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360 VR -- Immersive / Virtual Reality
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Old April 24th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #1
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360 VR for Most of Us

The GoPro kit is $5,000. The workflow is incredibly complex, requiring synchronization and stitching of 6 separate videos (6 sd cards) and a very powerful computer. It is heavy and cumbersome.

The best prosumer alternative is the Kodak 360 4K kit - two cameras shooting 4K. It is $899, and comes with an RF remote that starts and stops both cameras, free stitching software and the frame you need to shoot 360 with the two cameras. You set them to shoot at 2880x2880 (that is 4K if you do the math), and then the software synchs and rec-linearizes. It is small and light and can be set up in seconds.

Here is what a 360 video from the cameras looks like so you can see the quality:

.

Be sure to select 4K for viewing (regardless of what you are viewing on)..

Here is the YouTube version that allows you to scroll around the vistas with your mouse or finger, or better, in a VR viewer, look around with your eyes:


Again, be sure to select 4K for viewing.

Here is what my kit looks like folded up:



Here is the kit fully extended:


Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; April 24th, 2016 at 10:57 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 12:30 PM   #2
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Kodak 360 4K at NAB 2016

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Old April 24th, 2016, 12:35 PM   #3
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

I guess that begs the question: Is camera movement a good thing in VR? I thought it tended to make viewers nauseous.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 12:38 PM   #4
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Michael View Post
I guess that begs the question: Is camera movement a good thing in VR? I thought it tended to make viewers nauseous.
A good question.

Try this out and let us know:


Choose 4K.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 12:40 PM   #5
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

I definitely see some use in shooting real estate with this device but it also depends how it handles lower light situations, your sample on vimeo is nice and sharp but I see no difference between 1080p and 4k, except for the fact that 4K has buffering issues but 1080p does not, my screen is also only 1080p so selecting 4k does not have any benefit in my case.

The youtube video looks very soft in comparison, at 1080p and 4k, both look equally soft. The viewing experience is ofcourse much more fun then on vimeo.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

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I definitely see some use in shooting real estate with this device but it also depends how it handles lower light situations, your sample on vimeo is nice and sharp but I see no difference between 1080p and 4k, except for the fact that 4K has buffering issues but 1080p does not, my screen is also only 1080p so selecting 4k does not have any benefit in my case.

The youtube video looks very soft in comparison, at 1080p and 4k, both look equally soft. The viewing experience is ofcourse much more fun then on vimeo.
I posted both the Vimeo link and the YouTube link to illustrate the issue of the trade-off between resolution and immersion. The 4K video uploaded is exactly the same for both. It has quite nice resolution. The difference is that to get the ability to move around with YouTube (the fun) you are seeing a blown up segment of the original video wherever you look, so there is less resolution on the screen. For each blown up segment to be 4K, the underlying resolution of the video must be more than 4K. Right now YouTube requires that the uploaded 360 video be only 4K (3840 x 2160), which is what my video is.

The sensor is BSI and only 12 megapixels (1/2.3"), so it is supposed to be better than the GoPro Hero 4 Black in dim settings.

I think 360 VR is also very useful for vistas (I get that the commercial benefit for that is less). The alternatives are a fisheye lens, which distorts, or panning, which produces blur and other artifacts. 360 VR does not distort like fisheye and there is no panning by the camera. And, the viewer gets to choose what to look at, just as in real life. There is nothing more boring than static shoots of, say, the Grand Canyon. The effect of the GC is precisely its vastness, which even the human eye cannot see and appreciate if kept rigid focusing on one place.

What about use for a wedding in a big church or outdoors in a setting with an amazing vista? Getting the entire audience and wedding party in the full context (if nice) might be something appreciated. It really recreates the experience of being there. Couples pay for getting nice settings (beaches, mountains, beautiful churches). But most wedding videos do not capture that well.
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Old April 24th, 2016, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Quote:
What about use for a wedding in a big church or outdoors in a setting with an amazing vista? Getting the entire audience and wedding party in the full context (if nice) might be something appreciated. It really recreates the experience of being there. Couples pay for getting nice settings (beaches, mountains, beautiful churches). But most wedding videos do not capture that well.
If it's as soft as I can see now on youtube plus the fact you can only see it on youtube and the buffering issues I get in 4K it's more a gimmick to me, just like 3D as that last one also requires special glasses and a suitable tv but at least has more resolution and can be integrated better in a wedding video, I can't imagine doing a entire 360vr wedding video because you will loose your audience while they look around. Where I live there is no market for this kind of thing at weddings, brides don't want to be able to watch around by themselves, that's my job, I am their eyes and show them what matters :)
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Old April 24th, 2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

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If it's as soft as I can see now on youtube plus the fact you can only see it on youtube and the buffering issues I get in 4K it's more a gimmick to me, just like 3D as that last one also requires special glasses and a suitable tv but at least has more resolution. Where I live there is no market for this kind of thing at weddings, brides don't want to be able to watch around by themselves, that's my job, I am their eyes and show them what matters :)
Aha, 360 video is a threat to videographers with talent! :) But they are not mutually exclusive - one is just a more extensive record, the other is a work of art and a record.

