360 Editing Part 2

I had a gap between post, because we have been working to figure out how to make this new, unforgiving video format to look great. Have a lot of footage to look at and a lot of progress has been made, but here is the end of the last post. 

Last time we looked at what importing and stitching looked like. Now we are gonna look at the post process. 

Now your video should be in 4K UHD as the initial render, so depending on your editing station, it might take some time. I am on a Mid 2014 Macbook Pro, so with the color correct from Autopano video it took about an hour. The reason why you want it to be output at such a high quality is because the detail looks os much better. IF you watch this video by Wistia, they explain it pretty well here

Step 10. Premiere. Since the video or videos have been exported you can bring them into Premiere and edit how you normally would. You can do advanced color correction here and layer in additional video. After you are done editing, go ahead and export it again.

Step 11. Previewing. The biggest 'disadvantage' of 360 video editing, is that you can't truly preview your video until you export. After the export is done, go and download Kolor Eyes buy the same people that make Autopano Video. This player allows you to view the video in a 360 plane without having to go through the process I am about to explain. If your video is ready to be shared go on to the next part.

Step 12. Injection Script/Software? For YouTube to recognize that a video is to be displayed in 360 degrees, it has to be injected with a script. For this part go to this website and click on either Mac or Windows. Once it is downloaded, the injecting program installs pretty easily. Almost home guys.

Step 13. Inject! Almost ready to upload the video to YouTube. Open the injection script, software...whatever you want to call it. For me, I clicked on Spherical just to follow the instructions that I followed. Super easy. Took me a few seconds to do. Now to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Step 14. UPLOAD. Upload the video to YouTube like you would any other video. The injection you did earlier took care of everything. It might take a few more minutes to process, but for me it was took the same amount of time as any other video to process. 

Step 15. View and Share. Watch on your phone, tablet, and if you must look on your computer, use Chrome. The video will be in it's amazing 360 greatness. 

Now this is just the beginning of 360 videos for me. I will continue to experiment and tinker with other software and camera rigs. I really want to get my hands on Mettle Skybox, heard that is a really great and smooth. 

New Discovery!!!!!

Today while feverishly trying to make another 360 video, I have found one 'problem' with the current situation I am in. Placement and positioning of the camera is EVERYTHING. I'm having this weird disappearing/cloning effect when object are too close to the camera. You remember when you were a little kid and you would touch your fingers right in front of the bridge of your nose and you would see that double sided finger 'blocking' them from touching, that's exactly what it looks like. And that is a problem. 

I used plenty of different synchronizations, number of stitches, and with or without stabilization. Still has the '4th Dimension' effect to it. So if you are venturing into the 360 world, be very mindful of where you place the rig and the distance you are from the subject.

Side note: I'm finishing the post I started the other day TOMORROW. Stay Tuned.

360, VR, or Spherical?

Recently, I have started to do some video work for a company. This week, we are taking on a new task...360 video...or VR...or Spherical, whatever floats your boat. This is a really 'interesting' new landscape of video. Before this week, I had no experience making them, now I am tasked with learning the ins and outs of the platform. 

The first challenge: finding my preferred stitching software. The first software I'm using: Auto Pano Video.  This software is recommended by GoPro. It isn't that difficult to get the hang of, but here are my pros and cons.

Pros: Easy interface, simple tools for editing, pretty straight forward editing options. And that is where it ends.

Cons: You have to import all your footage at once, which means you have to edit everything at once. There is no 'live rendering'. Now on to the actual editing process.

Step 1: Import your footage. To import you have to bring in ALL the videos you are going to use at once. Once imported, you have to completely change the project. 

Step 2: Synchronization. By far, this software is the easiest to use to synchronize footage. It can be done either by audio or motion. I used audio for both videos I have done so far because they had a pretty loud a distinct sound it could synchronize to. 

Step 3: The stitching. The most important thing after synching the footage. This gives the video the ability to manipulate into a '360' space. If the stitch is messed up, your video will not look good at all. After you set your stitch, the preview widow opens and this is where the real fun began.

Step 4: Leveling. Now this isn't an official step, but this is necessary. After stitching, the video needs to be balanced so plane or horizon is level. For the first video I did I made sure that the top of the jersey racks looked lined up. On the second one, I used the ceiling lights as my indicator. I'll admit the second one was hard because at a certain point it looks like you're staring into a globe and the edges will slope off. Since the lights were not even I had to apply a transition so that all through the video the lights would appear to be level. 

