360 degree videos craze

Remember when 3D TV was hot some years ago and then interest in it faded. Now we have a new craze: virtual reality glasses and 360 degree video on then.

YouTube Developing Live 360-Degree Video Capability as it seeks to extend its lead in virtual reality with live immersive broadcasts. The virtual reality video production chain is pretty ready when Affordable 360 Degree Camera Lets Anyone Create Virtual Reality Videos and YouTube rolls out support for 360-degree live streams and spatial audio. Few days ago YouTube began supporting 360-degree live streaming on its service, confirming reports from earlier this year stating that such a feature was in development. With this announcement, YouTube seems to be the first to launch 360-degree live streaming and spatial audio at scale. Watch the 360 degree videos YouTube channel for example videos.

You don’t need to buy expensive VR glasses ready to view this 360 degree video craze. Google Cardboard DIY VR glasses hack lets you to Watch 360 degree videos with your Android smart phone. The 360 degree videos also work on your browser (although is much less immersive).  Here is one 360 degree videos to get the idea.

For more videos check for example The best 360 degree and VR videos on YouTube list and 360 degree videos YouTube channel.

YouTube may be first to the punch with live-streaming, but watch this space. Facebook’s got the individual pieces in place to match the feature, from the cameras to the apps to the Oculus Rift. Twitch has VR apps and supports VR content. Periscope and Meerkat almost certainly are doing something in VR.


Affordable 360 Degree Camera Lets Anyone Create Virtual Reality Videos

YouTube rolls out support for 360-degree live streams and spatial audio

YouTube Developing Live 360-Degree Video Capability

One step closer to reality: introducing 360-degree live streaming and spatial audio on YouTube

Live 360 YouTube Gets Us One Step Closer to the Matrix



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Andrew Marantz / New Yorker:
    How storytelling pioneers are experimenting with GoPros, 3-D printers, and homemade camera rigs to invent a new medium, cinematic VR

    Studio 360
    The pioneers who are making the first virtual-reality narratives.

    You put your smartphone into a portable device like a Google Cardboard or a Samsung Gear—or you use a more powerful computer-based setup, such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive—and the device engulfs your field of vision and tracks your head movement. The filmic world is no longer flat. Wherever you look, there’s something to see.

    The producers at Wevr invited Bravo to write and direct a V.R. project. “I said no,” she told me. “It sounded like a technical thing, and I’m not into technical. But then I talked to my husband, and he said, ‘How often do people just hand you money in this business?’ So I changed my mind.” She thought about what kind of story might be told most effectively in the new medium. “The two words I kept hearing about V.R. were ‘empathy’ and ‘immersion,’ and I wasn’t sure that being immersed in one of my dark comedies would be all that useful.”

    Instead, she wrote a naturalistic drama about a group of friends who encounter two police officers.

    “We start by identifying people with interesting minds, and then we wrap them in a creative bear hug,” Batt said. This can entail weeks of meetings, phone calls, and test shoots designed to help directors unlearn much of what they know about two-dimensional films—or “flatties,” as V.R. triumphalists sometimes call them. Neville Spiteri, Wevr’s C.E.O. and another of its founders, said, “We’ve had traditional scripts that can’t work as V.R. unless they’re totally rewritten.”

    Hard World for Small Things” would be a live-action short, with two scenes filmed on location.

    The second, much shorter scene would take place inside the store. Bravo would use four wide-angle lenses, pointing in all directions from a single source, positioned so that the viewer felt like one of the friends. Then, in postproduction, Wevr would “stitch” the footage together to make a single spherical image. A three-hundred-and-sixty-degree camera rig picks up everything within view, including boom mikes, external lighting, and lingering crew members. It’s possible to remove such visual detritus in postproduction, but this adds time and expense. The standard practice is to call “Action!” and then run and hide. (The camera rig itself is edited out later.)

    On traditional film sets, the director and the crew are present for almost every scene; on this shoot the car would hold only the camera rig and the actors, who would be wearing wireless microphones.

    An engineer at Wevr built a camera rig out of aluminum and sandbags, to minimize jostling

    Anthony Batt told me, “A lot of tech people are talking a big game about V.R. right now. A lot of scholars, people way smarter than I am, are coming up with theories about it. And then a few people, including us, are just diving in and fucking doing it.” Wevr has overseen more than twenty V.R. projects, and six more are in production. “Does that mean our stuff is always perfect?” Batt said. “Fuck no! It means we start with no idea of how we’re gonna make a project work, and we make it work. Or we don’t, and the whole thing turns to jello, and we learn.”

