NEW VIEW Easily create a 360-degree video for the Oculus By Adam Crider
n the last issue we talked about how you might use 360-degree cameras to document various EAST projects. But how do you make a 360-video specifically for Oculus? It’s easier than you might think.
With the new update of the Oculus app, you can now watch 360-degree videos easily without having to use Unity or Unreal engine. All you need is the latest version of the Oculus software, the Ricoh Theta S, and the Ricoh Theta desktop application. It is suggested that you use the Ricoh Theta smartphone application, too, to help capture the video you want.
To create 360 video you first need to start with the Ricoh Theta S Camera. Make sure the camera is in video
mode. This can be achieved by pushing the camera/video button on the side and looking to make sure that the blue video icon is illuminated on the front of the Theta, not the camera icon. Once it’s in video mode, place the camera in a safe location where you want to capture video. You can use the smartphone app to view a live preview of what the Theta is seeing to make sure you are capturing the intended subjects. Once the camera is properly set up, either use the smartphone app or press the capture button on the front of the camera to start your recording. The power button on the side will turn red to indicate that it is recording. When you finish recording you can preview the video within the smartphone app.
Since the Theta has two cameras, software is needed to create a single 360 video. Ricoh has a desktop application for the Theta to stitch the two videos together and create the 360 video that the Oculus needs. After opening the Ricoh Theta desktop application, you
can plug the Theta into your computer. Once the computer recognizes the Ricoh Theta, you can use the File Open menu inside the Ricoh Theta desktop app to find the video that you captured earlier. Once you import the video into
the Theta app, it will ask where to save the video. You want to save the video into the Videos directory in your documents. The Oculus doesn’t know that this is a 360 video, so to tell the Oculus software it is, you need to name the video with “_360” at the end of it. An example would be: “myvideo_360.MP4.” When the Ricoh Theta application finishes converting the video, you can go ahead and open the Oculus application. Using the Oculus and the remote, navigate through your library of applications until you find the Oculus video app. When the application opens you should see an option at the bottom left that says “My Videos.” Once inside of “My Videos” you should see the video you just created. If you look in the upper right corner of the video preview, there will be a globe icon which indicates that it is a 360-enabled video. n WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY