[360 Video] 1. Pre-production / Filming

At the previous post, we said we will film 360 degree live music video.

[Example of 360 degree music video by Go Pro Omni]

 

To film 360 video, we need 360 degree camera. In the past, 360 degree filming is expensive job but nowadays many camera manufacturers are releasing 360 degree camera.

 

There are several product like these.

[Samsung Galaxy Gear 360; Photo from Samsung Electronics Website]

Which can connect to mobile phone and film the 360 degree video or stream 360 video on the Internet.

[Go Pro Omni; Photo from GoPro Website]

6 Go Pro array to film 360 degree film using Go Pro. Well known for professional way to film 360 degree film.

 

For our 360-degree film, we plan to use Go Pro Omni. Because we can hire from the university equipment rental store and most professional solution we’ve got. Go Pro Omni is basically a hardware to 6 Go Pro Hero4 Black to film 360-degree film. The Omni connects 6 cameras like a single camera and it makes film maker doesn’t need to sync up all footages. Moreover, It can film up to 8K video. After filming, we can edit the footage with dedicated software called ‘Autopano’ but also we can use general video editors such as Adobe Premiere since they also have 360 degree video editing feature.

 

As I said in the previous blog post, we will shoot 360-degree video about live music so we need performer. In the initial plan, we plan to film a professional band on Manchester Academy introduced by our group member Phil but they changed the schedule because of the production reasons and we cannot film the band.

Instead, we filmed the performance of Chris Walker, who is our group member and music creator as well.

Before filming we’ve checked how to film using Go Pro Omni and we’ve found out several interesting aspects.

  • Must use 4:3 ratio not 16:9
    • (Interesting!)
    • Since all professional videos are in 16:9, in 360 degree video filming, we must use 4:3 ratio to avoid crops.
  • 1440p should be used to film 4k
    • There are several options in Go Pro but to film in 4k, 1440p must be used.
  • All cameras must use same frame rate
    • It’s because not to suffer sync problem
  • Should tune exposures before filming
    • if one camera filming sun and another camera filming ground, it should be manually adjusted to avoid re-shoot
  • Even though we use remote from Go Pro, the video is out of sync and should be manually synced up.

For filming, we installed the Go Pro Omni on the microphone stand in the centre of the room. The room is low-light but Go Pro handle this well.

Here are some pictures of the filming.

During the filming, we found out several problems.

First, the power problem.

It is hard to source 6 Go Pro powers (which have short battery time) seamlessly during the shoot.

Second, sync problem!

Even though the Go Pro manufacturer said Omni can sync up video without any problem, it didn’t. On the day we found the Go Pro didn’t start at the same time and it means that there will be an issue regarding the sync of 6 Go Pros when stitched into one. We thought this would inevitably extend the edit period as we would need to sync them. However upon review we noticed all footage was syncronised. When we consulted the manual we learnt all the other 5 GoPros are slaved to the actions of camera 1 in the omni. After all we could confirm the frame does carry data signals, even if the power supply was faulty.

After shooting video we’ve found out that 360-degree video is not only interesting to watch for mobile devices with gyro sensor but also can be linked to VR, Virtual Reality.

If we film in 360 degree, we can use it as a VR contents. For example, VR concert footage can deliver viewers more lively footage from the concert. To do so, I personally found out it would be great if surround sound applied to the 360 degree video. Although it is worth mentioning that for VR users there is a minimum 50fps due to the nauseating effect of a lower frame rate. That’s just science and psycho-optics.

 

To sum up, these are the pre-production and filming process we’ve done. In the next post, we will talk about post-production (editing) and final feedback of our contents.

 

 

 

 

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