Abel Cine Tech’s 2 Day Stitching Workshop
Abel Cine Tech’s 360 Stitching Workshop was a fascinating overview of the new virtual reality camera world that Videosmith is plunging into. It was a two day intensive course. On the first day we learned the theory behind the art of stitching all the footage that was filmed on a six GoPro Hero360 rig, and the second day was spent delving into advanced stitching techniques. We also had an opportunity to shoot and stitch footage that the class shot outdoors in New York City.
Stitch Testing: A 360 Production Best Practice
While the software program, Kolor Autopano Video, was very intuitive and easy to use, there are specific steps that one must take before moving on in order to ensure a successful end product. You must take the time in the beginning to make sure that the stitch is as seamless as it can be, and that the cameras are lined up precisely. Otherwise you will encounter much bigger problems down the road and may have to start all over. This is why you must do a test stitch while on location prior to shooting. We can go over some of these techniques and requirements with you before you start your shoot.
Benefits of Stitching with Kolor Autopano
The great thing about Kolor Autopano was that once you understand the basics, then you are able to get into more advanced stitching techniques fairly quickly. So if you were to have the 360 camera rig going down a flight of stairs and out the lobby door into the street, that is a more complicated and time consuming process in the advanced stitching stage.
What is Advanced 360 Stitching?
By advanced stitching, I mean that you need to break down each segment of footage and correct the horizons and manipulate the footage so that it will be easily watchable without getting the viewer too disoriented. Depending on how complicated the shots are determines how long it will take to edit and manipulate in the software.
180 Degree vs Full 360 Rig
Other topics that were interesting that came up during the sessions were how to actually shoot with the rig in a narrative sense. If one were to try to shoot a narrative story, it was suggested that a full 360 rig is probably not the way to go. By using only 180 degrees of the rig the viewer is more likely to be immersed in the story because it not a natural feeling to turn your body 360 degrees while watching a storyline. Pivoting 180 degrees is much more comfortable for the viewer. Thus this allows for any lights to be hidden in that space that is not actually being filmed. Even though you are using the full 360 rig when shooting, you would tell the stitching program not to use certain footage. Many people then put their logo in the “blacked out” area at the bottom of the virtual reality space.
What’s next with Videosmith and 360?
Obviously there was a lot of material that was reviewed over the two day workshop. But it was informative, and I really can’t wait to get the 360Heros Pro10HD and the Kolor software in my hands to play around and hone my skills, so that Videosmith can be a leading force in the new 360 Virtual Reality world here in the Delaware Valley.
Check out our new 360Heros Pro10HD v2 here.