Facebook has announced its 2nd generation of 360-degree video camera design. The last year’s Facebook 360 degree camera has changed into a larger, more capable unit and into a smaller, more portable version.
Facebook is calling its new camera the X24 as it has 24 cameras instead of 6 cameras in the older version and was known as X6. This time Facebook has managed to make a smaller unit than the last year with more cameras fitted in it.
The newer version is not just different in build design but also in camera quality. Now the camera shoots video in 8K quality with six degrees of freedom means your body can move forward, backward, up, down, left, and right so long as you are wearing a VR headset with positional tracking like the Oculus Rift. VR allows the same kind of viewing freedom, but this time with live-action shots. This has been possible due to a mix of software and hardware that captures a better understanding of the depth of objects in a scene and replicates perspectives that the camera never captured originally.
“We capture and then we can estimate depth,” says Brian Cabral, an engineering director at Facebook who leads Surround 360 development. “We actually compute for every pixel where it is in the scene.”
The 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) technology existed in past but was only used in high end editing in Hollywood movies in which different types of special effects are used.
Facebook believes that this will have big implications for the 360-degree format, giving developers the ability to create more engaging videos. You will even be able to edit live-action captures with CGI imagery like adding butterflies to an outdoor scene or even changing the background from cloudy to the sun or from daytime to nighttime and this is possible due to light and depth data.