More innovations at YouTube!
After quietly adding the ability to choose different camera angles a few months ago, YouTube’s boffins have come back with yet another experience enhancing feature, namely, 360 degree video. Whilst 360 degree video is nothing new, it’s certainly new for YouTube. Whilst current demonstrations of the technique are a bit…weird…it’s an interesting feature nonetheless.
Acquiring 360 degree video is not an easy task. It requires an enormously complicated camera rig usually formed of half a dozen (or more cameras) arranged around a central point and then stitched together. I struggle to see a major usage for this technology beyond a gimmick for several reasons.
- Directors like the idea that they can position the camera to focus on what they want to draw the audience’s attention to. Allowing the audience to decide what it looks at might change the dramatic effect of a scene entirely.
- There’s no camera to stand behind for the crew, as the camera captures a 360 degree image.
- You can easily miss something happening ‘behind’ you as you look around trying to see what’s going on around you.
- 360 degree rigs are very expensive. Much more expensive than 3D rigs or 4K cameras, though there are a few notable exceptions.
- The maximum res is still 1920 wide. When viewed at a normal 55 degree viewing angle, you get 166p of vertical resolution. As far as I can tell.
Anyway, it’s pretty cool so check it out. Be sure to watch in a browser like Chrome for the proper experience.