Volumetric Video for VR Development - Skywell Software

Volumetric Video for VR Development

Volumetric Video for VR Development
Ilya Dudkin
2019-02-27
volumetric VR

There has a been a lot of buzzes recently regarding an interesting technology called volumetric video as well as volumetric VR and AR content creators who are using this technology for creating movies and video games. However, volumetric capture is often confused with photogrammetry, even though they are quite different technologies. In order to gain a better understanding of volumetric video let’s first identify what it is.  

What is Volumetric Video 

Volumetric video or volumetric capture lets you take pictures of real people with many different cameras all at once in order to produce life-like 3D models that are able to move just like people would ordinarily move in real life. All of these cameras must have 360° capture depth-sensing video and processing units to sew the images together.  

A volumetric video is rapidly gaining popularity and is expected to be a $2,780 million industry by 2023. While currently volumetric video is being used to create cool life-like games and special effects in movies, as the technology advances and becomes less heavy and chunky, it is expected to gain more popularity and be used in the sports, entertainment and medical industries. In case you are wondering how it could possibly be used for medical purposes, keep in mind that mixed reality is currently being used for surgical and diagnostic procedures.   

volumetric video

How Volumetric Video Technology Differs from Photogrammetry 

Photogrammetry is using photography to survey and map out the distance between two objects. This technology can be traced to the mid-1800s when researchers noticed that it is possible to use different images to label lines of sights from the camera that took the photo to certain objects located within the photo itself allowing them to extrapolate 3D data. Even though there are many differences between the two, they have a lot of technologies in common in terms of image processing.   

The system takes many pictures in a given series and detects points of interest. It then proceeds to go through the images one more time and match these points on a given image with points of interest located on other images. When all the points coincide, they create a point in 3D space that stores color information. This process is done over and over again, sometimes millions of times, producing a sparse point cloud.  

Photogrammetry

Practical Applications 

Since VR offers an unrivaled level of user immersions it can be of great use to companies that develop virtual reality. For example, everybody loves watching sporting events on TV, but with volumetric video capture, users can enjoy 360° replay thus allowing them to analyze the game in greater detail. It can be used for educational purposes since it will allow creating virtual lectures that depict and actually reproduce historical events and abstract concepts such as cell organism or the composition of genes and atoms.   

Even though volumetric video is in the development stage, it is already predicted it will be used across multiple industries. This technology has the capability to revolutionize the way that stories are told and presented. With volumetric video, there is no need for a narrator to tell us what is happening, the setting will speak for itself. We have to remember that a flat screen only goes so far since you are in a set location with limited movement and minimal interactivity. However, the volumetric video uses spatial data to walk around and interact with the virtual environment just like real-time VR games.    

You can expect volumetric capture method to replace regular video recording and live-streaming since it adds a whole new dimension to a story and in today’s market, it’s all about doing instead of telling. Nobody wants to sit there and listen to someone explain what something is really like. They want to live it themselves and with the new technologies that are available today, almost any story can come to life.