Hoping to dramatically increase the amount of 360-degree video on its platform, Facebook unveiled a reference design for a high-end video capture system and announced plans to release it as an open-source project on GitHub. Shaped like a flying saucer, Facebook Surround 360 uses a 17-camera array and accompanying web-based software to capture images in 360 degrees and render them automatically. Facebook says the design solves a variety of technical problems with 360-degree video capture better than anything now on the market, and is encouraging manufacturers and hobbyists to use its designs to build cameras of their own.
The rig includes 14 wide-angle cameras bolted onto the flying saucer, plus one fish-eye camera on top and two more on the bottom. This allows the device to capture the surroundings without showing the pole holding up the camera, a common problem here in the early days of 360-degree video. The cameras use what is known as a global shutter instead of a rolling one, which ensures the resulting footage does not display artifacts from the closing of individual shutters. In a brief demonstration Monday at Facebook headquarters, video captured through Surround 360 appeared to be crisp and seamless, with no flaws visible in the footage.
via The Verge