YouTube is releasing a new video format called VR180 so creators can have an easier time creating video for virtual reality. It’s part of YouTube’s ongoing bid to make itself the leading depository for VR footage.
VR footage is typically created using 360-degree video formats, which require the person filming to capture footage in a full circle around them. But most people are accustomed to shooting footage straight ahead, and typically don’t pan more than about 180 degrees side to side when they film.
That’s why YouTube is releasing a video format that allows creators to film as they normally would for two-dimensional screens, and that will work in virtual reality formats. The difference for the viewer is that if they view the footage in VR and try to look behind them, all they’ll see is black.
So, for example, a YouTube creator won't have to worry about capturing what is behind the camera, but can just shoot straight forward as they normally would. That means if they film with the camera facing them, they don't have to also worry about what's behind the camera.
The new format, which will be available on cameras coming out later this year, also supports livestreaming, and will be compatible with VR headsets from Google, including Daydream and Cardboard, as well as PlayStation.
Hardware manufacturers YI, Lenovo and LG are slated to release cameras that use the format sometime after its launch. Creators can also apply to borrow one from the company’s studios, called YouTube Spaces, which are located in major cities, according to The Verge.