At Siggraph 2017, Nvidia announced that Z Cam, a leading camera company serving Hollywood production studios, embraced the VRWorks SDK to improve stitching performance such that stereo 360-degree livestreaming is now possible.
Last year at Siggraph, Nvidia introduced the 360-degree video SDK for VRWorks, which enables real-time GPU-powered video stitching of 4K 360-degree video for professional content creators. The 360-degree Video SDK enables hardware manufacturers, app developers, and production studios to integrate Nvidia’s real-time stitching technology directly into their devices, software, and workflow to take advantage of the rendering capabilities of Quadro-class GPUs.
Z Cam is the first commercial camera manufacturer to embrace Nvidia’s VRWorks SDK integration. The company announced that its V1 Pro stereo 360-degree camera features integrated support for Nvidia’s stitching process. Z Cam said that before embracing VRWorks, the company couldn’t offer livestreaming with more than four cameras, which meant that it could offer mono 360-degree video, but not stereo video. The VRWorks integration improves stitching performance enough the company now offers stereo 360-degree streaming with the 8-camera Z CAM V1 Pro camera.
“We’re excited to be the first 360-degree professional VR camera to bring live, stereo stitching to the market,” said Jason Zhang, Founder & Chairman of Z CAM. “With VRWorks, we make 360-degree video more accessible to both content creators and consumers alike. We will usher in a new era of never seen before VR experiences."
The ability to livestream stereo 360-degree content could change the way we view live entertainment in the near future. Mono 360-degree video footage is interesting, but it lacks depth. Stereo 360-degree content feels much more immersive than mono 360-degree content.
“We have clients across a wide range of industries, from travel through sports, who want high quality, 360-degree video," said Chris Grainger, CEO of Grainger VR. "This allows filmmakers to push the boundaries of live storytelling.”
Z Cam developed software to enable livestreaming and offline recording that takes advantage of Nvidia's 360-degree stitching technology. To livestream from a Z Cam camera, you would need to install the Z Cam WonderLive software, which is available to anyone with a valid software license for the Z Cam Controller software. If you're not interested in live broadcasts, Z Cam WonderStitch combines the camera feeds in real-time while you record the video to local storage.
Nvidia said the updated VRWorks SDK would be available to registered developers on August 7, 2017. Z Cam's VRWorks-enabled WonderLive and WonderStitch software are available now from Z Cam's website. To purchase a Z Cam V1 Pro camera and the software license to go with it, contact Z Cam's sales team.