Facebook unveiled yesterday Facebook Surround 360: An open, high-quality 3D-360 video capture system.

At F8, the Facebook’s developer conference in San Francisco, the company have presented their latest VR production system – a rugged 360 3D camera that boasts 17 cameras placed in special housings to prevent overheating. The video from the cameras are then stitched together by the Facebook open source software into a seamless 360-degree film that offers 8k per eye spherical images.

Here is the description from the Facebook developer blog:

  • Facebook has designed and built a durable, high-quality 3D-360 video capture system.
  • The system includes a design for camera hardware and the accompanying stitching code, and we will make both available on GitHub this summer. We’re open-sourcing the camera and the software to accelerate the growth of the 3D-360 ecosystem — developers can leverage the designs and code, and content creators can use the camera in their productions.
  • Building on top of an optical flow algorithm is a mathematically rigorous approach that produces superior results. Our code uses optical flow to compute left-right eye stereo disparity. We leverage this ability to generate seamless stereoscopic 360 panoramas, with little to no hand intervention.
  • The stitching code drastically reduces post-production time. What is usually done by hand can now be done by algorithm, taking the stitching time from weeks to overnight.
  • The system exports 4K, 6K, and 8K video for each eye. The 8K videos double industry standard output and can be played on Gear VR with Facebook’s custom Dynamic Streaming technology.

Take a look at the video presentation: