Resolution in VR is different than for standard video.
Footage from 4k cameras looks stunning but when people see 4k 360 footage they are often confused about why it doesn’t look as sharp or as clear as they were expecting. The answer is simple when viewing a 360 photo of video you are seeing a limited piece of the image. Your field of view is in effect cropping in making the effective resolution much lower. To get the same quality of video as 2d 4k you would need 4k for EACH field of view possible. With an optimal field of view that would come out to needing a 12k video to achieve a similar quality to 2d 4k. With an Occulus Rift’s fielded of view 4k video comes out to about 910x510 definitely not as high quality as 4k! To even achieve just standard 1080 quality we would need to be shooting at somewhere around 8600x4536 well over 8k.
Here are a few tips that will help with making your video or photo still look great:
1. Make sure to color correct your video. Many 360 videos these days are not being color corrected. This step is essential to any high quality media and is especially important to make current 360 videos immersive.
2. Choose subjects that the details aren’t essential. Large landscapes where a viewer can see the scale and the awe are powerful whereas trying to have someone read lots of text would be challenging.
3. Try taking photos many 360 cameras are capable of taking much higher resolution photos. It is also possible to stich photos from your phone or dslr and achieve great results
4. Make sure to shoot the highest resolution you can! Even though that will most likely be between 4-5k right now it will still be far superior to shooting in hd or 2K !
Resolution isn’t everything and the added sense of immersion and presence that 360 can create is still a valuable tool for any creator especially if it is used for the right types of subjects. Creating content that allows viewers to experience a new place or event is an exciting possibility, and while the hardware and software is still in its infancy we can all be expecting to see more 360 media in the near future.