If you’ve ever been playing a virtual reality (VR) videogame, had a really good experience or a once in a lifetime run through a level, you’ve probably wanted to share that with friends. While screenshots capture a glimpse, they don’t give the same level of immersion. Today Facebook has announced a solution to solve that, a 360 Capture SDK.
The SDK uses cube mapping – the combination of six faces of a cube – versus stitching to create 360-degree content. Using this process VR experiences can be captured in the form of 360 photos and videos straight away, maintaining the required of 90 frames per second (fps) whilst providing high quality content. Facebook’s minimum resolution on News Feed is 1080p and 4K for VR, both of which the SDK supports.
Oculus software engineers Homin Lee and Chetan Gupta explain the process in a blog posting. “We knew capturing 360 content while in VR would be difficult.
“We started by studying plugins that mimicked the three stages of a 360 camera capture inside a game engine. The plugins would capture multiple photos, stitch them together, and output a 360 frame. Unfortunately, it took 20 to 40 seconds to capture and stitch 360 photos, and sometimes even longer. We wanted a solution that could capture 360 content from within VR almost instantaneously.
“When building 360 video for News Feed, we found cube mapping led to better delivery and streaming quality.
“We realized we could skip the stitching process and instead use the game engine to natively capture a cube map—saving us on performance and speeding up our efforts.”
Game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine are compatible as well as native middleware, and hardware like NVIDIA and AMD GPUs are supported. Developers can integrate the 360 Capture SDK into their videogame or VR app by downloading a sample SDK here.
Checkout the launch trailer below, and for the latest updates from Facebook, keep reading VRFocus.