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Old May 6th, 2016, 01:40 PM   #46
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
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.
I do not appear in any of the 360 videos I posted. Yup, I hide and watch. I was worried that the requirement of having a hiding place would crimp location choice, but it turns out not to. I've got lots of cut clip parts of me walking from and to the camera in 360 VR! With the wireless rf remote (included) you can start and stop the recording (and turn off and on the camera) from at least 50 feet. I have not tested how long the reach is.

Most people I think would believe that the camera is being monitored and not just left around. And the rig is large enough (though very light) so taking it would be conspicuous. I have observed people coming up to the rig and inspecting it and then walking away. Another reason not to invest $5,000+ in a VR rig...

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; May 6th, 2016 at 03:28 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 04:25 PM   #47
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

For the recently posted Campus Tour clip, I am having some trouble viewing correctly.

When I click on the vid, it does open and plays, however, it just play stretched out or flat.

I am on an iphone5 with Safari browser if that matters, and I have working YouTube app.

I know my phone can view other 360 vids properly, as I can view them in Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Any suggestions?
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Old May 6th, 2016, 06:18 PM   #48
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
I do not appear in any of the 360 videos I posted. Yup, I hide and watch. I was worried that the requirement of having a hiding place would crimp location choice, but it turns out not to. I've got lots of cut clip parts of me walking from and to the camera in 360 VR! With the wireless rf remote (included) you can start and stop the recording (and turn off and on the camera) from at least 50 feet. I have not tested how long the reach is.

Most people I think would believe that the camera is being monitored and not just left around. And the rig is large enough (though very light) so taking it would be conspicuous. I have observed people coming up to the rig and inspecting it and then walking away. Another reason not to invest $5,000+ in a VR rig...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Miller View Post
For the recently posted Campus Tour clip, I am having some trouble viewing correctly.

When I click on the vid, it does open and plays, however, it just play stretched out or flat.

I am on an iphone5 with Safari browser if that matters, and I have working YouTube app.

I know my phone can view other 360 vids properly, as I can view them in Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Any suggestions?
The video is 100% compliant with the YouTube 360 specs (and I think with Facebook 360 as well).

If I click on the video (YouTube version) in the embedded frame in this thread it allows me, with my mouse, to scroll around 360 degrees as it plays, viewing with the Edge Browser or with Chrome. If I view the video with the YouTube app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 I can, by moving the phone up, down and around, view the full 360 degrees as the video plays. If I click the goggles icon, I can view the video using my Samsung Gear VR, moving around the scenes with my eyes. Works perfectly.

Are you sure you are clicking on the YouTube and not the Vimeo version? Are you viewing the YouTube version with the YouTube app? I do not have an iPhone, but operating system is not relevant if you view using the YouTube app, but I can't check.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 06:25 PM   #49
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How close can subjects get?

The Campus Tour 360 Video has two close encounters that enable judging how close subjects can get. In both cases the subjects get very close (less than 2-3 feet) right at the stitching area.

At 5:38 in a man walks quickly right by the rig; he passes less than 2-3 feet from the camera at the part where stitching must take place. You can see what happens; there is only a very slight, brief artifact. You have to make sure you are looking at the right part of the scene (he comes from behind the camera and walks by to the camera's left).

At 9:45 a group of men come within 2 feet of the cameras and stop and stare and then go on, again at a stitching point. They come from behind the camera and to the left. There is no artifacting at all.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 07:57 PM   #50
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

As far as the viewing issue, I have figured some things out that maybe helpful in regards to viewing issues on an iPhone. I recently purchased an sp360 4K, and can see this issue being a confusing problem for some customers.

I was on your YT link, not the Vimeo. When I click on the red arrow play button inside the video, that is when the video opens and just starts playing flat.

So I clicked on the curved arrow in upper right, and it shows some choices. Clicking on the three dots opens a window asking if to open the vid in YT app. Perfect playback.

I also happened to click on the title above the video window (YouTube (Short URL). Same as above, opens a small window asking if to open in YT app. Plays fine.

So your vid is fine, just a little hassle to auto play on iPhone I guess. I wonder what the difference in the code is between these three choices. And if there is a way to force the YT app to open rather than going through the extra steps. Massive confusion to viewers on iPhone if not, unlike the non-issue of your android (don't have one to test).
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Old May 6th, 2016, 09:32 PM   #51
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Miller View Post
As far as the viewing issue, I have figured some things out that maybe helpful in regards to viewing issues on an iPhone. I recently purchased an sp360 4K, and can see this issue being a confusing problem for some customers.

