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VR/360 Cameras

Lesson 7 from: Intro to VR & 360 Live-Action Photography and Video

Barry Pousman

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Lesson Info

7. VR/360 Cameras

Next Lesson: VR/360 Microphones

Lesson Info

VR/360 Cameras

all right. And now we're gonna go now we're gonna dig into the gear side of this. So, um, first we're gonna watch a quick video, and I'll kind of walking through some of the gear we're gonna use. Um, And then, uh, you know, we'll come back and we really do a deeper dive and explore all the different price points and everything. Now, we're gonna look at the camera we used today in more detail. This is the Google Odyssey rig made in partnership a GoPro. It uses GoPro's, um in order to get its full sphere. It doesn't have complete coverage of the top from bottom, but the way the algorithm works when it stitches, it is it leaves that kind of a blurry in line with the same color circle at the top bottom. So instead of a black circle that album bottom when you stand inside the headset, um, you stand on the blurry patch. I think that's sort of one place where this falls a little short, but in general, the fact that it's three d uses the standard GoPro's. You don't have to take your GoPro par...

t. Um, and it comes as a kit. $15,000. So, um, my opinion is probably the best bang for the buck of all the cameras out there, you know, you can get us in his as inexpensive as $300 for a 3 60 camera. It will be low quality, but it'll work, and then you can, you know, spend upwards of $60,000 on a 3 60 rigs. So, um, this go Google Odyssey camera. I mean, I think it's one of the best on the market. Um, this is the case that comes in and conveniently enough comes with a zoom H two and microphone, which is ah, spatial audio microphone. So can record. It gives you that 4.1. Um, and that fits right on the top. It also comes with two extra GoPro's. Sometimes we use these to take a picture. We remove the stand with take a picture on, don't take a picture up and down or shoot a little video up and down. We stitch that in tow, lose the blurry spots. Um, let's see. It also comes with you know, all the cards necessary, and then you can actually lift this entire panel up and it has a whole second layer of storage. It comes with a leveller, which is sort of nice. They really recommend that you make sure the camera is level for every shot. Because the way the algorithm stitches the footage together, um, it needs that horizon line. And if you can see the horizon, it will stitch along that if there is no horizon than having it level is really important. Um, so there's that that it comes with and and a 1,000,000 cables and user manuals and all that. So, um, in addition to all of this, it also comes with this monster battery weighs at least £20. It's a paper seen battery. Um, and what's convenient about this is that you don't ever have toe. Um, you know, worry about charging or overheating in the field. Um, it all happens inside this battery. Better is pretty reliable. It holds about just under 12 hours of charge from when it's full. I have yet to need Teoh refill the battery during a day day long shoot. Um, in general, that's the whole kit that you would get from Google for the for $15,000 in my opinion This the best one out there off the shelf? Um, hard to beat now. A lot of people make their own rigs. Uh, often what you'll see is sort of a three D printed housing GoPro's where the lenses have been removed on, and then you can screw in other lenses, so you get a bit wider lens. Um, once you do that, that allows for you to capture what's above and what's below a little bit better across every lens. And then, as you add those all up, you can sort of pinch the top and pinch the bottom, and all of a sudden you end up with a picture that doesn't have that sort of blurry patch at the top and bottom. Um, at the same time, when you make your own GoPro rig or whatever small cameras you want to use. When you do that, you end up having to do the stitching by hand, a supposed to the algorithmic stitching that Google provides. So, um, so that just adds a layer of time and complexity and often cost to the process that the automatic stitching solutions, you know, account for And so, um, this is one of the options out there. There's another really sort of more popular filmmaker VR camera called The Nokia Goes Oh, it also has a stitching solution crowd stitching solution. So similarly, you could upload your footage to Nokia's algorithm, and it would stitch that three D 3 60 image and send it back to you, Um, as clips, Right. So you're ending up with the sort of quilted, stitched together quotes, um, of spheres, and you end up with a spear. Downloading those fears is clips on. Then you edit them on a timeline figure to Spiritus Fear. You can also sort of break a sphere in half and put on different sphere all sorts