The final of the 2014 World Cup was captured in 360º and in Ultra HD on the OmniCam developed by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin.
Fans who couldn’t make it to the Maracana in Rio will be able to re-live some of the experience with this panoramic video at the new FIFA World Football Museum in Zürich, which will open in 2016.
OmniCam has been in development for several years. The rig houses ten IndieCam GS2K cameras and uses ten 36º mirrors to deliver single video feeds that are then stitched together in a realtime processor to generate a parallax-free, high quality panorama. Each camera on the rig recorded at a resolution of 2000×1000 pixels.
Positioned at the halfway line (as seen in the left of the picture), the OmniCam recorded the complete stadium in one panoramic view.
Dr Ralf Schäfer, head of the image processing department at Fraunhofer HII explained: “We can generate a 2kx10k in realtime. We can then render a section with arbitrary zoom factor, from complete panorama to 1080×1920.”
OmniCam video content in 360º and 180º will also soon be coming as second screen apps to tablets, smartphones or laptops. Users will have the opportunity to navigate through the stadium and become their own camera operators.
To construct the panoramic images, it developed a Real Time Stitching Engine (RTSE) that is able to stitch all 10 HD cameras together to the overall panorama, which allows it to use the OmniCam for live applications like sports, cultural events, or concerts. It is also preparing the system for second screen applications in sports, but most of the work it has done in that area so far has been related to concerts.
Niclas Ericson, FIFA director of TV said: “FIFA is always looking to embrace new technologies to give broadcasters and football fans everywhere the very best viewing experience available. Germany’s Fraunhofer HII is a world leader in this field and we are delighted to be working with them on this ground-breaking project.”
Schäfer, added: “The Institute is very proud to have the opportunity to bring its newest technology into action at such an important event. Immersive video services will play an important role in the future and football is one of the most attractive applications for such kind of technology.”