How 360 Degree Video is Becoming a Mainstream Technology
There was a time when 3D filming was hailed as a true technological breakthrough that would bring the worlds of reality and film even closer together than ever before – and there’s hardly a blockbuster released today that doesn’t also have a 3D version.
But while this revolution has been taking place new frontiers in filmmaking have also been created in what is known as 360o video. In this you, the viewer, are placed in the heart of the action that has been filmed and can move around the scene at will using simple touchscreen, mouse or key commands.
The effect is created by having a number of cameras with specially adapted lenses filming a scene simultaneously and covering every possible angle. The footage is then processed using special editing software to create a single, seamless image that can be viewed from every possible perspective. Naturally, there are a number of technical challenges to be overcome in creating a 360o film. These include ensuring that the director and the various different cameras being used do not appear in the shot but using Go Pro style cameras and operating them remotely these are issues that have been overcome.
The fact that there is now a You Tube channel specifically for 360o videos is a sure sign that they are gradually being incorporated into the mainstream. There’s also a wide range of subject areas being fimled and posted online, for example you can ride a roller-coaster, take a tour of the Arctic seed vault or travel to the deepest parts of the ocean.
Unsurprisingly, Hollywood film studios are already starting to explore the potential, for example with a 360o experience of the famous chariot race in the new film version of Ben Hur.
Another popular staple of the film industry, the casino, has also started dabbling in the technology with a film of a poker tournament at live 888event at Aspers Casino in London’s Stratford City.
Now that the technology has reached this level of advancement there’s every reason to expect that it will soon branch out into a whole new range of areas The possible applications are almost infinite, from giving holiday companies a way to create video brochures that are will really give a feel for what a destination’s really like to allowing estate agents to show off properties online.
The realm of live performance is also very likely to benefit, giving audiences round the world the opportunity to get closer than ever before to everything from major sporting events to music concerts and from grand operas to Broadway theatre shows.
It’s also impossible to talk about 360o video without also introducing virtual reality into the mix. With headsets from all the major manufacturers now being offered at affordable prices and there being technology to match, it presents a very exciting prospect for the future.
So all the evidence suggests that this really is a technology whose time has come – and one which we’ll be seeing used even more widely over the next few years.