360 Degree Video a reality

Each year for the last few I’ve been looking at the state of 360 degree video. And it’s been a bit of a tease … one company has a lens/mirror attachment BUT it costs and arm and a leg AND it’s not clear where the video would be hosted and How would the visitors to my web pages view the content?

In the last two years a number of companies have put out KickStarter campaigns and I’d hoped this year they’d be ready. Not all are but I came across a company called VSN Mobile and they had a product that combined everything that expensive lens I mentioned had PLUS an imager and wireless control. When I contacted them with my questions they mentioned two places to go for viewers and then mentioned that YouTube was working in support.

The very next day YouTube announced Beta support for 360 degree video!

One their blog page they mentioned 4 cameras / companies. One I was tracking and knew they were still in pre-order mode. The last two were Ricoh and Kodak. The Ricoh camera is like a slender Bloggie with two fisheye lenses, one front and the other back. It’s a Stitcher. The Koday is a single 3K imaging element looking through a fisheye lens.

In viewing the sample videos, and my own experiences with stitching still images together, I knew I’d prefer a non-stitching camera. So I got the Kodak SP360.

And here are my first videos.

I’m trying the YouTube Playlist first.

In my first attempt to post a video I found that you had to be using Google’s Chrome to view the video … so if you cannot make the video’s view angle change work try watching in Chrome.

The most recent video is the First.

April 18 – I’ve made a test video with editing. I brought it into Adobe Premiere and chopped it in two pieces. Replaced the audio under piece two with Music. Played with varying the speed. Added titling (as credits) at the end. Exported as a 1440×1440 40fps video (as close to the SP360 format as I could) and the PixPro software accepted it for YouTube export (other unfolding modes cause it to crash right at the end but the YT export works thankfully 😉

April 19 – I just added a benchmark results video showing how long Pass 2 takes on 3 different machines. Power and GPU make a difference.

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