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After Effects Automatic Stitching VR with no Top or Bottom

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Caleb Trevatt
After Effects Automatic Stitching VR with no Top or Bottom
on Jan 17, 2019 at 11:34:03 pm

Hi all,

I'm wondering if there's a better workflow to compositing 360° content horizontally only.

I've been making curriculum content for a school's 360° theatre. The content usually consists of a 360° panorama, flattened 3D elements, and often a 3D effect like Trapcode Particular, or prerendered animals/objects with basic animated position and scale.

I'm not the best at explaining, so here's what a general scene looks like:

The theatre itself is essentially a wrap-around screen with no top or bottom. The resolution is 7680x720P
My usual workflow differs a bit depending on the module. In this particular case, a sandstorm blows in and envelopes the screen.

You can see that I have two problems here.

When the sand reaches one edge of the screen, it doesn't wrap around to the other. Leaving me a very obvious stitch line if use "VR Rotate Sphere". My usual fix for this is to move the stitch line into the centre of the screen and patch it with cloning/feathering/some object. In one module, I had a deer walk around. This would be fine if it only needed to walk halfway around the theatre, but to make it walk all the way around I needed to duplicate the deer and trial-and-error its reappearing from the other edge of the screen.

My second problem is to do with Particular itself. Because the effect is coming straight towards the camera, the particles streak the closer they are to the screen edge. Once I rotate the stitch line into the centre, it looks like they're actually coming from opposite directions. This is not a problem when the particles have no Z-axis movement, so my usual solution to this is simply to avoid any depth. This effect is just Trapcode Particular which I believe honours a traditional VR comp and wraps automatically.

Any workflow suggestions would be fantastic!
-- Caleb

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Mark Whitney
Re: After Effects Automatic Stitching VR with no Top or Bottom
on Jan 18, 2019 at 1:56:32 am

Interesting problem.

Might there be a way with the sand layer to have a feathered edge on the lead in & out instead of the hard seam?

Not sure how to resolve the Particular issue.

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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: After Effects Automatic Stitching VR with no Top or Bottom
on Jan 18, 2019 at 3:38:58 pm
Last Edited By Kalleheikki Kannisto on Jan 18, 2019 at 3:39:32 pm

Sounds like you're not using the VR tools in AE. Skybox tools are made for this, they take six cameras (cubic arrangement) and make it possible to turn that into a equilateral VR image. Since you don't need the top or the bottom, you can crop those out. If you render Particular or any other 3D effect using Skybox tools, you will get proper wrapping in the 360 image. The particles will arrive from one direction, go past you and disappear in the opposite direction, curving in the same way as the 360 panorama in between.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer

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