Capturing High Quality Moving 360 Video Footage
M7Virtual are at the cutting edge of 360 video production and no more so when it comes to capturing stabilised smooth 360 video footage. The M7 team have an array of custom built kit enabling super smooth filming. Without these customised rigs the footage would be difficult to stitch resulting in tears and wobbles in the footage, which would be distracting and unnatural for the viewer. Moving 360 video footage has become one of M7Virtual’s specialties, where many others are still on locked tripod shots
Camera, lens and rig configurations are a very important factor in the creation of 360 video. We have standardised on GoPro, Z-camera and Sony A7S II cameras for all our shoots, often changing lens and camera rigs as a shoot progresses. We will often opt to use GoPro rigs with modified 194° fisheye lenses when we shoot in confined spaces and for moving shots . The final resolution drops slightly but we are still able to offer 6K output using these lenses. The tradeoff of reduced resolution is outweighed by the benefits of the increased overlap for super stitched virtual reality 360 footage.
For shots that require high detail and clarity in low light situations we will opt for the Z-camera or Sony A7S II rigs. Our wealth of knowledge on 360 shoots allows us to determine the best rig for a particular situation, minimising the time spent in post to fix unwanted issues and giving our clients the best results possible.
We offer a number of rigs capable of capturing moving shots, each with a specific purpose. These include:
Drone Aerial 360 Virtual Reality
Through our sister company M7Aerial we have a number of years experience of legal, safe and professional drone operation across my countries. We have been able to create highly efficient ways of capturing stunning 360 aerial vr video footage from our fleet of drones. At the heart of all our aerial 360 work is slow and steady stabilised capture. We have multiple dampening systems fitted to our drones to ensure no micro vibrations are passed to the cameras.
We use two types of drones to capture our aerial 360 video footage – our heavy lift DJI S1000 octocopter and smaller quadcopter, the DJI Inspire. Both drones offer different characteristics giving us options on all our shoots. The smaller drone we use is ideal for travel and global projects, and can be transported on aircraft without any restrictions.
Cable Cam 36o VR
We have recently introduced cable cam technology with a heavy duty motorised remote controlled unit capable of 150-200m on highly tensioned rope, as well as a smaller system better suited to shorter movements. Having two options allows us to deploy the best solution on set for the best possible shot. The cable is a great addition to our equipment for a number of reasons. Firstly it offers the ability to dial in a constant speed of movement through a scene and is a safe way of capture, an with some clever post production the cable can be removed from the shot, giving the viewer the impression that the camera is floating through the scene.
3 Axis Gimbal
Motorised gimbals have been around in the film industry for a number of years, and work to isolate the camera rig from movements and shakes. These motors are often quite large in size and sit around the back of the camera. However with 360, as the rig captures footage of all angles, these motors would block large portions of the footage being captured. We have been able to create our own custom gimbal rigs, one of only a few in the world at the time of creation, and by placing the motors inside the camera arrangement, we have been able to hide the motors from the camera’s view, allowing us to capture seamless stabilised 360 footage.
Many 360 video virtual reality experts refer to ‘ The Magic Circle’, an imaginary sphere surrounding the camera that works as a guide to how close objects can be to the camera before parallax becomes a major issue for stitching. We typically work to a 1.5m rule, and any object closer than this will result in the need for extensive post production work for fixing tears and seams in footage.