Ever since VR came out users have been consistently showing interest in more immersive movies. While monoscopic 360 videos already offer a unique experience, movies allowing viewers to lean and move around are exceedingly more immersive than their original counterparts. Adobe has recently came up with an algorithm that can transform regular 360 videos into true VR experiences, ultimately allowing full 6 degrees of freedom head motion.
360 videos are captured by either stitching together multiple cameras’ footage or using a specialized 3D camera. Unfortunately, these videos display the same content for both eyes, resulting in a lack of 3D depth sensation. 6-DOF is a term used by industry insiders which describes a simulation which allows one to lean in and move around it, effectively creating both depth and increasing immersiveness. HMD leaders such as the Occulus Rift and the HTC Vive allow 6-DOF as they track the headset’s and the controllers’ position within the room.
There are many different types of software that give the user the freedom to move around the virtual world, but achieving this with a recorded movie is a whole different beast. Facebook has recently released their 360 cameras with multiple lenses which are able to capture full 6-DOF videos. However, these cameras are only available for commercial use and will not be sold for personal projects.
Using the newly developed algorithm, Adobe will allow anybody to capture and turn regular videos into full VR experiences. The algorithm first analyzes the camera’s movement within a scene and relates it to the artifacts within. Next, the algorithm reconstructs the room using the data which allows it to calculate the possible positions of the camera and how the objects would look like from that point of view.
Keep in mind that one requirement for the algorithm to work is that the recording camera must move within the scene. If the camera simply records a static video there is no way for the algorithm to predict depth.
This new approach shows that it is not necessary to purchase high end equipment in order to achieve 6-DOF 360 video. Software can play just as big a part in creating VR as hardware. It will be interesting to see the transformation from big screen 2D to 3D VR movies. It will be even more interesting to see how the new movies will transform the viewing experience as users would have to move around. Virtual Reality is truly a disruptive technology as it will even change the way movies are filmed.
If you liked this article make sure to follow us on twitter @thevrbase and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest VR trends and news.