Facebook has made it clear that it sees the future in Virtual Reality through its multi-billion dollar purchase of Oculus. However, now that the Rift is finally shipping, and millions are at least experimenting with inexpensive alternatives like Google Cardboard, the company has turned its attention to creating more content for those devices. At its annual developer conference, F8, it took a big step in this direction by announcing it has not only designed what it considers the best 360-degree camera rig, but that it will open source the hardware and software. All you’ll need is $30,000 worth of components and a couple engineers to assemble one of your own.
Challenges in making great 3D 360-degree content
Leaving aside the creative challenges in shooting immersive video, the technical challenges themselves are also fairly daunting. They fall on both the hardware and the software — although Surround 360 project lead, Brian Cabral, makes it clear that getting the hardware right is the preferred approach, as it makes the software’s task much more tractable. He identifies three major challenging areas that Facebook had to deal with to ensure that Surround 360 video would be high-quality and artifact-free: creating a sense of depth, synchronizing the cameras, Continue reading