Introduction
Spherical Video
Components
Frequently Asked
Questions

System Specifications

What are the system components?
What does it mean to capture GPS?
What is the general operation of the system?
What are the size and weight specifications of the various components?
How portable is the system?
What is the resolution of the camera?
What is the frame rate of a panoramic video?
What type of compression do you use?
What kinds of camera controls are there and how are they accessed?
What is the size of the Camera Processor video storage hard drive?

PRODUCTION PROCESS

What are the steps in making a Panoramic Video?
What software ships with the system?
How robust is the post-production software? What are its features?
What are the lighting requirements?
How long does it take to shoot a movie?
How long does it take to post produce a Spherical Video?
How big is a Panoramic Video file?
What other kinds of software do you provide?


Answers to Questions

What are the system components?
The Spherical Video System consists of the SVS Capture System and SVS Post-Production System. The SVS Capture System includes:

The SVS Post-Production System includes:

What does it mean to capture GPS?
Any Global Positioning System (GPS) with NEMA RS232 output may be connected to the capture computer. This provides the ability to store positional information along with the captured video. This information is synchronized and post-processed into a video movie, allowing users to know the exact position a movie was rendered.

What is the general operation of the system?
The six CCD sensors of the SVS Camera capture video content that is real time compressed into JPEG images and fed via a cable into the SVS capture computer. The portable capture computer controls the camera and saves captured video, audio and optional GPS to a 30 GB removable hard drive.

The removable hard drive is placed in the post-production system where the compressed video streams are decompressed then seamed into a spherical video. The spherical video is then compressed using MPEG4. The post-production system also provides the capability to do non-linear editing and add hotspots.

What are the size and weight specifications of the various components?
The camera weighs about three pounds, is about 11 inches tall and can be hand-held or conveniently mounted. The capture computer weighs about fifteen pounds, is approximately 12” long x 8” high x 6” wide and comes in a shoulder bag or backpack carrying case. The post-production system is a high-end computer workstation.

How portable is the system?
Extremely lightweight, the camera units can run off DC power from a portable battery or a car cigarette lighter adapter. The camera can be hand-held or along with the capture computer placed on a cart, attached to the top of a car or used with a remote-controlled vehicle.

What is the resolution of the camera?
Currently, the resolution of the camera is over 3 million pixels per panoramic frame of video.

What is the frame rate of a panoramic video?
A panoramic video can be captured at either 7.5 or 15 frames per second.

What type of compression do you use?
The Spherical Video System currently uses two types of compression. The camera automatically compresses video from each of the six lenses using Motion JPEG compression algorithms. The post-production system decompresses this video, and, after seaming, compresses the resulting panoramic video using MPEG4 compression.

What kinds of camera controls are there and how are they accessed?
Using the CaptureWare controls, the user can adjust how the camera captures images. It lets users assign file names and determine whether they want to capture video, audio or GPS.

A viewing window shows basic communication messages between the camera and CaptureWare. A tab control along the top of the window lets users see the image from each lens. Pull-down menus enable users to control:

What is the size of the Camera Processor video storage hard drive?
The removable hard drive is currently 30 GB (optional 75 GB). Each 30 GB hard drive allows for approximately 45 minutes of data to be written, depending upon the compression selected.

Answers to commonly asked questions about the Production Process

What are the steps in making a Panoramic Video?
Creating a spherical video is straightforward:

The first step is to determine exactly what you want to capture, taking into account the spherical nature of the environment. Next, plot how you want the camera to move through the environment. Based on the nature of the environment and how much you want to capture, determine whether you will be carrying the camera by hand, mounting it on a vehicle, placing it on a robotic control device or leaving it stationary.

Begin the production process by attaching the camera to the Capture Computer. Set the capture settings in the CaptureWare for frame rate, exposure and compression then choose whether to record audio, video or GPS. Name the file, then start recording.

The captured video streams are stored on the hard drive as an IPC file. The next step is to create a spherical video. Drop the IPC file into the Video Builder software, choose the start and end points of the desired clip, the resolution and the amount of compression.

Using the iMove Interactivity Editor you can add hotspots, link to other videos or other types of files, embed high resolution images or AVIs into the pan video or create other user controlled interactivity.

What software ships with the system?
The software that ships with the system is the iMove Camera CaptureWare, SVS Post-Production suite, iMove Viewer, browser plug-ins and ActiveX control.

How robust is the post-production software? What are its features?
The post-production software is multi-featured. Along with the primary purpose of seaming the multiple video streams into coherent spherical footage, the Video Builder lets you link together finished spherical videos. You can also add music or another audio track to the footage.

The Interactivity Editor allows for the creation of hotspots and embedded content within panoramic videos. Hotspots let you link to other files, open other panoramic media, and play embedded audio or video clips.

What are the lighting requirements?
As with most cameras, the more light available, the better the image will turn out. The exposure controls and lens filters are able to bring very bright lighting situations down to a manageable level. Shots taken at night or in shade may require supplemental lighting.

How long does it take to shoot a movie?
Setting the system up prior to capturing takes only a few minutes.

As with most video shoots, factors to take into consideration are varying camera positions and lighting.

How long does it take to post produce a Spherical Video?
Determining how long it will take to do post production is straightforward. For every one second of video at 15 frames/second, it takes approximately two minutes to process assuming you are using the iMove Post-Production System. The addition of hotspots and audio can take a few minutes or several hours depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

How big is a Panoramic Video file?
Sizes vary depending on content, amount of compression used, panoramic resolution, and frame rate. A typical 15 frame/second panoramic video plays at about 3MB/second. Using the optional Streaming Editor, data rates can be dramatically reduced to accommodate various bandwidths including DSL or cable broadband Internet data rates.

What other kinds of software do you provide?
In addition to the software that supports the Spherical Video System, iMove licenses iMove Multiview Production Suite, iMove Spherical Photo Solution and iMove Panoramic Media for 3D Studio.

iMove Multiview Production Suite is used to convert standard digital video into interactive video, creating an entirely new Internet experience. Content developers can add hotspots such as audio and text inside the video. The resulting output creates an experience of total immersion--Digital video is transformed from a passive to an active experience.

iMove Spherical Photo Solution provides the hardware and software you need to easily turn photographs into high-resolution panoramas that let you view an entire 360° space. In addition, the iMove software license gives users total flexibility in selecting content and equipment, doesn’t restrict the number of images created, and doesn’t entail per panorama royalties.

iMove Panoramic Media for 3D Studio lets you render interactive panoramic videos from 3D models. A “must-have” program for architects, engineers, multimedia developers and other design professionals wanting to bring depth and interactivity to their work, this suite of software also lets you create and edit single panoramas and panoramic objects.

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