I was on your YT link, not the Vimeo. When I click on the red arrow play button inside the video, that is when the video opens and just starts playing flat.

So I clicked on the curved arrow in upper right, and it shows some choices. Clicking on the three dots opens a window asking if to open the vid in YT app. Perfect playback.

I also happened to click on the title above the video window (YouTube (Short URL). Same as above, opens a small window asking if to open in YT app. Plays fine.

So your vid is fine, just a little hassle to auto play on iPhone I guess. I wonder what the difference in the code is between these three choices. And if there is a way to force the YT app to open rather than going through the extra steps. Massive confusion to viewers on iPhone if not, unlike the non-issue of your android (don't have one to test).
Thanks for the info. The usual war between Google and Apple?

And, there is a firmware update from April 28.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 11:12 AM   #52
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Close Up Tests

There are no problems stitching with little artifacting close subjects using the dual Kodak 360 4K kit and the stitching software. However,

with the Kodak Stitching Software you have a lot of controls over the stitch, but you cannot stitch different parts of the scene differently. Parallax means that very close subjects cannot stitch the same way far subjects do - this is the issue with close subjects. So, when you get the close subject to stitch correctly, the far one is not. If no subjects get very close this is not an issue.

This short video illustrates the issue: the first part stitches based on the very close subject; the second on the far subject. The guy up close is right at the stitch line (90 degrees to the two cameras and smack in the middle - the worst case).


This is just the Vimeo version (choose 4K), which makes it easy to see (no need to rotate around).

Sophisticated stitching programs may be able to correct both the far and near subjects simultaneously - this video shows all the information is there to do so because of the large overlap between the two lenses.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 11:28 AM   #53
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Re: How close can subjects get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
The Campus Tour 360 Video has two close encounters that enable judging how close subjects can get. In both cases the subjects get very close (less than 2-3 feet) right at the stitching area.

At 5:38 in a man walks quickly right by the rig; he passes less than 2-3 feet from the camera at the part where stitching must take place. You can see what happens; there is only a very slight, brief artifact. You have to make sure you are looking at the right part of the scene (he comes from behind the camera and walks by to the camera's left).

At 9:45 a group of men come within 2 feet of the cameras and stop and stare and then go on, again at a stitching point. They come from behind the camera and to the left. There is no artifacting at all.
I'm seeing some stitching errors.

In the first scene, pan left of the topiary "125" in the flowers, tilt down and look at the sidewalk. There are some lines that don't meet. This is a typical stitching error in panorama work.

In the third scene, at 5:38 there's a tiny bit of error at his feet at his closest approach.

The fourth scene, where the camera is placed in a sort of rosette pattern in the sidewalk, the stitching software appears to have been confused by the pattern. At 6:20, 7:05, and 9:45 there is significant ghosting of passers-by. These kinds of errors are also common in panorama stitching, but these are pronounced.

What's confusing about this is that the error at 5:38 is tiny, almost imperceptible, but at 6:20 it is dramatic, at a further distance. So, apparently, there is significant potential for stitching errors out of the Kodak software (scene 4), but, the stitch can also be almost perfect in another scene (scene 3).

Do you have tools in the Kodak software to correct stitching errors, or is it a simplified interface with few or no controls? Can the corrections of one stitch be applied to another?

For all my detailed nit-picking, I have to say I'm extremely impressed with what you're doing with this camera array and software. In shooting and post of still panos I have had to invest so much learning time, experimenting with multiple solutions both in shooting and stitching, to produce panos without stitching/parallax errors. And that's just a single frame at a time...

Hmm. Which may point to the possibility of batching video frames through a "stills" stitcher like PTGui, or the video stitcher from Autopano, which both have full sets of controls... I wonder if the Kodak software can do better... Or if PTGui or Autopano can do better with the Kodak camera files.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 11:49 AM   #54
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Re: Close Up Tests

Thanks for posting this - I was working on the YT file when you put up this test.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
...with the Kodak Stitching Software you have a lot of controls over the stitch, but you cannot stitch different parts of the scene differently. Parallax means that very close subjects cannot stitch the same way far subjects do - this is the issue with close subjects. So, when you get the close subject to stitch correctly, the far one is not. If no subjects get very close this is not an issue.

