RedSharkNews' article reposted here offers some great tips for getting started assembling a VR toolkit. Recommendations range from cameras to software. For more resources on VR content, you can plumb the articles on our blog
or shop for 360-degree video gear
and VFX software
on our site.
From cameras on: the tools you need to make VR
RedSharkNews by Mark Ramshaw
As VR tips over into the mainstream, the tools necessary for serious virtual world and experience building are finally emerging. From cameras to editing kit, Mark Ramshaw details what’s available.
As Academy Award-winning vfx artist and filmmaker Robert Stromberg notes, one of the key challenges facing storytellers adapting to the virtual reality medium is “learning to think in terms of spheres instead of rectangles”. Until recently this was further compounded by the lack of plug-and-play hardware and software designed to handle those additional dimensional considerations.
Standard and VR filmmaking may appear to be close cousins, but the simple act of dropping the audience directly into the action - with viewers able to look anywhere at any given moment - changes everything. Traditional filmmaking rules and grammar no longer apply: there’s no shot framing, no fourth wall, and no way to firmly focus on specific areas in a scene, and that’s just for starters. Even visual effects require a rethink, for instead of designing CG elements for compositing into the scene based on the camera view, artists instead need to ‘world build’ - creating elements to be viewed from any position and distance.
In terms of hardware for VR video capture, cameras have generally been falling into distinct camps. There are sub-$400 consumer-level products like the Ricoh Theta S
(offering spherical scene recording in HD at 30 frames per second) and the Kodak SP360
Action Camera (which records at 4K but requires a two-camera setup for spherical recording), along with sub-$600 models like the ICRealtech Allie and Giroptic 360 complementing multi-GoPro setups using mounts like the 360Heros
and Freedom360. Then, at the other end of the scale pro-level creators could opt for Nokia’s $60,000 OZO. Now the market is benefiting from better coverage. Samsung’s Beyond has finally materialised in the guise of Gear 360, delivering 360 degree capture in 4K for 350 euros (UK and US prices were still to be confirmed at the time of writing). Then there’s the debut hardware offering from noted software vendor VideoStitch
, with its Orah camera launching at $1795, though due to settle at a final retail price of $3,595 a few weeks later...[continue reading]