Omni Q&A with Expert VR Creator Jeremy Sciarappa
Jeremy Sciarappa has been passionate about cameras and filming anything and everything for as long as he can remember. When he experienced his first VR video he was blown away by what he saw, and immediately jumped in to learn everything there was to get started in producing VR content.
“What makes VR exciting is the fact that you can immerse the viewer into the experience. I think it's really cool that a viewer can have full control on where to look. There's so much going on all around that you could watch the same video multiple times, and notice different things with each viewing.”
As he’s learned, Sciarappa has dedicated time and effort to sharing his knowledge by producing a series of YouTube tutorials to guide people in how to create their own 360 VR content.
GoPro recently loaned an Omni rig to Jeremy to see what kind of VR magic he could produce and to get his impressions of the product. The first video he’s produced with Omni focuses on travel and fun experiences (see below). While working with Omni, Jeremy offered up some thoughts on the product in a brief Q&A below:
GoPro: For our readers, can you explain what kind of hardware you have used to capture spherical/360 or VR-content in the past, and the challenges you’ve faced? In capture? Stitch? Edit? Share?
Jeremy Sciarappa: For over a year now I've used 360 rigs that hold several GoPro HERO4 Black cameras. The challenges when shooting with these rigs, especially for newbies are file management, camera synchronization, and stitching.
GP: When you first heard about Omni, what got you excited to get your hands on one?
JS: I was excited about the Omni release because I knew it was going to save me time and make it easier for me to create VR content. What sets the Omni apart from the rest is its ability to synchronize the 6 GoPros at the pixel level. What this means is that as soon as you hit record on the master GoPro in the array, all GoPros begin recording simultaneously.
GP: What were some of your first impressions of Omni when you first used it? Did it solve any pain points of your past?
JS: When I first used the rig and started stitching, I was blown away with how easy it was to use. I no longer needed to rotate the rig or clap my hands near the rig to synchronize the cameras later in the stitching process.
GP: How did the Omni Importer affect your overall workflow?
JS: The Omni Importer is probably the coolest thing that's part of GoPro's VR solution. With the Omni Importer, you can import all SD cards simultaneously while plugged into a USB hub. The Omni Importer will search all of the SD cards and create preview stitches even before it is opened in Autopano Video Pro. Say for instance, if you worked on 20 different takes, you'll have 20 different preview stitches from those takes. After the preview process, the Importer will copy all of the data from the SD cards to your desired location on your PC.
GP: Did you utilize the reframe plugin in Adobe Premier Pro to create a 2D punch out video from the spherical content captured on Omni?
JS: The reframe plugin is a cool easy tool for Premiere [Pro] that allowed me to position and scale into different points of my VR video. Essentially you are creating a 2D video from a spherical video. My favorite thing to do with this plugin is creating little planet videos.
GP: How will Omni affect your ability to create content in the future?
JS: I think the Omni will speed up the VR creation process for me personally. But for a person that's never created VR content before, they could just pick up the Omni, shoot and stitch a VR video without any prior experience.