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How to Produce Virtual Reality Video for Online Delivery

Learn the tools and workflows used in a recent testing project to see how Virtual Reality Video compares to 2D video and audio as an educational tool.

By Jan Ozer

Overview

At a high level, to produce and consume VR, you need three elements. First, you need a camera, or camera rig, capable of capturing a 360º view. Second, you need the software to stitch it all together and to output a file for viewing. Third, you need a viewing environment and possibly viewing hardware. Given the extreme input/output requirements of VR production–like six simultaneous HDMI inputs from the Go Pros–you’ll need a very hefty computer to capture the incoming streams.

Mobeon did come through with the camera and production station necessary to make all this happen. All of the hardware that I’m discussing is available for rental from Mobeon, as are the consulting services necessary to make it happen. For the record, I originally looked at the system at Streaming Media West, and spoke with a tech there. The tech spent about an hour with me on the phone once I got the system in hand, but from then, I was on my own.

Let’s take a look at the gear and software that I used, and the viewing environment.

The Gear

To shoot the videos, I used the Freedom 360 mount shown in Figure 1 (below) with six GoPro Hero4 cameras. The rig itself costs $499, while the cameras cost about $350 each, bringing the total cost of the camera rig to about $2,600. You’ll need a special tripod or mount, plus a six port USB charger to keep the cameras running. Note that Mobeon inserted a fan into the rig to help prevent overheating, but after about an hour or so during testing, a camera or two would shut off. I’m glad this happened beforehand, so I knew to plan accordingly for the shoot.

Figure 1. The Freedom 360 rig with cameras installed.

Figure 1. The Freedom 360 rig with cameras installed.

Read More at www.streamingmedia.com

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