To be honest, it kinda hurts at the start – we have never bought six of the same cameras ever before, and to do that we had to patronise two sources as none of them had six GoPro Hero 4 Black Editions in stock. Yes, it’s for our new 360° video rig, and when we finally put everything together today… It was all worth it.
GoPro sent us this Freedom360 chassis holding up to six GoPro Hero 4s (this version is not designed for GoPro 3/3+) about a week ago so we can work on creating 360° video content. It’s similar to the chassis used to record the recent interview with GoPro’s CEO Nick Woodman, and it’s a fantastically designed piece of kit that’s strong, light, and precise! We will be doing a mini review of it very soon.
We are so terribly excited!!! We used to obsess over freezing motion for our 360° photography. Now, we are just constantly on the lookout for motion around us to capture in video! The more the better! It’s quite liberating to not be constrained by the limitations of 360° photography.
Right at the start of the assembly, we started to realise that capturing and having a smooth workflow for good 360° video is not just about the quality of the gear, but also making sure things are consistent and structured. You are dealing with six (or more like in the case of Google’s newly announced stereoscopic 360° rig which utilises sixteen(!!!) GoPros), along with their footages that must be matched up later on. As you can see below, we labeled not just the housing, but also the cameras, and the MicroSD cards we are going to use.
Some of you might wonder, why label? Why don’t just throw them all in and go? In our opinion we label because we like the same cameras in the same positions for consistency in rendering 360° – while all of them are GoPro 4s and have the same sensors and lenses, little deviations exists so building a good template for workflow speed is not optimal if you do not have the cameras in consistent positions. And also there will be a need to adjust EVs for certain cameras such as those facing the floor and the sky, and also to minimise any chances of data mixup in the process of transferring them over at the end of a shoot for processing.
After the whole rig was done up and admired, we realised we missed lunch! And we just couldn’t wait to try out a sample so we took the rig out with us for a small shoot. Now it’s a very small and uninspiring video with stitching and synchronisation errors, but it’s our first, we are proud of it, and will work towards perfection. Tomorrow is a holiday and we will be out shooting more to hone our skills in this exciting new media, but for now, you can enjoy The Curious Bystander (with cats in it!).