Top 3 ways to create a VR video for playback

You probably got VR headsets/glasses/devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Homido VR, etc. to play games, but you can also have a seriously immersive video-watching experience on these VR goggles. VR video gets popular at a fast pace since it offers wonderful viewing experience which indulges you in a stimulated atmosphere for a number of senses, not just the traditional sight and sound. But questions arise: "Where can I find high quality VR video to download or how to create a personalized VR video?" Follow this article to learn hands-on VR-video-making tutorial in 3 ways.

Find a VR video

Part 1. Easy way to create a VR video

Part 2. Professional way to make a VR video

Part 3. Free way to download a VR video

Part 4. Four Kinds of VR Videos You Can Create

Part 1. Easy way to create a VR video

Fastest VR Video Creator Recommended- Dimo Video Converter Ultimate

  • Convert 2D/3D videos like MP4, AVI, MOV, H.265, FLV, etc. to Gear VR, HTC Vive, Homido VR, etc. with customized profile
  • Rip 2D/3D Blu-ray and standard DVD to SBS, Top-Bottom, Anaglyph 3D MKV, MP4 videos to play on VR headsets
  • Crop, trim and add watermark/special effects to source videos
  • Adjust video/audio parameters, aspect ratio, resolution, frame rate, bit rate and more to best fit on VR goggles.

If you're using a Mac, please turn to Dimo Video Converter Ultimate for Mac, which allows you to create VR videos on Mac OS X(macOS Sierra and El Capitan included). Now download the right version according to your situation and check out the steps below.

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Steps to Create VR video to watch on VR headsets

Fastest VR Video Creator

Step 1. Import 2D or 3D videos files to the VR movie creator

Directly drag your video sources then drop to the fasted VR movie creator or click the "Add File" menu to add source video one by one. The uploaded files will be shown as thumbnails.

Step 2. Set MP4/MKV/MOV as your output format

Almost all popular output formats for VR headsets are provided in the format list of the video converter. To watch mvoies on Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Homido VR with 3D effects, you can choose these VR devices from "Device > VR" as output format.

Step 3. Add 3D effect

Click "Edit" icon to start video editing with your 3D files, such as adding Side-by-side, Top-bottom 3D effect for VR headsets, as well as adding watermark/special effect, trim, crop your videos and so on. Also creating Anaglyphic videos for 3D TV is supported.

Add 3D effect

Step 4. Start to create VR video

Click "Start" and let the Video Converter Ultimate accomplish the rest automatically. Now, equip your VR hedsets, smartphone and import these converted VR video files and start your theatric 3D experience at home! BTW, you can also upload these files to your YouTube 3D page for sharing.

Steps to share Videos to iOS/Android phones for VR headsets with Media Server 

 Dimo Video Converter Ultimate for Mac

Step 1. Get connected 

First you will need to connect your PC and your mobile phones to the same network. And after you have installed Dimo Video Converter Ultimate, turn to "Media Server" tab. 

Step 2. Locate Video files on Media Server 

Click "Browse" to locate your Video folder with this free Media Server.

Step 3. Share videos to iOS/Android phone for VR

Click "Share" to begin sharing local videos to iOS/Android phone. Don't close the free Media Server for Dimo. Scan the QR code with your phone and the loaded video source will be listed. Now you can play converted movies on your VR headests with mobile phones. By the way, you can wirelessly share any format such as MKV, RMVB, AVI, FLV, MOV, WMV, VOB, MP4, M4V, H.265/HEVC, MXF, MTS, etc. to VR headsets for watching with Dimo Video Converter Ultimate.

Part 2. Professional way to make a VR video

5 Apps for Creating Your Own VR Content 

Panorama 360 — Free (Google Play)

Not to be confused with 360 Panorama above, Panorama 360 is available in the Google Play Store and provides the functionality you'd expect (e.g. stitching an image into a 360-degree photo) with some added features like filters, effects, sharing, and Google Cardboard compatibility. Pretty good value for the low, low price of free. 

