YouTube Employs New Projection Technique For Sharp VR Videos

Google Daydream View

Virtual reality online videos are bound to look better than ever before. At least, on YouTube. Google’s Daydream and video platform’s experts have found a new projection technique that can increase the level of detail of a VR clip #realitymagic

The equi-angular cubemap or in short, EAC, is a new projection technique that can boost the quality level of a streamed VR video. As opposed to current methods, that focus on sharpening only a couple of footage areas, EAC distributes the same number of pixels on all angle changes. Basically, this would provide a better, immersive experience even with Internet’s speed challenges and device limitations.

What’s a projection?

This is the process through which 360-degree content is fit onto a rectangular surface (think the world map and you’ll get the idea).  The most popular type, EQ, makes 360-degree videos super sharp at the top and bottom of the content, failing to improve the middle, exactly where you look most. But the team needed a method that offered uniform video pixel density to display pixel density. They tried cubemaps and found that an EAC ” distributes equal pixels for equal angular change.”

From there, YouTube and Daydream developed a Projection Independent Mesh that allows continuous improvements on projections and a projection independent renderer.  It would easily tell a video player how to project the raw project. The info used would be so small, it wouldn’t require very much bandwidth.

If you want to check out their approach, go to GitHub. YouTube VR videos can be viewed with the new EAC on Android devices now, with the desktop and iOS update coming later.

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