    V.R. “experiences,” as they’re often called, can be fictional or journalistic, narrative or open-ended. They can look like small-budget movies, big-budget video games, or experimental art pieces with no obvious precedent. Some are called “cinematic V.R.,” or “V.R. storytelling,”

    “One of the main challenges for storytellers is learning to think in terms of spheres instead of rectangles,”

    Cinematic grammar no longer applies. There is no frame in which to compose a shot. An actor who directly addresses the camera isn’t breaking the fourth wall, because the viewer is already in the middle of the action. The viewer can look anywhere, so the director often adds subtle visual or auditory cues to indicate where to look, or to signal that the viewer’s gaze can wander without missing anything important.

    Tracking shots must be steady and slow, because too much camera movement can cause discomfort—viewers have reported headaches, vertigo, and nausea. For the same reason, most V.R. experiences last only a few minutes; more sustained stories tend to be divided into episodes.

    In “passive” V.R. experiences, you simply enjoy the ride; in “interactive” ones, the environment responds to your choices.

    The Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear have been on sale since last year. More sophisticated V.R. headsets have been available to developers for about two years, in prototype form, and are now reaching the market. The Oculus Rift, which produces precise localized audio, sells for six hundred dollars. The HTC Vive

    Movies also began as filmed theatre, but directors learned to use the camera to heighten emotions.

    It’s not clear whether zoom lenses can be used in V.R.; as far as I know, no one has tried yet. Nor do V.R. directors use montages, dissolves, or split screens—though these are all technically feasible, they might seem abrupt or confusing to the audience, which is learning to watch V.R. while its makers are learning to make it.

    “There’s minimal editing, because we’re still figuring out how to do it,”

    certain things either will or won’t make sense, and we won’t know until we throw it in a headset and look around

    “Will we look back at these headsets and laugh at how clunky they were, like cell phones from the eighties? Probably. ”

    Primitive head-mounted displays were invented more than half a century ago. The Headsight, built by Philco, in 1961, used magnetic head tracking and separate video projections for each eye. There was a wave of V.R. hype in the eighties, and another one in the nineties, but only in this decade has the technology become sophisticated enough for the wave to crest.

    In 2012, a nineteen-year-old named Palmer Luckey started a campaign on Kickstarter

    “It took a few weeks to port the underwater thing into it,” he said. “As soon as I put it on, I went, ‘O.K., this is what I do now.’ ” Wevr was born, and Spiteri’s underwater animation became a V.R. experience called “theBlu.” The following year, Facebook bought Oculus for two billion dollars. “That was the moment when everyone, including us, went, ‘Holy shit, this V.R. thing is not a drill,’ ” Batt said.

    “theBlu” felt more like a demonstration of current technology than like a harbinger of the medium’s future: such tranquil experiences will soon have to compete against V.R. sports, V.R. concerts, V.R. shooting games, and V.R. porn.

    “So far, most of the V.R. stuff I’ve seen is annoying,” Murray told me. “It’s too long, or it has no reason to exist in that form other than novelty, or you’re given the expectation that you can interact with the space when, actually, you can’t. But every once in a while you see a glimmer of something that makes you go, ‘I want more of that! ”

    The shoot was scheduled for the next morning, at a sixteen-hundred-seat neo-Gothic auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. The entire space would be captured by four GoPro cameras, each about two inches in diameter.

    “A lot will depend on exactly how we position the camera rig, and then we’ll do blocking and lighting around that.”

    “GoPros are terrible in low light, so you’ll want to flood the actors’ faces,”

    “A slight change in height makes a big difference,”

    “For all of human history, art, music, storytelling, religion—those have been our modes for communicating the incommunicable,”

    “Under your seats is a headset that will change the very nature of what it means to be human.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joan E. Solsman / The Wrap:
    Sources: Amazon Studios is in early-stage talks with VR companies about making original VR content

    Amazon in Talks to Create Virtual Reality Content (Exclusive)

    Amazon is in talks with virtual-reality companies about developing original virtual-reality content, multiple people familiar with the matter told TheWrap.

    Virtual reality is an immersive entertainment format that’s among the buzziest consumer technologies this year. VR uses responsive headsets that make users feel like they’re in the middle of the action.

    Tech giants like Facebook, Samsung and Google are pouring investment into developing VR headsets and making them widely available.

    Amazon streaming-video rival Hulu has already begun creating original and exclusive VR content and distributing it through its own dedicated virtual-reality app.

    Netflix has an app to watch regular movies and TV with a VR headset, essentially creating a virtual living room for viewing.


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