Virtual reality (VR) content used to be hard to procure, but that’s hardly the case nowadays. VR is both growing in popularity and becoming cheaper and easier than ever to capture. The biggest problem at the moment for the end-user isn’t so much the hardware, but the software. For such a young ecosystem, there’s still much work to be done to make editing VR as seamless as any other type of video.
To help folks who are supporting Google’s VR180 format along, the company has just released a tool for macOS and Linux (Windows will surely come soon) that allows users to plug their VR180 raw content in, then convert it for use in Adobe’s Premiere Pro, or Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Here’s the tool in Linux (unfortunately, we didn’t have VR180 content to plug in):
Once your VR180 files are converted to be used in one of the supported editors, you’ll need to import your final encode later so that the same tool can inject all of the required metadata that was stripped out during the original convert. Here’s a shot of the footage, after conversion, being edited in Premiere Pro:
If you’ve never dealt with VR video, but have been curious about solid options, Google directly suggests that Lenovo’s Mirage camera is a solid choice. It’s priced at $300, so it’s not hugely expensive. The longer you wait on a purchase, the better the camera you’re likely to get, so whether or not you want to jump on this right now will depend on your level of VR enthusiasm. At least when you do make the jump, you’ll know the software is there to support you (unless you’re waiting on the Windows version, perhaps).