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Virtual Reality Streaming Tools and Workflow, Part 1: Gear and Pre-Production

In this series of articles, I will discuss the tools and workflows that I used in a recent testing project to see how VR compares to 2D video and audio as an educational tool.

Watching VR on YouTube

Output actually was the easiest part. In terms of capabilities, the Vahana software can output a file to the hard drive, encode and send the video to an RTMP server for streaming (which is what I saw at Streaming Media East), output the video via the DeckLink card, or send it to an Oculus headset (and no, I didn’t buy one for my daughter).

Once saved to the hard drive, you can edit the video as normal, use a Google supplied software tool to inject metadata into the file so that YouTube recognizes it as 3D, and then upload it to YouTube. Once on YouTube, you can view it in 3D on a computer or play it with the YouTube App on an iOS or Android device. Low-cost headsets, like Google Glass, substitute in for the Oculus at much lower cost and complexity. More on that when I review the testing we performed in Part 3.

For now, I was hesitant to white balance the GoPros for my initial testing, lest I risk having to re-white balance them for the actual shoot. So the first video that I shot and posted to YouTube was very bluish in color, as you can see.

Wanting to prove the capture > edit in Premiere Pro > output > inject > upload workflow, I color balanced in Premiere Pro, then ran through the other steps and re-uploaded the source to produce the video posted to YouTube here.

In the video, you can get a 360º view of my office (and my sleepy German Shepherd Alfie), and a look at how the stitch seemed to break down when I was positioned between cameras. More valuable information about how to seat my participants when shooting the actual test videos.

In Part 2 we’ll discuss the Vahana software.

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