of fun things to weaken, explore. But, um, But for now, that's kind of how we think about it is your uploading whether it's 16 cameras or eight cameras or four cameras or just two cameras with really wide lenses, they get uploaded as separate pieces. They get joined together in the cloud, and then they bring him back down a spheres. Now, this is a Namba sonic microphone, much like the microphone that comes with the, uh, Google Odyssey rig. This will give you a spatial audio, so there's actually four microphone ends on there, and it's very small. But this through a series of adapters, will come out to be four cables Forex. Alors! And what we do is we take this microphone and we mounted right on the pole. Um, and that gives you spatial audio capture. Then we take in H six zoom H six, which has to excel hours on each side to accelerate inputs, and that allows for four channel recording eso. That's kind of how we do it, and we just mount both of those to the pole. We do that in settings where there's a bit more control, more studio. When we're in the field, you running around with delicate Mike's little complicated requires sort of an extra set of hands on set to do to do all the sound checks every time. Um, it's just sort of ah inevitable as you increase in your production quality. You know, of course, you have tow increase all the hands needed on set. So we tried Teoh keep things sort of running gun as best as possible just to get catch. The moments that we want to catch warmer out in the bush or on the field, working with actual, you know, individuals that aren't actors. I think you know, for us we see a lot of value in being able to kind of move the camera, turn the camera on and off, position the camera differently very quickly that that's really important for what the work we do for a lot of the documentary stuff we do. When it's a controlled setting, you have a studio and there's, you know, for people to help you and moving things and listening and checking. Having microphones like this is really valuable. This is the Samsung Gear 3 60 this camera is one of my favorite 3 60 cameras that exists. It cost $350. And, um, it comes with this amazing feature, which is you can put in extra batteries. So has a removable battery. You don't just have to charge it, and then when it dies, you have to, like, leave it on the wall. You can actually have a few extra batteries with you. Um, it also has a slot for micro SD card. So again, not an internal memory, which would require you, Teoh. Keep it next. Your computer by awful. But you could actually bring this in the field and fill that card up, over and over and over and just put in new cards. Um, uh, it's really convenient because it works with a Samsung phone. So, um, any Samsung Modern Samsung phone should talk to this Samsung Gear 3 60 camera, and the way it works is there's an app, and that happen will let you, um, sort of live monitor the view of this camera, which is a 3 60 view, and you can take the monitor. You can drag your finger around, you can see all sides of it, and what we do oftentimes will attach it under the top of our camera, and we use it as a live monitor. This is super important, because when you have people coming in and out, or when you have, you know, cars driving through your scene and you want to really work on the pacing and think about the choreography that's gonna happen in your shot. Um, you know when things air far away when things are close in proximity to the camera rig, having this live monitor is super valuable. You can. Even though you, as the director you is the filmmaker are hiding. You still get a chance to see out of the sort of perspective of your rig. This is a very inexpensive solution for a live monitor in 3 60 There are much more expensive solutions in particular than Nokia. Ozo actually allows you to plug in an Oculus rift. Um and so it goes from the Ozo cables to a computer, and, uh and then you're able to see it in half resolution on an Oculus rift. Live so you can kind of set up a video village around the corner from your camera and from your scene again. That's sort of ah, big opportunity in for a studio environment for controlled environment when we're out in the field. Um, having something like this that we can just drop on top of our camera rig is super convenient and easy, and, you know, you can see I've actually dropped it a few times, has kind of fallen off the top of the camera rig a few times, so it's a little scratch, but, um, but it's lasted so far, so we've been really happy with it. And I think it's one of the best. Now, you can also take off the bottom here, Uh, and you can actually mount this to a mono pod? Um, and all of a sudden, you have, you know, sort of log quality 3 60 camera. And, uh, so it's another way to sort of think about how do I get into VR as an entry level point? Stitches in the phone. Um, you know, So all it takes is a phone and a camera, and