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360fly 4k, VR, WebVR, and HMD's

Zenbane
Level 16
Figured I would post this here since I went through a bit of struggle to get quality custom 4k video in VR.

A few days ago I purchased the 360fly 4k product from Best Buy in an effort to capture moments with family and friends in a more "unforgettable" way, as well as enhance the line of business I'm involved with.




For anyone else thinking of venturing down the same path, here are some tips based on my experience.

The quick version:
  1. If you purchase the 360fly 4k camera then you need a VR phone-mounted headset.
  2. Aside from phone viewing, the 360fly Application can publish to the web, i.e. YouTube.
  3. You can make a video and share it with full 360 support for every HMD really fast n' easy.
  4. The Vive and Rift will show a "grainy" playback because they aren't true 4k resolution yet.
  5. The videos made with 360fly integrate perfectly with A-Frame for custom websites.
  6. You must download the UserGuide and learn the settings (especially Exposure).

Official 360fly website:
https://shop.360fly.com/catalogue/360fly4K_3/

User Guide downloads:
https://support.360fly.com/hc/en-us/articles/218806308-360fly-4K-User-Guide

A-Frame for custom 360 VR web development:
https://aframe.io/

First of all, if your VR headset is a Rift or Vive, then proper 4k resolution isn't in your grasp. Yet if you're hoping to acquire an all-inclusive 360-video/picture recorder with 4k resolution, how the hell can you enjoy it with either of these HMDs? Well jokes on you, cause ya' cant unless you have a supported phone (iPhone 5s and above, Galaxy s5 and above). Here's a full list of all supported devices (scroll to the bottom of the page), https://360fly.com/apps/

As long as you have a supported phone, then you just need to use Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, or the 360fly Viewer to achieve 4k resolution with full spectrum 360-degree interaction,


The Exposure setting in the 360fly firmware is a key component if you want more detail in your videos. And be sure to "lock" your settings once you're ready to record or else the viewer will auto-adjust itself back to "standard" settings (it attempts to account for more light or darkness).

Don't try to watch the videos on your PC right away, you need to convert them to a 360-degree standard which happens automatically when you tell the app to publish the video (e.g., YouTube). After the publish is complete, a local copy of the formatted video is kept on your phone or PC depending on which firmware you're using.

Additionally, the firmware on the mobile device does the conversion automatically when you tap the "VR" icon and place it in a phone-based HMD, and the PC version of the firmware allows for further editing (i.e., switching camera angles on the recording). So you can use your phone to tell the camera to start recording, when to stop, command it to transfer the video from the camera to your phone (WiFi is required), and then plug it in to your phone-based HMD to interact in VR.

Lastly, if you are thinking of putting this on a website then it's super easy. Just create a standard HTML file and use the following markup:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<title>360 Video</title>
<meta name="description" content="360 Video — A-Frame">

<script src="/dist/aframe.js"></script>
</head>

<body>
<a-scene>
<a-assets>
<video id="video" src="My_Video_File.mp4" autoplay loop="true"></video>
</a-assets>

<a-videosphere src="#video"></a-videosphere>

</a-scene>
</body>
</html>

Then simply view the HTML file either locally on your PC or online, and the interaction happens exactly the same as watching a 360-degree video on YouTube. You'll need to download the aframe.js file from the A-Frame website (in my code above I place it in the "dist" folder), and of course change the name of the MP4 to match your own.

Here's an A-Frame sample I put together than works with a mouse on a PC, hand-swipe on a mobile phone, and any HMD (Rift, Vive, Google Cardboard, etc) :
http://mystrock.com/vr

Your 360fly video will function the same way, and if you noticed the markup language I posted, the video stays looping on autoplay forever.

Well that's about it. I stumbled through everything and kept trying to get rid of the grainy playback when viewing 360fly videos on my Rift, until I remembered that it can't do 4k resolution. One cardboard phone VR Viewer later and all is well.

Hopefully this helps someone out there. Cheers!
5 REPLIES 5

FrozenPea
Level 13
awesome post!

I'm really interested in how this will compare to the Gear 360 camera, we just picked one up at work but I haven't had a chance to try it yet! 🙂
Check out my Medium Sculpts: 
https://forums.oculus.com/community/discussion/49696/frozenpeas-sketchbook

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/FrozenPeaSculpts

Shadowmask72
Level 16
And any of your own user made videos for viewing (no I'm not talking about 360 amateur porn with the wife) maybe  your man cave with the skeleton? Xbox UK made some E3 vids with the cam and posted on Youtube. Although the quality wasn't great it made for interesting viewing.


System Specs: ASUS NVIDIA RTX 3090 TUF GAMING OC 24GB , i9 9900K CPU, 16 GB DDR 4 RAM, Win 10 64 Bit OS.

Zenbane
Level 16
Yeah I plan on releasing something to YouTube very soon. Most likely a sketch-based video of me playing my metal version of the Game of Thrones theme song. I dunno, we'll see lol

Awsedrftg
Level 4
I don't get it. The 360Fly will record 360 degrees in a 2880 wide video. The CV1 has a FOV of 110 so you will only watch about one third of that 2280 wide video. So what is the relation to the 4K you mention? Which part cannot handle it?

Zenbane
Level 16
The playback will be grainy regardless of FOV.