Splash — Free (iOS)

As one might imagine, creating 360-degree video is a bit more complicated than stitching together photos. But Splash is an app you'll want to try if you're going the video route. Its clean, simple interface makes it easy to use, has social network integration for sharing, and lets you view videos in Google Cardboard. If you're looking to create 360-degree videos on your phone, this is your place to start.

360 Panorama — $1.99 (iOS, Blackberry)

This one's super easy to use. 360 Panorama uses your iPhone camera to stitch pictures together and create a 360-degree image. Pretty simple, right? It basically just works exactly like you think it should. What's more, it has a user testimonial from Chamillionaire right on the iTunes Store page. Who can you trust if not Chamillionaire, I guess? 

It doesn't have quite the flashy, beautiful design of Photo Sphere, but it does provide more options for sharing, lets you view your photos in different formats, is super quick, and doesn't require several rotations.

"Just downloaded this 360 Panorama App. Kinda dope." — Chamillionaire 

Photo Sphere — Free (iOS, Android)

Tied into Google's Street View app, the Google-developed Photo Sphere functionality lets you create 360-degree photos by simply taking pictures with the help of its onscreen guide. It takes a few rotations to capture everything, but the app stitches it all together automatically and lets you share the sphere to Google Maps (if that's your thing). 

With the Street View app, you'll also be able to view spheres from around the world either on your phone or in Google Cardboard.

Note, though, that it's not perfect. It takes some getting used to in order to make videos that look great because you're essentially taking a bunch of videos that are stitched together to create a larger 360-degree video tapestry. That said, if you're looking to try your hand at 360-degree video, this is a free starting point before you move up to the world of GoPro rigs and sphere cameras.

Requirement for Capturing 360°video

Capturing 360°video of real life locations is a whole new ball-game—with new rules and equipment. (Source from here)

THE EQUIPMENT 

At Primacy, we have a couple of specially 3D-printed camera rigs that hold 6 or 10 GoPro Hero4 cameras in a spherical shape. Each camera is mounted at a specific angle so the camera's field of view will overlap portions of the surrounding cameras' field of view. That overlap will eliminate any gaps in the footage and allow for flexibility at the seams. When all the GoPros are recording, they capture video at the same time, and it covers the entire 360°by 180°area. There are various ways to hold the camera rig. It all depends on the needs of the shot. A tripod or monopod are the most common, but you can hang it, hold it, drone it, and more. 

FIELD OF VISION 

Shooting video in 360°is not like shooting regular video. It has its own set of rules and considerations. To keep things simple I'm going to use the term "camera" to describe the rig of GoPro cameras pictured above. Now, the first thing to remember is that 360°means EVERY THING is in the view of the camera and will be in the shot. This includes you, your crew, any lights, microphones, equipment, every crack on the ceiling, and dirty footprints on the floor. This type of shot limits and gives freedom to the director at the same time. You may have to be in the shot, so be creative, don't make it obvious—blend into the scene—or hide behind/under/in objects on location. When scouting locations, take the entire space into consideration. Envision the action that will take place, how should that action interact with the camera? And make sure the available lighting is suitable or get creative with camera placement. 

CAMERA LOCATION 

Placement of the camera in the scene is key and important to storytelling. To capture the action of the scene, you need to consider what role the person wearing the VR headset will take. Are they participants or observers? Meaning, should the camera be placed at an odd position, like hung from the ceiling or low to the ground? Or mounted six feet from the floor to equal to an average person's height? In either case, the camera should be placed in or around the center of the activity. That way the viewer can explore the scene as they wish, and will have something of interest in all directions. 

