Pushing the Boundaries of 360-Degree Video Storytelling
Zvi Greenstein, NVIDIA
March 28, 2018

Pushing the Boundaries of 360-Degree Video Storytelling

GPU TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE – 360-degree video is a stunning way for publishers, production houses and content creators to create and share stories, places and experiences.
At the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose this week, VR industry leaders are rallying around NVIDIA VRWorks 360 Video SDK, paving the way for a wide range of industries — from travel and sports to entertainment and journalism — to create high-quality, 360-degree stereo video experiences.

Creating and delivering this kind of video is complex and computationally intensive. It involves capturing, processing and stitching together footage from up to 32 cameras and, in the case of live events, streaming it in real time with minimal latency.

GPU acceleration, coupled with the VRWorks 360 Video SDK, provides real-time capture, seamless stitching and streaming of 360-degree mono- and stereoscopic video that can be easily integrated into video workflows.

New Z CAM V1 Camera Enables 360-Degree Live Stereo Video
Z CAM, one of the earliest companies to bring a professional live VR camera to the masses, was the first commercial camera manufacturer to integrate the NVIDIA VRWorks 360 Video SDK into their WonderStitch and WonderLive applications. 

Monday at GTC, the camera maker unveiled the Z CAM V1 Professional VR Camera, capable of delivering 6K, 60 fps, 360-degree stereo. Z CAM’s 10 cameras and small footprint allow content creators to get close to the action, solving one of the key issues with traditional 360 rigs.

“Integrating the VRWorks 360 Video SDK made it easy for us to enable live streaming of high-quality, 360-degree stereo video, and to support live streaming of both mono and stereo 360 VR, so our customers can really push the boundaries of live storytelling,” said Kinson Loo , CEO of Z CAM.

Pixvana Accelerates Video Creation and Delivery
One of the biggest challenges of 360-degree content creation is the sheer size of the files produced. It makes delivering high-quality content to a VR headset difficult. Pixvana’s SPIN Studio Platform integrates VRWorks 360 Video SDK for faster and better results, optimized for any delivery method, be it Steam, Playstation, YouTube or other supported platforms.

Because the VRWorks 360 Video SDK can be accessed via the AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud platforms, Pixvana customers can easily upload source videos from a multitude of camera rigs and let the application calibrate and stitch the footage up to 11 times faster than the previous CPU-based stitching technique — all while creating stunning 360-degree videos at up to 8K resolution. 

“Because NVIDIA VRWorks 360 Video SDK shared the same API between Windows and Linux, it was super fast and easy to integrate into our Linux cloud platform,” said Sean Safreed, product director and co-founder at Pixvana. “The ability to access the VRWorks SDK through our powerful GPU-accelerated cloud backend simplifies the workflow and massively speeds the process from shot to review to final distribution, which our customers love.”

STRIVR Advances 360-Degree Video Training
Virtual reality provides immersion and puts the user in the center of the action, which is a perfect way to train for any situation, whether trying to fix an engine on a cargo ship, dealing with a Black Friday shopping mob or practicing step-by-step assembly procedures on a factory floor.

STRIVR helps clients ranging from Walmart to the New York Jets to step up their game with immersive VR training. 360-degree situational video has been shown to drastically improve retention, boost productivity and provide crucial crisis-based “on-the-job training” without putting employees at risk.

STRIVR’s immersive training platform is designed to improve situational awareness, operational procedures training, safety and sales training.

“Integrating VRWorks 360 Video SDK accelerated the STRIVR stitching process from 15 fps to between 45 and 60 fps, a 3-4x performance gain, which translates into much faster turnaround time from filming to delivery.” said Brian Meek, CTO at STRIVR.

VRWorks 360-Degree Video 1.5 Release
NVIDIA has released VRWorks 360 video SDK version 1.5 with support for Linux, making it easier to integrate into a wider range of uses, including embedded devices and Linux-based image processing pipelines.