Step 5: Stabilization. Now if you decide to shoot a video that is static, this part isn't as big of a deal. If you have movement you will want to use the stabilization feature

Step 6: Color Correction. Since each camera is at a different angle, the lighting isn't 100% accurate. I applied an auto color correction to balance out the color. 

Step 7: Blending. Blending is what is used to reduce the parallax issue that can occur with 360 video. There are two options: Smooth and Sharp. I used smooth for both videos, but I'm going to try do Sharp on one. 

Step 8: Render. Here is the part where you sit back and relax  and let the video render out so you can later view it in 360. I use the 4K UHD settings, because anything below that doesn't look as great. I'm using a 15" Macbook Pro with 16GB of RAM and it still took me about 30-hour, depending on the length, the render the videos. 

Alright now this part is done, in the next post I'll discuss on how to post the video to Youtube in 360. If you read all through this, give me a follow or like on social media, and stay tuned for more post and videos. 

Them Changes

Alright, so I've decided, I'm going to now use my website to start bringing in more freelance work. It has just hit me that, I'm not using this page for its maximum potential. I'm coming up on a year since launch, and I am now out of college, so I can focus on bringing in more clients. Obviously, I have a ways to go to get a job working in media, so now it's tome to make this puppy work for me.

So over the next few days and weeks, this page is going to have a lot of changes. Sit tight, sleep tight, everything will be ok. Stay tuned people. 

SO IT BEGINS

Finally, FINALLY! I have acquired my own place! It has been a long time coming but I finally moved and set up. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. This is a lot of responsibility...like a drastic change. However, I'm excited for the change, it is much needed. 

Now, it is time to take off with my video producing career. I'm starting to shoot more, either with my phone with the Filmic Pro App or using my actual camera. I'm trying to push myself to get my film technique and style on point and to progress my editing as well as my storytelling. I'm really enjoying this experiment.

Along with my video career I hope to further my gaming passion. However, I won't necessarily be a 'pro gamer'...at least for now. I'm going to get into casting. Casting is the what commentary is to sporting events...actually it's exactly that; commentating events and being a personality for the game. I've been commentating some of our Smash Brothers events at our game store, eventually it will all pay off.

Well, that is all for now. I am being more consistent, sort of but I am going to try and make this a weekly thing. Until next time, stay up!

I'm Really Bad at This

Updating this blog, 'regularly' has been my weakest point. I have good intentions...but I don't follow up and make the post. Again, it is like this last month has been a whirlwind. Between working and getting ready to move I've been EXHAUSTED. But there is good news, I move in next week and a lot of my headache will be gone! ...Why didn't anyone tell me that moving was expensive? There are so many deposits. I am excited though to have my own place...it's weird to think, I am going to have MY OWN PLACE. No roommate, no RA, no curfew, just all me. 

Anyway, I have some big plans for my next chapter in my life. One thing is that I've been playing a lot of Heroes of the Storm. Me and a buddy are trying to go 'pro' in it...or just make some money off of it. I'll begin to stream that game again...after I get a gaming PC. I'm saving for a gaming PC so I can stream and possibly commentate HoTS. I'm starting to play and commentate Smash again, so hopefully I can find a future in casting. I've called an event before and I was told that I was pretty good and I really do enjoy commentating video games.

On top of my future of game casting, I'm looking forward to going to graduate school. I start my MBA program this fall. I'm doing this because I like challenges and this will for sure be one. 

Well, that is it for now. Hopefully I can be better at this...it will take some diligence. Until next time, Stay UP.

Adulting is Hard

It has been quite some time since my last blog post and I am deeply sorry. There has been so much going on the past few months I've been shutting myself down and relaxing whenever I can. Nothing that is too taxing, but a lot of waiting on others. I do have good news. I have a move in date set for August so your boy is finally getting his own place. I'm super excited, nervous, and cautious all at the same time. Second major update, I will be starting grad school in the fall. I will be pursuing my MBA in marketing back at Oklahoma Christian. That's really it for major announcements.  

For those that really know me, gaming is one of my first loves. Ever since I was a kid with an N64, Banjo-Kazooie and Starfox, gaming has been in my blood. Me and a few friends are set to launch a gaming blog sometime soon. I don't want to set a date, but we are definitely working on getting a name and platform. To start we will mainly cover indie games and some triple A titles. We want to do a podcast as well but initially we want to launch the blog. 

