For those looking to create 360-degree, spherical, VR content, GoPro is now shipping the Omni six-camera capture rig. Omni is more than just a camera rig (Hero4 Black), GoPro is calling it an end-to-end content creation ecosystem.
Omni’s core features a pixel-level synchronization mechanism that allows all six cameras to act as one — there is one power button for all, and if you adjust the shooting mode on the primary camera, all other cameras automatically and instantly align on the same mode. They say because it’s synced at the pixel level, this allows for a quick and clean stitch.
Key hardware features include:
– Heat dissipation: Due to its aluminum frame, Omni draws heat away from the cameras, increasing thermal performance for improved run time.
– Power options: Omni’s design allows you the choice to power the rig with an external battery pack (included in the all-inclusive package), or from the individual Hero4 Black batteries. It also allows users to power the rig only with external battery power, removing the Hero4 Black batteries for further heat dissipation.
– Modular parts: Omni’s physical structure is made from rugged aluminum, so in the event that a panel or camera is damaged, the modular design allows for the easy and quick replacement of panels and parts, including the 1/4-20 mounting points.
– Metadata / SD Card management: Users can take the cards out of Omni, plug them into a USB hub and each card will automatically be organized by camera into a filing system.
According to GoPro, the Omni Importer is included free with Kolor AVP 2.5 software, but only functions with content captured on the Omni rig. Users can plug their SD cards into their USB hub, open the Omni importer and see an instant, low-resolution preview stitch of all shots. To help organize files, users can rename each shot within the importer for easy file management upon output. There is also a trim feature on the playback bar to select the exact moments of the shot to render. Omni has three levels of color correction (low, medium, high). Users can also choose between no stabilization or optical stabilization. Finally, users can render into multiple levels of output – 2K for a quick render and deeper preview look at your shot; 4K for a high-quality clip that’s ready to publish, or all the way up to 8K for cinematic quality.
Software and Plug-ins
Omni works with Kolor stitching software, which is included in the Omni system, to produce immersive, high-resolution VR images. GoPro says that if you are used to using Kolor Autopano Video for stitching, the Omni Importer will now get you 90-100% of the way there, and now users can now use AVP and new NLE plug-ins to manually fine-tune stitching, geometry and colors. And for those who want to use an Oculus headset while editing, there is a new plug-in for Adobe Premiere that allows for that.
“Omni isn’t just about capturing spherical – it also enables the director, in post, to create a 2D video from the spherical content that pans however the creator wants,” according to GoPro. “That plugin is called reframe and by over-capturing the entire scene with Omni, it allows the director to grab the exact 2D scene from an environment to produce a perfectly panned sequence.”
Finally, GoPro is offering a free player for desktop, web or mobile as well as an app. The player is optimized for high-quality VR, 360 and spherical content and allows for viewing on any platform (desktop, mobile, web, headset).
GoPro will be offering two rigs — one all-inclusive and one rig-only option. The all-inclusive Omni package will be offered at $4,999.99 and it includes the Omni rig with six Hero4 Black cameras, the Omni Importer with Kolor software and external power supply. The Omni rig only is offered at $1,499.99.