you're off to the races. You cannot blow directly to Facebook 3 60 or YouTube, 3 or a 1,000,000 other platforms, All the other 3 platforms on dso. You know, this is probably the easiest way to get into it. And it's a great addition to a bigger kit like we have. All right, so now we're gonna do a little deeper dive into some of the gear we talked about in that video. Um, and a few other pieces that I didn't mention, and, um, where this is, actually, um, this is Ah, book That's online that I'm going to provide a link for. This is a really valuable resource as a production guide. It's called making 3 60 It's an online book, and it's free to download. Um, it's about 200 pages long, and it was baby made by one of our favorite editors and stitchers and producers that we work with Fabian Studio. And so, um, so it explains in the book that ah, you know, here's your cameras, your GoPro's or other types of cameras. Um, your rig, which is a box in this photo, is the housing that holds all those cameras together. You have a tripod audio slate, micro SD cards, batteries remote for your cameras, um, a USB hub charger, which is just ah, lot of charging ports, sort of like a power strip for a bunch of GoPro's um, and then a hard drive because it's a lot of footage. And lastly, of course, a little heart and a lot of smile will take you a long way. So, um, as I mentioned in that video earlier, the Samsung Gear 3 60 is my favorite all time favorite low budget 3 60 camera. It's amazing. It's adorable. Highly recommend it. I've dropped 90 million times, and it's pretty indestructible. Um, and, uh, and it's a really a valuable tool in the arsenal in my tool belt or in my arsenal of, ah VR cameras. We use it on almost every shoot in some way, shape or another. Um, it's great for behind the scenes footage is, well, sometimes will just roll on it in addition to what we're making. Just so we have some behind the scenes 3 60 of whatever bigger project we're working on. Um, the Nikon Key mission 3 60 is the new camera on the market. It's actually waterproof. Um, up to two meters. It's a great little machine. Great lenses. Um, it's about $500. So slightly more than the Samsung. Um, and very similar in that you can stitch it on a nap, um, and uploaded directly to Facebook or you to, um, this is sort of the next level up in cameras. It's on a very far level up. It's, you know, this is anywhere from, um, a few, you know, $2000 toe, $5000. The freedom 3 60 broadcaster is ah, uses three GoPro's. You can also get a to go pro version of it. They're called backbone GoPro's and what that is. They take off the front of the GoPro. They put on a new housing that's metal in black Andi, that allows them Teoh Screw in a precision, Linds. Those air 80 lenses. You can go up, Teoh. You know, 1 87 1 to 10 to 20 on. And you could just imagine what those numbers mean is kind of from weighty being, Ah, you know, so perpendicular to you. It is a straight line 1 92 20 starts to become, You know, they really reach all the way around. So that lenses capturing a lot of info. So they stick out from the camera and then they arch backwards and you can see that sort of, uh, convex shape they have. So they make a few different versions of this. It's a really nice camera that Freedom 3 60 broadcaster. It's a nice camera for tight spaces, bit on some shoots where we have really big cameras but occasionally will be in alleyways and kids will be going to school or people will be in the market and it's very tight space. And so, having three cameras, what that does is, it has less stitch seams than this, which is four cameras around the sides. Eso there's more more stitch lines to deal with. And when people are moving across the front of the camera, you want to try to avoid how close they are to the camera and that stitch line. If they're close to the camera, they're not crossing a stitch. You know, a seem and it's totally fine. But if they every time they cross the seam and their clothes there's like a breakage in the image, and you kind of see that line, the audience can see that line of where you stitch from one frame to the next. So, um, so having three cameras instead of four around the circle is actually kind of nice for tight spaces, and even two cameras would be great. But often you suffer a little in the resolution. Um, so this is the next level up. This is Ah, this is the real sort of like if you're a DSLR shooter, if you, um, you know, are kind of moving from hobby to professional video making, um, if you're a type of person that might own like a cannon five d you know are in a set of a few L lenses. Like all of a sudden, you're the type of person Probably that's in this space. Um, if that's the level of quality that they were looking for in your final production, I would suggest either the GoPro Odyssey. Now, that's really that What's nice about it is just that it's all synchronized, that it's kind of feels like one unit and not like a lot of little cameras. There are versions. There are other 3 60 cameras out there that have lots of little cameras. 