Tutorial on how to create a virtual reality video in Maya for the Oculus Rift

These days a huge number of us are watching virtual reality content online, using our VR compatible devices. We wanted to find out how easy it is to create our own VR video and then export it for viewing on the Oculus.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up a VR scene in Maya and create a 360° video to view on your VR equipment.

Software to download and to install

All download links above are for Windows, however there are versions available for Mac.

1. Render a 360° image sequence with Maya

In the Domemaster3D shelf (in the Rendering section), create a spherical camera rig.
Domemaster3D > Dome Cameras> LatLong Camera

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This kind of camera will create a monoscopic frame for your VR project. You can also create a LatLong Stereo Camera, but momoscopic 360° video is enough. If you launch a render with the Latlong Camera, you will see something like this:

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Once your scene is ready to render, adjust your render settings accordingly. For image size, choose a 4:1 resolution and convert it for rendering as below:

  • 1k Image – 1024 x 256 per eye → 1024 x 512 for rendering on Maya
  • 2k Image – 2048 x 512 per eye → 2048 x 1024 for rendering on Maya
  • 4k Image – 4096 x 1024 per eye → 4096 x 2048 for rendering on Maya
  • 8k Image – 8192 x 2048 per eye → 8192 x 4096 for rendering on Maya

Start a batch render.

Once your frame sequence is done, import it in Adobe Premiere and export a .mp4 video.

2. Play your 360° video through the Oculus Rift

Before opening VR player, expand the .zip DK2 Tracker (extract using right-click > extract) and copy the extracted folder to C:\Program Files (x86)\VR Player\Trackers.

Open VR Player. The interface must look like this:

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Indicate your type of tracker.
Device > Tracker > Oculus Rift DK2

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Then, configure the projection. As you made a spherical video, you need to put the projection on ‘spherical’.
Media > Projection > Sphere

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Now, locate your video file.
File > Open File > with VLC… > [Your Video File]

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Put the VR Player’s window on the screen connected to your Oculus Rift, then it’s time to put it on!
To stop/start the video, press the space bar.

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Now you can explore your own 360° video!

 

If you want to put your 360° video online for others to see, you can upload it to YouTube after encoding with Metadata Injector. Here’s our end result (use your mouse to scroll around in 360°):