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How to set up a 6x GoPro rig with Vahana VR

In this walk-through, we assume you are using a 6x GoPro setup such as Freedom360 or 360Heros.

1. Make sure all your GoPros are set to the same settings:

  • Provide power supply to the camera through USB, power adapter, or battery eliminator.
  • Lock the white balance to desired value
  • Make sure all other settings are synchronized (ISO, protunes, ...)
  • Disable 'spot' metering
  • Set the On Screen Display to Off
  • Touch display should be power off for GoPro Hero 4 Silver
  • Auto power off should be disabled

The GoPro HERO4 cameras can output a max format of 1080/60 through the micro HDMI port, so if you're set in 4K, 2.7K, or 1440, the output resolution to the monitor or third party device will be 1080 at 60fps. 

The expected output signal is also dependent on the input device's supported input formats. If the HDTV monitor or device you're connecting to supports a maximum input of 1080/60p, the GoPro will want to output at highest input setting that best matches its video setting. Even if the camera's video resolution is set to 960-60, you're expected to see a 1080 resolution image with the 4:3 aspect ratio that 960 provides.

For more information on GoPro HDMI output, you can go here

Please note that if you have the GoPro firmware v3, you will need to set the GoPro in photo mode and crop the inputs in Vahana (see later). This is corrected in GoPro firmware v4

2. Connect all the cameras to the HDMI capture ports and turn them on:

Mark your HDMI cables so that you can identify them clearly from both ends, ideally by numbering them from 0, or by using color codes.

 

3. Launch Vahana VR and create a new configuration:

Click on "Edit input" on the right, and then select your input type:

You are then prompted to select your inputs and to configure their parameters :

Select the configuration matching your camera's one.

You will then have all the videos displaying:

If anything looks wrong on one of your source video, check that you have everything connected properly.

If you have configured your GoPro in photo mode (GoPro firmware v3), you will need to crop the inputs.

To do so click on "Inputs infos" then on the little crop icon on the top right of the first input : 

It will open a crop window, then drag and drop the rectangle to crop the black parts and click on "Apply this crop to all the other inputs"

4. Create a calibration:

In order to create the panoramic output you will have to create a new calibration.

 

Click on the calibration button then "Create", and then configure your lenses' settings. Select fullframe fisheye and a FOV of 120 degrees. These settings correspond to GoPro cameras.

Validate, Vahana will show you a screen with a few calibration tips

For a successful calibration each source video needs to hold enough details so that the algorithm can detect matching features between them.

The matching features control points are used by the calibration algorithm to optimize the camera position and geometry.

White walls or blue sky will typically fail to provide enough details to identify control points for a successful calibration. 

 

It will then give you the option to set a delay for when the snapshots to be used for the calibration will be taken (to let you time to leave the scene and not disturb the calibration for example)

After the set delay, Vahana will take snapshots and run the calibration :

8. If the calibration fails, rotate the camera so that new features can be detected :

Hit the calibration button again. The newly created control points will accumulate with the previous ones.

Repeat this step until you get a successful calibration. A successful calibration will automatically save the changes to your *.vah configuration file.

After a successful calibration, you can keep modify the orientation. To do so, click on orientation and modify your orientation until you are satisfied.

 

9. Keep track of the rig and HDMI capture setup:

Each individual camera should be positioned at the same index on your rig each time if you don't want to create a new calibration. Avoid repositioning the camera.

Each camera should be plugged to the same HDMI port every time you set up everything again in order to re-use your configuration with a previously created calibration.

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