The social media giant hopes to change filmmaking with Surround 360.
Facebook is trying to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the latest in technology, and it has unveiled a 360-degree video system that would cost a whopping $30,000.
It’s called Surround 360, and Facebook is offering instructions on how to build the camera, according to a Facebook statement.
At that price tag, it’s not for the casual filmmaker, but a serious aspiring director might be able to justify such a purchase. It’s also cheaper than some alternatives out there, like Nokia’s $60,000 camera setup, Ozo, although not as cheap as a joint offering by GoPro and Google, which costs only $15,000.
However, this 17-camera setup is better, Facebook insists, because it has software that is able to merge the images and therefore reduce the time constraints on filmmakers.
Facebook unveiled the technology at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco.
“In designing this camera, we wanted to create a professional-grade end-to-end system that would capture, edit, and render high-quality 3D-360 video,” Facebook stated. “In doing so, we hoped to meaningfully contribute to the 3D-360 camera landscape by creating a system that would enable more VR content producers and artists to start producing 3D-360 video.”
Facebook said when the project began, all existing 360-degree video cameras were either proprietary, meaning the community couldn’t access the designs, or available only by special request, or fundamentally unreliable.
“In most cases, the cameras in these systems would overheat, the rigs weren’t sturdy enough to mount to production gear, and the stitching would take a prohibitively long time because it had to be done by hand,” it noted. “So we set out to design and build a 3D-360 video camera that did what you’d expect an everyday camera to do — capture, edit, and render reliably every time. That sounds obvious and almost silly, but it turned out to be a technically daunting challenge for 3D-360 video.”
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