iPhone-mounted camera will capture 3D environments that can be fully explored in VR

Friday, 01 December 2017

Photogrammetry is the method of capturing a space in 3D using a series of still photos. It usually requires a great deal of complex computing power. A forthcoming software update for the $199 Giroptic iO (a 360° spherical video camera you mount onto your iPhone or Android phone) will give users of the  the ability to capture full VR models of the spaces they move through.

Mic Ty of 360 Rumors writes:

the photographer simply took 30 photos, then uploaded them to cloud servers for processing. The software generates the 3D model, and can even automatically remove the photographer from the VR model, even though the 360 photos had the photographer in them.

Once the model is generated it can be included in full VR systems that can be explored in VR headsets. This will work especially well in devices such as the HTC Vive, which can detect where you are in 3D space and move the 3D model in VR to match. Remember though that many VR experiences are about interactivity, and in order to add that to a 3D environment, users will have to use a VR authoring system.

3D environments in post production applications

For those making 360° spherical videos, it is likely that they will want their post tools to be able to handle the kind of 3D models generated by systems like these. Storytellers range from animators (users of applications like Blackmagic Fusion) to editors and directors (users of Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere). Developers should bear in mind the way they integrate 3D environments in post applications should vary based on the nature of the storyteller.

However, it looks like there'll be a new skill to develop for 360° spherical photographers: where to take pictures in a space to capture the full environment in 3D.

Go over to 360 Rumors to see a video of the system in action.