16 cameras, 18 cameras, 27 cameras, big globes full of cameras. The more cameras you bring to the equation, the more complicated it is to deal with its almost impossible. Like data management is a name air storing all the footage is takes, you know, terabytes of hard drives. So this is, ah, a kind of a good balance between having 16 cameras. Um, so it's a lot of footage and get three D image. Actually, you get a left and right eye out of every square inch on that sphere, but but they're all synchronizing their all feel like one unit. And so it has that sort of out of out of the box feeling to it. Whereas the dark corner rig which which reading images put together reading images ah, is a rental house in l. A. And they make some beautiful sort of. They may kind of their own rigs. Um, and one of their rigs that they've created is called the Dark Corner. And it's just ah, housing sort of metal or a three D printed housing that holds Sony A seven s is this is one with four. I've used one with five as well where one points up in the rest point kind of down ish. Um, and, uh, then you adapt into, ah, wide angle lenses, fisheye lenses. And so, um, so this is a really powerful rig if you want. If you know low light that Sony A seven s is gonna be a huge benefit. Um, it's a very heavy set up, so and it's got a wide circle like a wide footprint. Um, it typically, I wouldn't suggest that level of intensity unless you have at least two people on set with you to deal with cameras just because the sheer weight of carrying those boxes around will tire anyone out if you're in a controlled studio or controlled setting. Of course, that makes it much easier to deal with something like that. But it is beautiful footage that comes out, and you can really do a lot with the content. You know, a lot of times it comes down to the glass. This GoPro Odyssey camera is using regular go PLO GoPro lenses. The dark corner is using beautiful canon fisheye lenses so that glass that precision in the glass, that quality of glasses allowing your audience to really see the foreground and the background in this beautiful way, that irregardless of the resolution, the actual image quality looks beautiful because because of that glass. So some people have taken their their GoPro rigs and put on extra lenses like that one before like that that broadcaster Freedom 3 60 Broadcaster, where that's a separate lens. And when you can add on those attachment lenses, you can really get like, uh, you know, just you can up the the perceived quality of your content through that, Um and lastly, just at the most sort of top end of of the expense here. And of course, it continues on and on. You can imagine taking the most expensive cameras the world, but Siris of reds and putting them in a big circle, of course. But, um but this is Ah, Nokia Ozo, which I referenced a bit in Ah, in my office. But this is the device that Nokia has brought. Come out with that. They kind of loud it as the as the filmmakers VR camera, right? This is the filmmakers were coming. Now, this is a $60,000 set up. Um, it requires a computer Ah, computer monitor, mouse and a keyboard and an Oculus rift. That's sort of the ah, the kit that comes along with the camera. So the camera is actually not that big, but it has wires that go to the camp to the computer. The computer can see all eight cameras, or you could do a monos Coptic. So instead of stereoscopic, which is three d um, which gives you that left and right of every square on your grid, you would you could do just the sort of mono, so you just get one image of every square inch of your sphere so you could have either off all eight or just recording on four. What's nice about the gnocchi? Oh, so also is that it actually has spatial audio. So there's microphones placed around it, um, to allow you to get that 5.1 mix, but you can, ah, and you can do the live monitoring with the Oculus rift into that computer. So you can, actually, and I think it's a DK two, but you can actually see um uh, live what your camera is looking at. You can see the image quality can see the lighting. You can see you can hear it. You know, it's actually really a powerful tool for people that really love sort of the precision involved in filmmaking. To be able to see every moment and not feel like, you know, you're just shooting in the dark or your directing a play, and you're now the play has started and you're sitting in the back s O. This has a different sort of feel. I think the Nokia is like a really good machine, and and I expect a lot more people to be using it, you know, sort of bigger, bigger studios

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Great content! Great overview on storytelling and an intro to 360.

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