CAMERA MOVEMENT 

The last item to consider is camera movement. In order to achieve action, there needs to be an impetus of movement, like a drone, a car, a track, or a person. Bear in mind, whatever is controlling the motion will be in the video. For example, if you hang the camera from a drone or helicopter those vehicles will be visible in the final result. There are ways to remove or hide smaller objects in post-production, but that is a lengthy process. Because the video will become an immersive experience, motion of any kind needs to be calculated and intentional, otherwise it can cause nausea or it can disconnect the viewer from the experience.

Capturing video is only half the 360°battle. All that footage (per camera, per location) will have to be downloaded, synchronized, stitched together, and processed before it gets put into a VR headset. 360°video has endless possibilities. Just imagine the places and experiences you can go and have without leaving your desk chair!

Part 3. Free way to download a VR video

You can find many trending VR videos from YouTube 360 Degree Video Channel. Here is a collection of part of VR movies videos clips you can watch right now. Put on your VR headsets (Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Google Cardboard, etc.) to experience the extremely authentic virtual reality scene at your living room.

360 Degree Movie In 4K - The Alien Desert 360 Degree VR Experience - The Jungle Book 360 Experience for Oculus Rift – Sonar
360 VR Experience - Star Wars Desert Assault Oculus VR Movie Video - Lost The Mission Movie Trailer In Virtual Reality
360 Degree VR Movie With ALIENS – Help Cirque Du Soleil With Gear VR Oculus VR Movie Trailer – Henry
VR movie with Oculus Rift – Butts Zero Point Virtual Reality Movie Virtual Reality Horror Movie - 11:57

A free way to get VR video is to download 360 panorama videos, 360 movies online for watching on VR headests.

Here lists top 5 360 degree video sites:

1. YouTube

In April 2016, YouTube has added the support for 360-degree live streaming and spatial audio. It opens a channel for 360°videos for users to find most popular 4K/HD 360-degree videos, immersive 360°and VR videos.

2. 360Heros 

360Heros offers hundreds of 360° videos in different categories, including music videos, concerts, sports, wildlife, etc.

3. Facebook 

Facebook have acquired Two Big Ears - a startup that build audio software for VR and 360 degree videos, for the purpose of making the sound in a 360-degree video feel more lifelike. 

4. 360°Videos 

360°Videos produces 360 degree videos, uploads 360 degree videos to YouTube, and also embeds those YouTube videos on its site for visitors. You can watch 360 interactive videos with YouTube APP, or chrome / firefox browser. 

5. AirPano 

AirPano gives about 3000 spherical panoramas which has recorded more than 300 most interesting locations and thus already become the largest resource for 360-degree aerial 3D panoramas around the world.

Part 4. Four Kinds of VR Videos You Can Create

There are four kinds of video you can create to watch in VR, each of which you can obtain from different sources: 

  • Regular 2D video: These are the normal videos you downloaded online or recorded from cameras, or rip from DVDs and Blu-ray discs
  • 3D video: You've seen 3D movies at the theater, and you can buy those 3D movies on Blu-ray, too. To watch them in VR, you can rip that 3D Blu-ray to a "side by side" or "over under" format, which is playable on a VR headset in 3D. (You'll usually have the choice between Full SBS, which contains each eye in full resolution, or Half SBS, which contains each eye in subsampled half resolution. Full SBS videos are noticeably higher quality, but take up more hard drive space and more graphics power to play.) 
  • 180 or 360 degree video: These types of video are fairly new, but you can check out lots of them on YouTube or download them from other sources. On your 2D monitor, you can use the mouse to drag the video around to see different views, but played on an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you can actually look around using your headset's head tracking. It's very cool. 
  • Full VR video: This format combines 3D and 180 or 360 degree footage for a completely immersive, 3D, head-tracking experience. You can buy videos like this at different places around the web, like VideoBlocks or watch a few for free on YouTube. There aren't nearly as many 360 and VR videos out there as 2D and 3D movies, but as VR continues to grow, so will the selection.

Extended Knowledge

Virtual Reality - Wikipedia: VR has been defined as "...a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body" or as an "immersive, interactive experience generated by a computer"...

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