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360 degree recording & projection
  • A few years back, the troubled Japanese company, Olympus, showed off a 360-degree HD camera and projector system - the first 360-degree, 1080i camera and projection solution.

    Utilizing a proprietary system based around an "axisymmetric free-form-surface lens," the camera could shoot video at horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 360-and-50-degrees, respectively; the images could then be projected in the same range by a separate unit.

    That was back in 2007 and nothing has ever materialised from them.

    I am trying to help a company involved in the events sector to seek and find a current solution where they could offer a walk-in 360 arena (tent or whatever) and immersive world for an audience to view a dramatic show utilising 360 degree projected switchable backgrounds.

    Does anyone know of where this technology is going (is it doomed?) or of any other viable solutions that could be made and put together using today's technology?

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  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • @driftwood

    Look at panorama shooting solutions.
    technically you can use Google and other companies approach, but with different software.

  • Have a look here Nick

    It's been possible for a while CTS designed a club in Leeds with 360 degree projection to change the walls of the club from day to night etc using multiple projectors and software from a graphics company in Derby, but for the life of me can't remember their name !

    Canon have a 360 projector also

  • I developed workflows for a few immersive full dome projects but I never stumbled upon this Olympus technology. It looks like an interesting approach but I doubt that this system has enough light for an event based application. We always ended up producing an 4096x4096 dome master inside After Effects (circular image alike what a circular fisheye lens produces). Has play out solution there are many options: UVA d3, Dataton Watchout, Coolux Pandoras Box,, ... those guys from could be very helpful if you are on a budget.

  • An Epic with a Sunex 5.6 circular fisheye should be a pretty good solution.

  • the problem is that circular fisheye lenses are performing pretty bad towards the edge. Unfortunately the part of the image you need the most for a 360 projection. The available circular fisheye lenses cover different diagonal angles of view like 185º (Sigma, Sunex )or even more than 200º (vintage Nikon 6mm) but also less then 180º can be found. The ideal combination would be a RED Epic with a fisheye that covers more than 180º and who's image circle is slightly bigger than the 15mm height of the sensor. The plan would be to end up with a circle of the RED Epic‘s full 2700 pixels but still cover a 180º angle of view.

    This would not only cover the howl height of the sensor but would also crop off a little of the problematic outer region of the lens.

    Nikkor 6mm "220º salad bowl" on RED MX:

    Photo 08.06.11 13 14 19.jpg
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  • Yeah, should be the best solution, but it's hard to find these days…

  • unfortunately this Nikkor 6mm lens from the 70ies suffers from sever chromatic aberration. The Sigma Circular Fisheyes are much much better and easy to get a hold of ...

    Less spectacular though:

    Photo 10.07.11 21 36 03.jpg
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  • Hi there

    Not sure this will be the most flexible solution, but it's proven to work.

    Theese guys did the projections for the danish expo in South Korea, where they had a 360° movie running on the danish pavilion. The movie was stitch material done in PTGui( from six GH2 with the stock 14-42 lens. The 14mm gave enough overlap to stitch and produce a 10,752 x 1,200 pixel movie(it's was a pain to handle). To project is, they had the film sliced in six wmv files they ran from a hardware based player who manage the stitching in the projection(they used six hd projectors). The image had a hight of 5*48 meters in real life and it looked and worked good. Not the most mobile setup though.

    Hope it can lead you a bit further.

  • In other news, CentrCamera, a startup who intended to build a 4k-360°-video-camera, failed to get funded via kickstarter.

  • Rollercoaster rocked, wish it was more stable and longer. Indeed entertaining.

  • I remember a video a few years ago wear somebody used 3-4 go pros mounted one on the front one to the left and to the right and one behind to get this effect