That is it for this post. I will try my hardest to keep updating my site and blog at least weekly. Until next time, stay based. 

Post Grad...

Well it's official, I have graduated from college...kind of. I still have a few weeks of an online class left, but there is no way that I could fail at this point. Here are a few updates that are currently happening in my life. 

For starters, I have accepted a job at an Apple retail store. I GET TO WORK FOR THE NUMBER ONE DESIRED COMPANY IN THE WORLD!!! Sure, it's retail, but it's with a great company. Since, I'm considering going to graduate school, it will also be a more steady job than where I am now. BUT, I'm keeping my gig with the Barons and Energy FC. They provide a good work environment and working in sports truly is a blast. It isn't easy trying to break into the world of sports, but I have a leg up on a lot of competition because of what I am doing. 

Since I mention it, I did apply for graduate school. I applied at my alma mater Oklahoma Christian to pursue my MBA in Marketing. Once my grades get posted, transcripts get sent and my recommendation letter come in, I will hopefully be starting that in the fall. I figure since I'm still use to school being the norm, I may as well continue going if I can better myself. 

Well, that is all I have for now. There are some other things in the works, but I can't say what because they aren't 'official'. Hopefully, I will be able to share them soon after some conversations. Well, until next time, be easy. 

My Enlightening Month Away from Twitter

For the month of February, I stepped away from essentially all social media. I needed to focus on more pressing matters and that was easily the biggest consumption of my time. The biggest criminals were Facebook and Twitter. If you really know me, you'd know that I'm on Instagram a lot...but I don't consider that social media. FB and Twitter keep me updated in a way that Instagram doesn't, by providing some sort of news or buzz in my rather boring life. 

Now I need to note that before this I had a serious case of FOMO; fear of missing out. Basically, you are afraid that you will miss out on a rewarding experience. It is a term I'll throw at people, but never considered that I may be a victim of it as well. This month of really showed me that FOMO is real...too real.

The first week was pretty rough. People kept contacting me through Facebook. I was tagged, poked, mentioned, DMs were slid into, no lucky lady though :(. It was more frustrating because all the vibrating and notifications were annoying me. I kept seeing the ticker on my screen but I couldn't open them. Twitter wasn't as bothersome because most of my notifications comes from theverge.com  so I could just go to their site and see what was going on in the world of tech. 

I missed a lot of 'news' though. Kanye dropping songs, Drake dropped a tape, Mumford and Sons announcing tour dates and that is just the music news I missed. I missed several breaking news, like net neutrality being back...I mean I got the update but it was after I had the update from Twitter (I didn't open the the tweet but after seeing the CNN and HuffPo updates, I knew that was it). Also, some people would feel inclined to tweet at/about me knowing that I was stepping away from twitter...you guys are awesome. It was glad to know that some people 'missed' me.

Now here is the part where I tell you the greatness of getting away from social media for an extended period of time. I will be honest, it is a great relief not being burdened with checking the last update from a celebrity or your friend as they are in another country. But the biggest thing I got from my time a way; I didn't miss as much as I thought I would. My inner circle of friends I would see them all the time and almost every time the sentence, "Did you see (insert name here)'s tweet?" or "You see that post I tagged you in?" I guess social media is all that people talk about...I guess that is why it is called social media after all. It's kind of funny to see that in order for me to realize that social media is prominent everywhere, I had to step away from it for a bit. I missed it at times, especially the memes, but outside of that I could function without it. I got so much work done and have been doing so much better in the classroom as well. 

To end this, if you really feel like your missing out by not constantly being on social media, cut it out for a bit. See what you really miss out on. Honestly, I didn't miss much. After the first 10 days I worked, I hung out, occasionally slept without being worried about missing out. FOMO is as real as you let it.

I Haven't Forgotten About You

I have not forgotten, I'm just posting in the other blog more often than this one. What I will be doing soon is app reviews. I've been looking into some tech blogs and YouTubers and I've noticed not many of them review apps. So I decided, I may as well get into it. 

For starters, I'm gonna go over a few email apps because email is bad and an app should simplify the painful process. I'll probably do a top 5 blog post and maybe a video for them...depends on how much free time I'll have. 

The next app or apps I'll review are package tracking apps. Sure you can use one on the computer or the app from UPS or FedEx, but if you have multiple packages coming in at one time, a decent tracking app is essential. 

So hopefully, when I get done messing with all these apps, I'll have some quality reviews for you. Until next time, peace.