Facebook has designed and built a durable 3D-360 video capture system that produces sharp, truly spherical footage in 3D. The system, unveiled today at the F8 conference, includes stitching technology that seamlessly marries the video from 17 cameras. This will greatly reduce the time it takes to edit the final video.
Both the camera hardware design, and the accompanying stitching code, will be available to developers on GitHub this summer. Facebook is open-sourcing the camera 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," said Chris Cox, Facebook's chief product officer.
The rig is composed of 17 globally synced cameras. There are 14 wide-angle cameras bolted onto a horizontal ring, with a fish-eye camera on top and two on the bottom, making it possible to capture not just 360 video but also everything up and everything down.
The 14 cameras around the ring of the aluminum chassis let the camera capture stereoscopic video, which is necessary for 3D imagery. Camera sensors capture with a global shutter, so that moving objects in the video will be free of rolling shutter artifacts.