More seriously, the 360 videos are meant for smart phones. On a 70" UHDTV, the YouTube 360 video looks ridiculous and has no benefits.

You do not need special TV's, the goggles or special equipment to benefit unlike for 3D. So anyone can benefit without any investment. On the smartphone you can either use your finger to move around or move the phone (tilt up down, move right left) to see different views. On the small phone screen the YouTube videos look fine in terms of resolution. 4K video is meant for big screens. This is really something completely different, and I bet many wedding videos are shared and viewed on cell phones anyway (much to your dismay).
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Old April 24th, 2016, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

That's just my point, I don't want people to watch around and wander of in my weddingvideos, compare it with a movie, they might do a focus shift to guide the viewers eye because they want to show something, imagine the viewer looking what is going on on the backside of the camera and missing whatever the director was planning to show.

Or I might frame a shot in such a way that it looks beautiful during brideprep, maybe just outside my frame there is a lot of garbage and other stuff I don't want the viewer to see, so in 2D I get to choose the best camera angle of a bride getting makeup applied and in 360vr the viewer might look to the right where the door to the toilet is eventhough I want them to look at the bride, see what I mean? :)
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Old April 24th, 2016, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

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I bet many wedding videos are shared and viewed on cell phones anyway (much to your dismay).
Ofcourse they are and especially the trailers I make which look very detailed on smartphones, I consider that kind of viewing THE most important part of free advertsisment but I want to tell a story with my trailers which I never could do with 360VR, it will look the worst way possible with everyone looking at a different direction then I had in mind and missing every kind of important action because they might look at the wrong direction, Every composition I pick has meaning, it's framed in a specific way for a reason, with 360vr it's just glorified cctv and even your uncle bob could do that, no special skill required.

If it was used to sell houses I can relate to that, in that case you want the viewer to look around, just plant the camera in a central fixed location and give them the time to watch around and them move to another room or maybe during extreme sports like mounted on the helmet of a skydiver but it doesn't work like that for a wedding video.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 11:01 AM   #11
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

I see a lot of potential with this new "smartphone / youtube / facebook generation" (maybe many of us don't like it, but it IS here) ... soon another contender ..... waiting for the price:

Nikon KeyMission 360 | 4K Ultra HD 360-Degree Action Camera

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Old April 25th, 2016, 11:20 AM   #12
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

In the demovideo on the nikon site you can also see it's clearly targeted to the sports enthusiast and there it has a great benefit being able to look around while mounted on a bike, kajak etc. If they manage to keep it between 500 and 1K it will sell really well, the The GoPro kit Mark mentioned which was 5K is more for the professional user/videograher.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #13
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Hey Noa, I believe you have to think differently to produce VR. Your palette is a sphere rather than a 2D rectangle and you are free to direct (or misdirect) the viewers attention where you want. I see a lot of possibilities to produce things you have to watch multiple times to take in everything that is happening, particularly where important things to a story occur. It will be interesting to see what creative people can do with wedding VR other than a 2D film shot in 360.

Besides that Nikon camera there is a streaming camera call Orah coming out, a tad spender than the Nikon but not requiring additional computing hardware. A wedding related product might be Google Cardboard viewers customized for the customer to hand out as gifts, with a stream broadcast during the reception for guests to watch with their smartphones.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 07:50 PM   #14
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

The Orah 4i is mainly for live streaming and has lower quality than the Kodak 360 4K and presumably the Nikon (which will not be available until October at the earliest):

From the Orah specs:

1. Video resolution for each of the 4 lenses is 2048 * 1536 pixels, far less than 4K (3840 * 2160).

2. The maximum total bitrate is 25 Mbps (that for the Kodak is over 60 Mbps for each camera/view (two)). 25 Mbps is way too low for 4K video of any kind.

3. The camera alone weighs over 1 lb (17 oz). The required processing unit weighs an additional 6 pounds. This is not really a portable unit in the sense of carrying it for travel. Indeed it appears you need to connect it to an AC power outlet!

It is designed for live broadcast (though it does also record to an sd card); hence all the resolution and bitrate compromises. Not for the rest of us.

The Nikon holds promise of being (at best) at least as good as the dual Kodak, but there are no detailed specs so it may not
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Old April 25th, 2016, 08:27 PM   #15
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Re: 360 VR for Most of Us

Yes definitely a different use case than the Kodak or Nikon. I think the stitched size was 4800x2400. No idea how many degrees in the fov.
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