9.1 Back to back.
9.2 Side by side.
9.3 Fisheye action cameras.
9.4 Action cams.
9.5 Video Cams.
Fisheye optics mounted on VR 360º video cameras have features for creating stereopanoramas. Basically, what we are going to do is to use them as if they were photo cameras. The quality we are going to obtain is not the same as that of using DLSR´s and professional optics, but we will obtain a good stereoscopic quality and a correct final result.
Next picture, is the frame captured by an Insta X, which gives us two “Circular Fisheye 7.5mm” with a resolution of 3040 x 6080px that will allow us to create 6K stereopanoramas. 3000 x 6000 px.
Treating these frames in Photoshop we can extract each image, rotate them and use them using professional capture and stitching techniques.
The professional hardware that we are going to need to make these techniques can be summed up as a photographic rotator and a tripod, to which we must add the soft, a stitching software as PTGui, or Autopano Giga, and later Mistika VR, and Photoshop.
This is the size of the different frames that we will work with. The Samsung 2016 resolution is striking, with its 3888px offers the largest size, while on the opposite side the Qoocam appears with 2160px. Also note that both the Insta One and the Xiaomi mount the same sensor 3456px.
These cameras usually include a system of “On board Stitching”, so it is necessary to read the instructions of each one of them, to be able to extract the frames without editing, that later we will treat in photoshop to separate the right from the left.
In the case of the GoPro we have two memory cards for each “circular fish eye” so you will not need to perform any special action. In the case of the Insta X we are going to find a vertical frame so we will have to rotate the images after extraction. A particular case is the Qoocam in which we are going to find the image of the reflected left, which is why it will be necessary to reflect it in opposite sense before working with it. A special case is the Vuze RX, because “Human Eyes” has created a system similar to that of the veteran MPO, so you should talk to them about sending you the “soft” that separates the two views.
BACK TO BACK WORKFLOW
The “Back to back” cameras are all those in which the optical axes of both cameras coincide in the longitudinal axis, these are: Ricoh Theta, Samsung 16/18, Insta One/X, Xiaomi, Garmn Virb, Nikon Key Mission, etc.
The capture system that we are going to use for all these cameras is so simple that it seems incredible, but once understood it is very easy.
Mount your camera on the rotator with slider and move the vertical axis a half of the calculated interaxial distance.
Once the vertical axis has been moved, we will only take six photos, one every 60º, but you will have to take into account that you cannot be in the photos, so you will have to use a remote control or a timer that allows you to leave the room.
“Stitching Mantra: All images on the front camera will be those on the right, and all images on the rear camera will be those on the left.”
Stitch all together in Autopano Giga or in PTGui and export only those on the right or only those on the left to get the equirectangular views from one side or the other.
SIDE BY SIDE WORKFLOW
We call “Side by side” the cameras known as VR 180º, such as the Qoocam, Vuze XR, Insta EVO, etc. These are the cameras in which the optical axes of the two cameras are arranged in parallel.
In all the possible cases, our interest is that the vertical axis of rotation crosses the intermediate point of both cameras. In the case of the Qoocam, and Insta Evo, we need the slider of the rotator to be long enough to make this alignment.
In the case of the Vuze XR it is much easier due to its symmetry, just install it on the rotator and take the six double photos we need, the right will be the right and left the left.
FISHEYE ACTION CAMERAS
These cameras behave as if they were DSLR´s provided with 7mm optics, with the only difference in the quality of their optics and sensors.
To work with them the only thing we have to do is to adjust them seminodally, so it must be borne in mind that their entrance pupil is about 3mm behind the optics. We will use them as if they were professional cameras using the same capture and postproduction systems.
It is possible to work with action cameras but in this case when using optics with a FOV inferior to 180º we will be forced to make a capture of two rows, for which we will have to have a system of two rotation axes.
The stereoscopic result is similar to that obtained using 10/12mm optics, and is much better than using fish eyes, but its construction requires knowledge of design and 3D printing.
It is also possible to make Stereopanoramas using compact VR video cameras such as the INSTA TITAN.
In this case there is a camera every 45º as there are 8 in total. To take a picture, we will really have to make two and sew them manually.
Mount the TITAN on the rotator and make the first photo, then rotate the camera 22.5 º and make the second capture. We will obtain 16 photos instead of 8, that we will have to intercalate: We will number the first capture as 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 and the second capture as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and we will keep them in the same folder and to stitch them in stereo we will use the system “Rotational Capture”. The advantage of this capture system over the native TITAN capture is that you will reduce the inteaxial distance by half; 8.2cm / 2 = 4.1cm. and you will be able to work indoors.