Thought 3D video was dead? Perhaps not. Google is trying to popularize virtual reality, as evidenced by the last week’s introduction of its low-cost VR headset and new phones. But it’s also using 3D to power virtual reality through its video capture and production platform JUMP, writes Variety—a move that could mean a second chance for 3D. How’s it employed? 3D is used as an effect that adds to the sense of immersion by emulating human vision. Google is hoping that the JUMP platform will make content more immersive and encourage creators to capture 3D video for VR through the use of its 16-GoPro camera prototype, dubbed the Odyssey. Once content producers shoot their footage with a JUMP rig, the uploaded video files from the cameras are converted into a 3D VR video by Google’s servers in a matter of hours. It’s something that could lower the barrier of entry for 3D content, the article suggests. What’s unclear is this: despite the barrier being lower, will studios sign on? Perhaps the VR aspect will make the 3D content more palatable, as the former technology has yet to loose its luster within the industry.
It all started with a 3D-printed piece of plastic, zip ties and a bunch of masking tape: Google ‘s Seattle-based computer vision team seemed to channel MacGyver when it began to experiment with capturing 3D video in the fall of 2014, testing out a bunch of different camera setups put together in the form of janky rigs.