Since its inception, 360 video has given us a glimpse of what was possible with a panoramic view of video that created a
new paradigm of experiential media. It was interesting in the beginning, but I have realized
its limitations, and I am now looking to take it
to the next level.
One major limitation of 360 video is that it
is an overall flat experience, since it positions
the viewer in a static location with limited
freedom of movement and low levels of interactivity. Another drawback is that it takes the
viewer out of the narrative by revealing the
production crew and equipment in the scene
since it captures the full 360° field of view.
Volumetric video capture—touted by Microsoft as “holograms”—resolves these issues.
It contains spatial data and enables viewers
to walk around and interact with people and
objects within CG environments, similar to
what is experienced in real-time rendered VR
games. It is far more immersive than 360 video footage because it captures the movements
of real people in three dimensions. Users can
view these movements from any angle by using positional tracking, which is standard on
desktop and standalone Virtual/Augmented/
Mixed Reality systems, and on any mobile device enabled with ARKit from Apple or ARCore
The production workflow for mixed reality
(MR) capture involves fundamentally different video technology from what is standard
right now. Currently, MR production requires
a capture studio which usually features a
greenscreen stage equipped with an array
of 100+ cameras. These camera arrays utilize
photogrammetry/videogrammetry and infrared scanning, which converts live video images into three-dimensional objects.
The camera array captures both in color for
textures and infrared to create the 3D model of
the person. An algorithm generates the mesh
of the subject and extracts the 3D models, ani-
mations, and textures, which can be integrat-
ed into a game engine such as Unity or com-
pressed into a streaming-ready MP4 video file.
Once the performer’s or presenter’s body
is fully digitized and all spatial viewing per-
spectives are recorded, they can be displayed
as avatars, allowing for more personal inter-
action and viewing. These human representa-
tions have added depth and are quite lifelike.
This is much more compelling than non-VR/
AR/MR 360 since it allows for a more intimate
connection and brings the power of presence
closer to that of reality.
Despite the current skepticism about the vi-
ability of VR/AR/MR, volumetric video stream-
ing and capture will soon begin to have a great
impact on consumer media and especially the
enterprise market. This technology will even-
tually replace standard video recording and
live streaming, and it will be used for various
types of training, presentations, communica-
tion, collaboration, and live events.
Volumetric video simply adds another dimension to storytelling and visualization because of the creative freedom it allows within
fully optimized VR/AR/MR.
Volumetric will take communication and
interactive collaboration to a whole new level,
allowing people to emotionally and intellectually connect on a deeper level with the content they’re consuming. It will also engender
viewer engagement through realistic shared
Mark Alamares ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a tech entrepreneur and
media strategist for Fortune 500 companies. He is the CEO of
Mobeon, an advanced media studio and consultancy for enterprise,
specializing in immersive content production and distribution.
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Volumetric Live Action
Capture and Streaming
Will Take Us Beyond 360 Video