sorry for so many questions, but when I look at your Vimeo clip, I can see that quality is decent, whereas the quality in the YouTube VR clip looks terrible. That leads me to believe that when viewed through a decent VR headset, the quality would look decent, pretty close to the Vimeo clip as far as sharpness, colors and dynamic range? Thanks for any suggestions or light you can shed on this. Client wants VR and we are planning on renting the Go Pro Professional 6 and 10 camera rigs to shoot but for travel, simplicity and ease of use, the Kodak is appealing. I just can't determine of the quality would be good enough for a paying client or if we should just forget the Kodak and rent the much more expensive and complex rigs. I know for our client, their main concern for the VR is social media, Facebook, YouTube, etc. I don't know if they will want to monetize the VR content or merely use it to build a buzz about the show.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 04:21 PM   #41
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

"I am very curious how this Kodak footage will compare to the footage from the six and ten camera Go Pro rigs. If we are shooting with more Go Pros, at 1440 60p per camera, that should mean each slice of the VR image should be higher resolution than the overall image from this Kodak, correct?"

Correct.

"OTOH, we have all experienced the sub-par resolution and softness of the YouTube VR encoder. From what I have seen, almost anything shot on any resolution comes out on YouTube looking like crap. So I am wondering if renting the 6 camera and 10 camera Go Pro rigs at $2,700.00 per week and $3,600.00 per week is worth it, at this point in time, if our client's primary audience will view it on YouTube mainly?"

I have not seen a GoPro multi-camera rig VR on YouTube that looked much different than my Kodak ones in terms of resolution (I use my videos in comparison, as I know mine have the best resolution possible).

"If we shot with the Kodak, we would use the Kodak software to stitch the footage as you have, correct?"

Correct.

"What about editing it and adding in the "blinks"? Do you end up with a 4k H264 QT or what is the end output from the stitching software?"

The output file is a 3840x1920 MP4 (H264) video at 60 Mbps. It is the required resolution for YouTube VR (no doughnut holes). You can also merge together all the stitched clips losslessly to produce a multi-clip MP4 H264 3840x1920 video file (60 Mbps)

"Can that file then be edited in FCP X and or Adobe CC Premier?"

It is a standard H264 MP4 video file. You just have to be sure to retain the 3840x1920 aspect ratio. You can download my original (Kodak-software produced) video file from Vimeo to test it out.

There is no special plug-in needed. It is a standard file - you can grade it or whatever.

"Which plug-ins would be necessary at that point with FCP X or Premiere? The Dashwood plug-in or ?? Just trying to see what the actual workflow would be from footage from this Kodak for a professional project?"

I don't use FCP X or Premiere. I have used Resolve, Vegas Pro, PowerDirector, TMPENgc.

"I take it the stitching is pretty simple? Is it render heavy?"

It is simple to use, but sophisticated underneath. It is slow to render.

"Sorry for so many questions, but when I look at your Vimeo clip, I can see that quality is decent, whereas the quality in the YouTube VR clip looks terrible. That leads me to believe that when viewed through a decent VR headset, the quality would look decent, pretty close to the Vimeo clip as far as sharpness, colors and dynamic range? Thanks for any suggestions or light you can shed on this. Client wants VR and we are planning on renting the Go Pro Professional 6 and 10 camera rigs to shoot but for travel, simplicity and ease of use, the Kodak is appealing. I just can't determine of the quality would be good enough for a paying client or if we should just forget the Kodak and rent the much more expensive and complex rigs. I know for our client, their main concern for the VR is social media, Facebook, YouTube, etc. I don't know if they will want to monetize the VR content or merely use it to build a buzz about the show."

If you can find a GoPro rig-produced VR video on YouTube that you think looks much better point us to it. Also if there is some test I can run with the Kodak rig, I may be able to do that.

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; May 5th, 2016 at 05:26 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 08:09 AM   #42
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

The only things I can find that look better THAN YouTube would be the GoPro "Trees" video when viewed on Facebook through the Go Pro/Facbook VR engine. It looks clearer than YouTube, although it is still soft and looks somewhat low resolution still. Also, the quality of the Google Stories "Help" piece, when viewed through the Google Stories app on my iPhone 5S is exceptional, it looks crystal clear. If you haven't already, download the app and watch "Help", you'll be impressed. That piece was shot on a six camera RED Dragon rig on a cable cam on a green screen stage so it is all composited. I have yet to find any VR on YouTube that looks any better than your material, that's what is depressing about it, I don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars in rentals and fly halfway across the world to shoot VR that looks like bad VHS on YouTube. Must investigate different social media options with the client (studio who obviously has lots of connections with the large social media companies) to see if this project can somehow be exhibited in a format that looks better than YouTube VR.

Might be fun to buy one of these Kodak systems just to compare with the Go Pro ten camera system though. The material we will be shooting, some of it is BTS on the filming of a television show and some of it is scripted with talent on the show's sets so it should be a good test of what it possible with VR at this point. The pieces on set are designed for full 360 although some lights/grip from their grid will be visible up at the top as the set was built for normal shooting.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 10:44 AM   #43
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

My experience in VR still photography suggests that a 10-camera GoPro rig will have much more parallax error than the Kodak360. In theory, that predicts that the Kodak will be able to successfully stitch subjects that are much closer to the camera array.

Any experience of this? How does the Kodak system do at various subject distances?

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, not so much!"

Another lesson from the VR stills experience is that you WANT near and far in your compositions. I've shot stills in some amazing places, but, foreground is as important as background.

Some terminology: the hole at the top (if present) is at the Zenith. The one at the bottom is at the Nadir. In VR stills we can patch the Nadir, often with an extra shot that was carefully hand-held. Some people like to put their logo there. It's a bit of a trick in either case, since the equirectangular image format is so distorted at the nadir. The right software makes it easy. Does Kodak's offer nadir patching?
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Old May 6th, 2016, 12:02 PM   #44
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
My experience in VR still photography suggests that a 10-camera GoPro rig will have much more parallax error than the Kodak360. In theory, that predicts that the Kodak will be able to successfully stitch subjects that are much closer to the camera array.

Any experience of this? How does the Kodak system do at various subject distances?

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, not so much!"

Another lesson from the VR stills experience is that you WANT near and far in your compositions. I've shot stills in some amazing places, but, foreground is as important as background.

Some terminology: the hole at the top (if present) is at the Zenith. The one at the bottom is at the Nadir. In VR stills we can patch the Nadir, often with an extra shot that was carefully hand-held. Some people like to put their logo there. It's a bit of a trick in either case, since the equirectangular image format is so distorted at the nadir. The right software makes it easy. Does Kodak's offer nadir patching?
This is very interesting info, and I may do some tests on close subject distance with the Kodak rig.

The Kodak stitching software results in videos that have no hole in either the Zenith or the Nadir. For example:


Be sure to select 4K.

So there is no patching tool.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 12:46 PM   #45
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

In your last video I cannot see you standing anywhere, do you hide and watch the camera to be sure no-one runs off with it? It sounds like a silly question but since the camera records all around you, you as a cameraman cannot be standing next to it as you don't want people to look right into your face when they look around, I can't see this working well in more crowded places, the tripod and camera look light enough for someone to steal it when it's recording unattended.
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