...Sophisticated stitching programs may be able to correct both the far and near subjects simultaneously - this video shows all the information is there to do so because of the large overlap between the two lenses.
That test clarifies things quite a bit.

To my understanding, there is no stitching method that will correct the parallax "ghosting" seen in this test. I could imagine, merging two different stitches using traveling matte composite methods in AE or something.

Having near and far subjects in a scene is quite important in panorama work, IMO. However, there is no single-camera video method that eliminates parallax error in shooting, as we can do in stills.

Note that the Ricoh Theta S, on the same principle as the Kodak rig, has smaller parallax error, but at a mostly unacceptable cost of image quality. As small sensors and ultra fish-eye lenses (wider than 180-deg) improve a smaller camera like the Theta may catch up to the current Kodak 360 image quality.

My sense is that one must shoot around the parallax limitations of the Kodak array. Near and far may be an important composition concept, but, at the seam areas, one or the other must be low-detail. If a person is close and in the seam area, the background content must have low detail to avoid showing stitching errors.

That fourth scene in the YT clip, which you extracted for the short Vimeo stitching test, shows the worst situation possible. Action at the seam. Near is quite near. The need for detail in the middle ground. The quite demanding pattern in the concrete, extending from near to far.

I say shoot around these challenges!

And, it will be worse with a GoPro array, because the NPP / "nodal" points will be significantly further away, meaning significantly more parallax in the shots.
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Old May 8th, 2016, 04:29 PM   #55
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Now THIS looks fun:

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Old May 8th, 2016, 06:54 PM   #56
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

[QUOTE=Noa Put;1914146]Now THIS looks fun:

Yes, that was fun, and even amazing. But if one needs $500,000 to make good use of 360 VR (and I am confident this spectacle cost something like that (the choreographer's fee alone may be that)), it kind of makes the point of what's the use of 360 VR for "most of us". Also I am still unconvinced that the six GoPro cameras improves quality over the two Kodaks, for this same rarified use.

I think this is a more useful, and interesting, example of a real world 360 video, which is also technically not bad either (this is not put here to make a political statement - the point is this transports one effectively to areas one has interest in seeing) :

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Old May 8th, 2016, 07:16 PM   #57
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

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Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
I think this is a more useful, and interesting, example of a real world 360 video, which is also technically not bad either (this is not put here to make a political statement - the point is this transports one effectively to areas one has interest in seeing) :
This is the best storytelling I've seen in VR video - thanks for sharing it!

The environments of these children are so important to their stories, the immersive look at environments is very engaging.
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Old May 8th, 2016, 09:12 PM   #58
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Honestly, that Go Pro video suffers BECAUSE of the VR IMHO, the VR doesn't enhance the experience much. It would be much more impressive in a traditional flat, well shot and edited piece that showcased the jumpers and stunts, mostly from a third person POV, not as a first person view from the person doing the jumps, although that is a good cutaway for a few seconds. But there is little feel of the grandiosity of the setting or stunts. And the YouTube terrible and glitchy compression detracts. I have a pretty healthy connection and it was still trailing picture to sound and then would catch up, reminds me of trying to stream video in 2002. It was possible but pretty challenging.

The NY Times piece works better although it still doesn't compel me to watch more than the :30 of the VR experience. To me, both of these pieces still seem like a solution in search of a storytelling challenge. I am sure that others mileage will vary. Still looking for that elusive "must see" VR piece. The best I have seen so far is the Google Stories piece "Help". Through the Google Spotlight Stories app, it looks amazing, even on my small iPhone 5S screen. The motion is crystal clear and fluid and it uses the iPhones accelerometer and compass really well to track the action. If we could get that same quality level experience on streaming, then I think VR would be more successful.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 01:01 AM   #59
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Well, the snow stunt video is much fun to watch for a little while but gets boring very quickly, I just also watched "the displaced" and while you can consider this as a professional attempt at 360vr I much prefer a normal shot documentary, I also didn't watch it completely and just browsed through the video for an impression of the VR, not for the story they where trying to tell while I probably would have watched it completely if shot with regular videocamera's and would have gotten a better understanding of their message. VR will remain just a novelty for me that sometimes is fun to watch but looses my attention real quick.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:12 AM   #60
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Here is another one where I find 360vr has a purpose

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