During Facebook’s F8 conference in May the company announced plans for a new virtual reality (VR) camera system created in collaboration with pro camera company RED. Today, they’ve revealed the first look at the studio-grade 360-degree device called Manifold.
Designed for immersive 6DoF storytelling, the Manifold camera features 16 RED Helium 8K Sensors with custom Schneider 180-degree fish eye lenses. This allows for volumetric image capture, meaning users of VR headsets can actually move round a scene to a certain degree, not just looking round in 360 but behind objects as well.
Explaining how this works in a Facebook Blog posting: “Manifold captures multiple camera angles simultaneously from within a given volume, enabling infinite perspectives to be generated from any direction within a field of view. Using RED’s best-in-class camera sensor design and image processing pipeline, filmmakers get superior image quality when shooting their projects, from live and avant-garde performances to big-budget spectacles. Facebook’s industry-leading depth estimation technology captures 3D information from any scene—like characters, props, and everyday backgrounds—resulting in high-quality video bursting with enhanced volumetric detail and movement.”
This kind of tech doesn’t come cheap with Facebook yet to reveal the cost or when Manifold will likely be available. As RED is known for its pricey pro cameras don’t expect this to be a stocking filler. Check out the full specs below, and for further updates on the device, keep reading VRFocus.
Facebook Manifold Specs:
- 16 RED(R) Helium 8K(R) Sensors arranged to allow full 360 6DoF capture
- Record raw from 16 cameras running 8k @60 fps simultaneously
- Custom Schneider 8mm, F4.0, 180 degree fish eye lenses
- Single SMPTE 304M cable for power, control and data
- Camera Control Unit and storage device may be up to 100 meters from Camera Head
- 5, 12g SDI outputs for monitoring or third party stitch processing
- Multiple third party storage device choices providing 1 hour or more record time
- Front of lens ND filters available
- Quick release handles for maneuvering and setup
- Web app based control interface for flexibility of user interface device choice
- SDK provided for post processing