Interviewing politicians in 360-degree video

Posted by ryanjackson on Apr 10, 2012 in 360 Panoramas, 360 Video, photos, video

As I said in my last blog post I want to get closer to the holodeck in Star Trek. Here is my latest attempt:

Click on the above image to see my 360-degree interview video. 

I wanted to present my newest election video for the Edmonton Journal in an interactive way similar to the last election video I did  but also combine what I’ve learned from making 360-degree video.

Filming this video was pretty easy and also pretty hard!

I chose the local coffee shop Cafe Rista, 14213 103 ave. in Edmonton because it was quiet during the day and also the owner Simon was super accommodating.

He even let me put marks on the floor so I could keep the chairs and table in the exact same spot for each interview.







I spent a day in the coffee shop shooting test videos with myself in the chairs. I used this time to build templates for stitching the images and also work on the code for KRpano.

For a camera I just used my Canon 5D Mark-II with the Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens at 8mm.  I kept the table and chairs in the same position for every video and the stitched them together after.

I used a little slider thing from an old enlarger to offset my lens a bit so I would find the no-parallax point. This helped make stitching the images together easier.

It was very important that I clamped the camera in the exact same spot for all of the interviews and also that the tables and chairs were in the exact same spot every time.

Here’s me interviewing Premier Alison Redford.  The wonderful and talented Journal reporter Trish Audette actually came up with all the smart questions that I asked :)

For sound I used my Sennheiser wireless lav mic and I had my trusty Olympus recorder as a backup. I used my LitePanels MicroPro as a fill light.

After interviewing each leader separately and in different chairs, I used Final Cut Pro to align all the video clips. I then batch exported all the video clips and used Quicktime Pro to extract the video files into image sequences.

Once all the video was converted into still images I used PTgui to create a template and then batch stitch all of the still images into panoramas.

I them recombined all the panoramas back into video files using Quicktime Pro and synced the audio back.

I explain the process a little better here though my workflow has vastly improved since then. It pretty much changes every time I do a 360-video.

I used the amazing KRpano for displaying the 360-degree video. The HTML and Flash panorama viewer is very powerful. Pretty much anything is possible.

In total there was 31 minutes and 50 seconds of video which works out to 45802 panoramas that I had to stitch together.

Needless to say I’ve been sitting in front of my computer way too much lately!

This has certainly been my most complicated video to date but also one of the most fun an innovative to create.

It’s not the holodeck… but we’re getting closer! :)

And here’s how it ran in the paper. I was sure that the caption explained that this was created from four separate images and it said “Photo Illustration by Ryan Jackson”

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