Spherecam

Technical Outcomes

The result of the project is a high performance three-component framework. Each component can be applied on a case-by-case basis, individually responding to the specific visualisation requirements and contextual conditions. The components can also be used in sequence, moving from rapid prototyping, through pre-visualisation, to final recording. And they can be used in conjunction with each other, each providing unique operational and representational features that are later combined in post-production.

Component One:

This component comprises a singular large format film based stereo panoramic still camera – the ROUNDSHOT Super 220VRS. Its images offer resolutions of over 40 Megapixels, required for situations where there is a wealth of very fine detail that needs to be represented. Utilizing this component, animations and moving data (stereo and/or mono) can also be added within the panoramic image during post-production processes using the project’s post-production facilities.

Component Two:

This component comprises a portable and compact medium-resolution 5 Megapixel spherical video camera – the POINT GREY RESEACH LADYBUG. The Ladybug enables rapid prototyping to be executed in the field or in situations where only a small portable device would be serviceable.

roundshot_ladybug
ROUNDSHOT and LADYBUG cameras

Component Three:

This component comprises a custom integrated high-resolution spherical digital video cluster – the iCinema SPHERECAM – a world first that has an unprecedented 24 Megapixel panoramic and/or spherical recording capability. The Spherecam system is comprised of an omni-directional multi-camera head, mounting plates, tripod, and an Ambisonic microphone and recording racks. Its latest generation CCD color cameras allow the capturing of ultra-high resolution panoramic or spherical omni-directional images in full video/cinematic frame rates. Image sensing, capturing and recording are all in the digital domain, ensuring the best possible image quality. The raw uncompressed data from up to twelve cameras is streamed through capture boards directly onto hard disk arrays (5.4 Terrabytes) within the computers located in the recording racks, able to store up to 160 min (12 cameras, 8 bit, 25 fps).

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Spherecam camera cluster and recording racks

Component four:

Twelve channel ambisonic microphone

microphone
Twelve channel ambisonic microphone