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Immersive Video Recording
The new thing in high-tech video is the 360 spherical camera. These cameras record an immersive video experience, which is sometimes called a spherical video. The recording is of a full panorama of the area the camera is in. That is why it is termed ‘360’, as in 360 degrees of view.
People cannot easily view spherical photos, so such a video is also hard to see with our limited angle perception. Therefore, special software must be used to process and display the resulting video in a way that works for human eyes. This is because the video contains every angle of view around the camera.
The viewer software gives the user interactive control over which desired angle of view is observed. This makes for a very immersive experience that makes it seem like you are there and even feel like you have control over the camera. The viewing of a 360 spherical panorama becomes a virtual reality experience of the real world.
It is only possible to make such seemingly magical interactive videos because of the recent invention of the spherical video camera. Interactive still images in a spherical photo also require a spherical camera. Whether still image or full motion video, production of such videos requires more technical wizardry than just the special cameras.
What’s In It For You?
It is much easier to make immersive 360 degree video experiences with a spherical panorama camera, and yet some experts are also able to produce the same by using alternative methods. Special circle rigs mounted with several cameras, such as the standard GoPro cameras, can simultaneously film small scene. The resulting recordings must then be stitched together with editing software to produce the final interactive experience.
These new spherical cameras make the process of recording and editing a spherical video fairly straightforward. However, there are still a few issues. For instance, it is not possible to film the area directly next to the spherical video camera support platform. This is one of the few problems with spherical photography that benefits from spherical gears.
Immersive Video Playback
The recording of spherical photography is done holographically, meaning the recording is really un-viewable data storage until it is processed for viewing. After being processed, the final video can be viewed from any angle under and is always under the user’s control. Users can also control the playback speed.
When the spherical photos or videos are experienced through the use of a virtual reality headset, movement can be controlled automatically by input from the built-in inertia sensors. Of course, on desktop or laptop computers, mouse and keyboard input are interpreted the same way.
See More Than Before
These 360 spherical panorama videos contain much more imagery stored in a 360 spherical camera, although the typical display view is in a small 4:3 aspect ratio. This is also true for a spherical photo. This gives the viewer the opportunity to see details that are often missed in traditional limited-angle videos with no spherical gears.
These days a spherical panorama camera is not that rare of a product. A few of the most popular spherical cameras are the: 360fly, Kodak PixPro SP360, and GoPro V.360. For viewing the videos recorded with a spherical camera, Google announced the Cardboard VR viewer in 2014. This makes it easy for anyone to view spherical videos. YouTube also announced 360 video viewing software in 2015. In 2015 Facebook also announced similar capability for their web site.