I have a VR recording device, now what?
I recently did a presentation at work to help demystify the process of recording, converting, and exporting VR video. Hopefully this guide can help you too.
To start off, here is a list of the equipment used:
- Samsung Gear 360
- Samsung Action Director (included with Gear 360, currently PC only)
- Adobe Premier CC (2015, any video editing suite should work)
- (optional) Download Google's 360 Video Metadata app
When recording VR video, here are a few points to consider:
- Keep the camera stationary
- Smooth Movements while keeping the camera from tilting
- When performing a transition between two video cuts, use a fade to black transition
- If you are using a VR rig with multiple cameras, it is very helpful to use common multi-camera sync techniques, i.e. clapping
These tips are there to help reduce the chance of motion sickness and make the view more comfortable.
Now that you have the basics, it is time to record some video with your new VR kit. Start recording something! Review the recorded footage. The Gear 360 produces a single video split into two halves with an extreme fisheye appearance. Obviously this is not very ideal for VR. If you have a multi-camera rig, you'll need to "stitch" the video together to form a single video.
Video captured directly from the Gear 360
Thankfully, the Gear 360 was bundled with an software editing package that transforms the image from two wide angle views into an equirectangular projection. This is the same technique used to create flat maps of the earth. Once the software processed the video stitching, the result is one flat video image.
For the multi-camera VR users, there are software packages that will help "stitch" the multiple cameras into one video file. Researching online, Kolor Autopano Video Pro 2 comes highly recommended.
Video converted to a equirectangular projection using Samsung’s Action Director app
Now that the file has been flattened, you can import it into any video editing suite. In my case, I used Adobe Premier CC. From there, I can perform any post processing that is needed for the video. Once the editing is finished, I can export the video in any format like any other video.
Add VR Metadata
We are almost finished with making this new video VR ready. Right now, the video is just the flattened out result we received during the "stitching" process. There is no support for moving the video. The final step requires the addition of specific metadata that tells the viewer, “I AM VR”. Google provides the ability to add the metadata to the video file: 360 Video Metadata app . If you have a newer video editing suite, like Premier CC 2015, there is an option, when exporting the media, to add the metadata for you. I went with this option.
Once the meta data exists, you can view the video in YouTube, Facebook, or anywhere VR is supported.