New in Cinema 4D R19: Render 360° Stereo VR Video with R19's Spherical Camera

Photo of Cineversity

Instructor Cineversity

Share this video
  • Duration: 05:49
  • Views: 2493
  • Made with Release: 19
  • Works with Release: 19 and greater

Render 360° Stereo VR video and dome projections for YouTube VR, Facebook, Oculus or Vive in C4D Release 19.

Cinema 4D Release 19 now includes a native Spherical Camera, so you can easily render 360° imagery in full stereo for use in virtual reality as well as planetariums and other dome theaters. With Cinema 4D’s Standard or Physical Render engines you can output monoscopic or stereoscopic spherical imagery in equirectangular lat-long, cubic strip, 3x2 cubic or cubic cross formats. You’re able to control the latitude and longitude range and utilize pole merging to minimize distortion. With ProRender, you can output monoscopic imagery in lat-long or cubic strip formats.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn about all the aspects of C4D’s Spherical Camera using the DVDE scene from Beeple.



Users of Cinema 4D Release 19 visualize and studio editions can now directly render stereo spherical images for use in virtual reality and dome projections. And this is all accomplished through the spherical controls that have been added to the camera object. So with any camera that's already been positioned and animated, you can go into the "Spherical" tab and simply check the "Enable" box. Now you can see that by default this renders an equirectangular lat/long image. This basically takes the full 360-degree view around the camera and maps it onto a plane. We can take the same projection and map it onto a C4D sky object or a sphere and we'd essentially have an HDR sky. This is the most popular mapping type for 360-degree videos because it fits into our standard 16 by 9 frame aspects pretty well. The problem is that it introduces a bit of distortion especially at the poles, and cubic mapping can help to minimize that distortion. So, Cinema 4D also supports a number of different cube mapping formats. The string format maps all of the faces of the cube in a horizontal line, and this as well as the equirectangular format, are supported in the standard and physical render as well as pro render. Now if you're the standard or physical render, there's a couple of additional mapping types you can use, including the cross mapping type that's used by Mettle Skybox Studio and other compositing applications. And also the three by two cube map that's used internally by Facebook for all of their 360-degree videos. This format is great because it efficiently maps all of the faces of a cube into a fairly usable aspect ratio. Now, of course, when you're rendering VR images, you need to do that in stereo, and the stereoscopic tab automatically updates when spherical is active, to provide you with special options for spherical rendering. You can render proper 360-degrees stereo in either parallel or toe-in mode. And you can lay out the images either in top-bottom or side-by-side format, or simply render the left or the right eye. Let's go ahead and switch back into Lat/Long mode so that you can see the typical output that you would use for YouTube VR. Now, here in the stereo settings you can set the eye separation, which would typically be 6.5 centimeters, but I've scaled it here based on the scale of my scene. You can also set the eye-to-neck distance. You also have the options to enable Pole Smoothing, which minimizes distortion at the top and the bottom of the image that is created by the stereo offset of the cameras. And you have the typical options here with Pole Smoothing to use linear or exponential algorithms. And, of course, you can set the angle at which that smoothing begins to occur, as well as the exponent that's used to determine the curve of that smoothing. Now we also had the option in the spherical tab to limit the range of the render. This essentially gives you the ability to do a render region on specific latitude and longitude. So, here we're limiting to just the front 180 degrees as well as the 60 degrees in the center of latitude and longitude. But you can, of course, adjust this however you'd like to render a specific region of the frame. Now, when you use the Fit Frame option, it's going to take that region that you're rendering and scale it to the full image size. So you can easily render something like a 270-degree or 180-degree video. To help you dial-in these ranges, the spherical camera has an FOV helper and this is something that you won't see with the interactive render region active and you also won't see when you're looking through the spherical camera. So we'll jump out into the editor camera and you can see this representation here in the editor. This is what would normally appear as a camera object that shows the field of view of the camera. But when the spherical camera is active, it appears as a spherical representation of the area that will be rendered. So, you can see that as we adjust the longitude as well as the latitude, it will actually show us what portion of the scene will be rendered with those settings. Now if you're simply rendering a basic dome projection, you can change this FOV Helper to a dome and, in that case, it simplifies these settings so that you only have to worry about the latitude, and you'll see a representation of the dome itself. So that's a quick overview of some of the options that are available in the new spherical camera in Cinema 4D Release 19. Now, I've been showing all of this with the physical render, but I also want to mention that the standard renderer has had a great speed enhancement in Cinema 4D Release 19, specifically in scenes that have a lot of reflection and transparency. And in fact, this particular scene renders about two times faster in the standard renderer with Release 19 than it did in Release 18. And, of course, there's lots of enhancements big and small in Cinema 4D Release 19, so make sure to view all of our videos here on Cineversity as well as the Quick Tips and Reference videos that will be coming in the next few months, so that you can learn all of the power that is available to you in the latest edition of Cinema 4D.
Resume Auto-Scroll?