Brownian Motion

We offer a wealth of knowledge on the equipment we supply. Here’s some of the hot topics we often get asked about in relation to Cameras, Lenses, VFX and VR services

How does 360 / VR Video work?

Multiple cameras are configured in such a way to capture a full 360 degree spherical view using wide angle lenses. These images are then stitched together in software which bends and distorts the overlapping edges to create a 360 degree single image. This image is unwrapped and delivered as a flat “Equirectilinear” video file (like a map of the earth flattened out as a rectangle).

These equirectilinear files can be viewed using various platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo and within purpose made websites and manipulated with a mouse to drag and view or by using the gyroscope built into a smartphone.

Content can also be delivered via higher end purpose made systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus headsets.

Contact us if you want to know more

What 360 / VR rig do I need?

There are a number of points to consider when choosing a rig. A bit like the Good, Fast, Cheap adage it is very difficult to get Small Size, Good Quality and Low Parallax in a single rig.

More often that not at least one of these has to be sacrificed and which one often depends on nature of the job and its location (ie bright sun)  subject matter (ie close up action), and its destination for distribution in terms of quality and audience.

Contact us to discuss the Rig Options we offer to best suit your project and budget.

What is Parallax?

One of the biggest challenges when shooting 360 is minimising the Parallax that occurs between camera sensors because of their position in relation to each other. As the diagram shows each field of view will see objects in a slightly different position meaning that when the images are combined it can lead to ghosted, double renditions of the object. Software stitching is advance but sometimes is not perfect and for that reason other solutions need to be sought.

Making a rig as small as possible can help minimise this but often smaller cameras have lower quality sensors so the trade off is made in place of image quality.

The positioning and movement of the camera in relation to the action can also help if it is feasible to contain the action within a single field of view and thus avoid the seam lines.

On occasion it is necessary to pick a rig, just like you would pick a lens on a standard shoot, to find the best compromise of Parallax vs Quality.

We are happy to discuss options for your shoot if you Contact us.

How does Post Production work for 360 / VR Video?

In a very similar way to traditional shooting but with the addition of a stitching stage as well as some VFX patching / correcting and rig removal.

We offer on set DIT services for VR shoots delivering stitched Equirectilinear files for your offline edit. These are rough stitched with some errors but good enough quality to pick performance / best take for editorial purposes.

Once your offline is locked a fine stitch pass of the selected rushes will be required along with a Grade as for standard shoots. Most VR pieces require an element of VFX in order to carry out rig removal and repair of any issues with Parallax.   

If you need a more detailed explanation by all means Contact us with details of your shoot.

How do you move the 360 / VR camera rig?

You can move a 360 camera rig in much the same way as a traditional camera with a couple of caveats. Movement in 360 needs to be very stable and controlled to avoid inducing motion sickness (your eyes tell you now thing whilst your body tells you another). Also to avoid lots of post work the rigging system needs to have as small a footprint as possible.

We offer the Mantis Evo 360 remote tracking system with stabilised movement across most terrains at up to 6mph. We also offer solutions for Drone and a full size Helicopter rig for aerial applications.

Contact us for more info and sample footage.

What does the "S" mean in Alexa SXT?

Arri have just released the latest iteration of the Alexa - the Alexa SXT. It has the same form factor as the previous flagship XT and offers the following improvements:

- 4K Prores recording

- New SXR SSD mags offering 20GB/s write speeds and therefore higher frame rates in 16:9 Prores Formats over the XT.

- Prores RAID recording - built in RAID 1 redundancy when recording.

-  Improved image quality with advanced signal processing and noise reduction.

- 3D LUT compatibility for both monitoring and burnt in recording. Including Wifi live grading and 4 independent monitor paths for different crew departments.

- 6:5 Sensor recording mode for true Anamorphic shooting.

And the S stands for "Super" Xtended Technology.......

What is the 8K Vista Vision Weapon Sensor?

Red is currently in the process of delivering two types of 8K resolution sensor. 

The existing Dragon line of sensors will now have a larger physical cut of the same sensor, with the same 5 micron pixel pitch, and will be referred to as 8K Vista Vision. This will cover a sensor size close to the size of 35mm Vista Vision Film. This will give DOPs the option of using Full Frame lens options and capturing a field of view in their cinematography matched only by the Alexa 65. This sensor is the same as will be incorporated in the newly announced Panavision DXL camera.

We will offer a section of compatible vintage lenses to work with this sensor...

What sort of Arri Raw can I shoot on an Alexa Mini?

The Alexa Mini can shoot in Arri Raw mode on board to Cfast cards up to 48fps in 2.8k mode and 30fps in Open Gate 3.4k mode.

MXF/ARRIRAW (in-camera recording to MXF-wrapped ARRIRAW files):
2.8K 16:9: 2880 x 1620
Open Gate: 3424 x 2202

MXF/ARRIRAW Open Gate modes with active image area matching 4:3 ProRes modes:
4:3 2.8K (OG 3.4K): 2880 x 2160 (Recording in Open Gate 3.4K)
2.39:1 Ana. (OG 3.4K): 2560 x 2145 (Recording in Open Gate 3.4K)
16:9 HD Ana. (OG 3.4K): 1920 x 2160 (Recording in Open Gate 3.4K)

What is the 8K Helium Sensor?

The new Helium sensor from Red is their next generation offering using a 3.5 micron pixel pitch. It will offer 8K resolution at approximately the size of S35. This will mean that that greater resolution can be harnessed without the need to move to larger glass options. It will be available in either Weapon cameras (the top of the range with greatest frame rate and compression options) or the new Epic W (the same sensor but limited in frame rate capability and compression options).

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