When first playing a 360 video in VR, the audience is provided with an initial orientation. This viewpoint and direction in the video are useful for engaging the viewer in the story and can be set after stitching and leveling in Mistika VR.
Image: Steve Cooper
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When watching a 360 video in VR, the audience is provided with an initial viewpoint. Typically this viewpoint would be a natural forward facing orientation in the video. Orientation should be a very intentional choice, in order to engage viewers in the story immediately. During the process of capturing 360 video the camera may not have been positioned with the desired orientation. Additionally, after viewing the 360 video during the editing process, it may be useful to modify that entry point orientation for the story.
It is also important to consider and manage the view orientation of different clips in a sequence, so when cutting from one clip to another the audience won’t have to turn around to find the key action unless that is critical to the story. If clips of a scene are shot from different vantage points, adjusting the view orientation of each clip re-enforces the audience’s understanding of the virtual space they’re seeing.
The default direction of a 360 video clip, the direction someone sees before they start looking around, is referred to as its native orientation. Changing this viewpoint is referred to as reorienting.
Note: Before reorienting the clip, its horizon line must be correctly leveled and baked into the Output Camera. To learn more read Leveling a 360 video in Mistika VR.
As displayed in the Mistika VR Visual Editor window the surfer statue in the 360 clip below is too far to the right in the viewer’s native orientation in VR. When in a headset, the viewer would see the street and not notice the statue without turning to the right more than 120 degrees. To locate the statue directly in front of the viewer in headset the clip will need to be reoriented.
For immediate engagement, the statue will be placed directly in front of the viewer. The Mistika VR display port grid’s dashed green line indicates the front view of the video.
In Mistika VR’s Output Camera, the Yaw parameter controls horizontal rotation of the clip. The Yaw value can be interactively changed, and is displayed in the viewport in real time. In the example above the Yaw value has been changed from 0 to 128 degrees, which centers the surfer statue. Other techniques are available in Mistika VR for click dragging the image to reorient it clip, but these are not as precise and can alter the horizon line by changing Pitch and Roll as well.
Setting the Yaw value to 128 degrees positions the surfer statue at the center point directly in front of the viewer in VR.
The Output Camera’s reoriented Yaw value should be baked in to set that value as the new zero point. Positions>Bake in Output Camera will set the values as the new baked in zero point. Note that this operation will bake in all current Yaw, Pitch and Roll values as the new zero points.
Once the Output Camera values have been baked in, the Yaw value parameter displays the new zero point.
Animating the orientation over time is not recommended as the effect is uncomfortable for those viewing the footage in a headset. See To move or not to move for a related discussion about moving scenes. However, if you do come up with a rare justification for doing this it’s an easy process in Mistika VR. Right-click/control-click on the parameter and select Add Key Frame. Move to a different point on the timeline, change the Output Camera’s Yaw value, and another keyframe will be automatically created. Note that this action will create keyframes for Yaw, Pitch and Roll even if only the Yaw value was changed.
To animate any parameter, including the output camera’s Yaw value, right-click/control-click on the slider and select Add Key Frame. Move the playhead to a different point in time and, if the Yaw value is then changed, a new key frame will be created automatically. Note that during this step keyframes will be added for the output camera’s Yaw, Pitch and Roll values.