Tool Was Originally Devised for Director Justin Lin's Google Spotlight Story,
Shotgun announced new details of the experimental LatLong Viewer, a custom VR Shader included in version 6.2 of Shotgun RV. It turns out that the LatLong Viewer was developed at The Mill, which needed a review and approval solution for 360-degree camera footage.
The Mill was working on "Help," a 360-degree project directed by Justin Lin for the Google Spotlight Stories platform. "Help" was captured with a custom four-camera rig using Red Epics with 180-degree fisheye lenses. Footage from the four cameras was combined into a single spherical view on set using The Mill's proprietary stitching system, Mill Stitch. Watch the video below for more on how "Help" was shot.
Still images were easy enough to review, but The Mill needed a way to see video content in the 360-degree format. That's where RV came in. "We weighed our options and could have either written our own custom software from scratch or created a solution right there within RV," said The Mill's senior R&D executive, James Studdart, in a statement provided by Shotgun. Specifically, RV's flexibility would support this non-standard workflow; it was already part of The Mill's pipeline in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London; and any tool built within RV would be compatible with all of the image formats supported by RV. So The Mill developed an RVPackage that allows users to view unwarped spherically-mapped, or "lat-long," media.
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After it became clear that the LatLong Viewer was a key part of The Mill's pipeline for immersive projects, it wound up getting built into the software as a 360-degree and VR review option for RV users.
"Help" is viewable using the Google Spotlight Stories platform, currently available only as an Android app. Versions of the platform for YouTube and iOS are reportedly in the works.
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