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September/October 2017

360 video requires 360 storage The growing medium of virtual reality requires a rethink of how we view storage. VFX houses are paving the way, says Dave Frederick, senior director of media & entertainment at Quantum


irtual reality 360° video is creating new film, television and gaming experiences that enable audiences to control where their attention is focused. The ability to interact with the content environment is arguably the most significant change in the audience viewing experience since the advent of cinema itself. Changing a 100-year-old paradigm is not without technical challenges, however. Among the first responders to answer the call are visual effects artists. With a strong skill set in

compositing, an understanding of 2D and 3D space, and a flare for the dynamic, VFX artists operate on the front lines of VR post production. The challenges inherent to VR - including camera stitching, rig removal and panoramic image manipulation - require many of the same skills. Because VR 360° is a new medium, production budgets often are limited. It’s not unusual for VFX artists to be called upon to create compelling visuals to fill the void. Skilled artists can create a posse of 20 cowboys in a scene when a live production budget might support only three. A

realistic ocean backdrop can be added to shipboard scenes without using a drop of water. HIGH DEMANDS To create images that surround the audience, images from multiple cameras are stitched together into a large panoramic image — the equivalent of 6K or 8K resolution. For content targeting high-end head-mounted displays with 3D stereoscopic playback, finishing resolutions can be even higher. High-performance scale-out storage is

TV Tech Global September/October 2017  

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