360 degree video production by SWL.TV
South West London TV is proud to be one of the first adopters world-wide of professional grade (8K) 360 degree camera technology and will be offering local businesses, events organisers, and performers the ability to share 360 videos on Facebook and YouTube in ways previously unheard of. If you’re not already familiar with 360 degree video, we’ve included some (relatively low quality) examples in the next section to give you an idea of what’s possible already using lesser cameras. We hope to have some mind-blowing examples of our own very soon!
Most professional grade cameras including ours use six or more integrated lenses to record a scene simultaneously from all different directions, which means that after a little digital wizardry (“stitching”), viewers can freely move the virtual camera around when watching the footage after the event. This puts viewers right in the center of the action and gives them an amazing immersive experience as if they were actually there in the thick of things!
360 degree photography has been around for some years – for example Google Street View but despite marketeers describing these offerings as 360 degree video, they’re not really “videos” at all, just a collection of photos cleverly stuck together, with no sound and no movement in the images themselves. True 360 degree video captures action and sound as it happens, and you can edit it after the event to tell a story rather than simply “scanning” a static scene.
Examples of 360 video footage
We think 360 degree video is going to be particularly effective in some of the following situations. You can watch these examples using the YouTube app on your phone and move the phone around to change the view, or watch using Virtual Reality goggles, or on a regular computer screen by clicking on the video and dragging it left/right/up/down to change the view.
Dance – artists are already reimagining the “face on” choreography of traditional stage performances.
Music – putting the audience right in the middle of the performers
Drama – cutting between multiple 360 camera allows directors to tell the story from unique perspectives
Tours – Indoor or outdoor, let your audience look where they like, while you guide them.
Entertainment – pop videos, street performances, flash mobs, live gigs, parades, public events.
Sport – getting up close and personal!
Business – speeches, workshops, trade shows, events and round-table discussions.
Please check back for more examples soon as we build up our own portfolio…
What’s so “Ground Breaking” about SWL.TV’s service?
360 degree video has been around on YouTube (and more recently Facebook) for months already, but the image quality is usually pretty grainy and fuzzy. There are plenty of cheap and cheerful consumer 360 cameras on sale, but the big thing holding this technology back for serious use until now has been the resolution of cameras themselves. That’s why our 8K cameras are so exciting! You’ve probably seen the superb quality of 4K TVs for regular video – twice as tall and twice as wide as High Definition, which in turn is twice as tall and wide as Standard Definition (“DVD quality”). Imagine four x 4K televisions arranged next to each other – that’s what our 8K camera films. Resolution is critically important for 360 degree footage because the image resolution is shared between the “up”, “straight ahead”, and “down” views, so simplistically speaking, what the viewer sees is typically only one third of the recorded picture (for that direction). Our cameras can also record at 120 frames per second which provides eye-popping slow motion possibilities for dance, sport, and action filming, and a live streaming capability when you just can’t wait to share with the world. Our camera offers higher quality 360 filming than anything else on the market unless you happen to own something like the $60,000 Nokia Ozo or a multi-camera behemoth like the one pictured here.
Another key benefit to our customers is there’s no longer such a need for days and days of editing after filming. To all intents and purposes the viewer now becomes the editor, directing the (virtual) camera as they see fit after the event. Our editors can still add a little gloss in terms of cutting between different locations and times, adding graphics and text information, colour and sound enhancement etc, but the net results is a much more cost-effective package for events and performances etc.
What does it cost?
The technology is still in its infancy so it’s difficult to predict exactly how much work will be involved producing high end 360 content, but our research so far suggests we’ll be able to offer an entry level service from £150+vat and a more structured and complex “corporate” service for £500+vat. As well as hiring out the camera and a skilled operator, we’ll also be offering storage for the huge amount of 8K footage generated, a “stitching” service to rapidly mesh together footage from all six cameras using our 40x Xeon CPU editing workstation, and advanced editing skills including green-screen chromakeying, audio dubbing, colour enhancement, and titles/graphics all in glorious 360 degree format.
If you have an event, product, service or idea you think would benefit from 360 degree filming, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 81330081 to chat about ideas and options.