Facebook And RED Digital Cinema Drop Details On Manifold Camera

Facebook and RED Digital Cinema have been collaborating on what the duo calls the world's first end-to-end solution for 3D and 360 video capture. Facebook and RED are offering a first look at the Manifold camera, which is a studio-ready camera system for immersive six degrees of freedom storytelling, and Facebook notes that the camera will allow creative pros to connect with audiences in a "bold new way."

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This tech could allow moviegoers to watch the action from inside the film in a much more immersive way than was possible before. However, Facebook and RED note that there is "plenty more work on the horizon." Facebook believes that this camera represents a paradigm shift in the ability for filmmakers to tell stories. The Manifold camera took years of prototyping and collaboration, and it is the result of all that effort with a single focus on delivering next-generation stories to audiences.

Manifold can capture multiple camera angles at the same time from a given volume and enable infinite perspectives to be generated from any field of view. The camera uses the latest RED sensors and image processing capability to provide the filmmaker with superior image quality when shooting projects. Facebook's contribution to the camera is its depth estimation technology that can capture 3D information from any scene, including information on characters, props, and everyday backgrounds. The result, according to Facebook, is high-quality video that has enhanced volumetric detail and movement.

Along with the camera also comes a familiar and robust post-processing toolset from partners Adobe, Foundry, and OTOY. Combined with the Manifold camera, that post-processing toolset gives everything that creators need to ship their projects and Facebook says the content is optimized for immersive output for Facebook and VR.

Hardware specs for the Manifold camera include 16 RED Helium 8K sensors for 360-degree, 6DoF video capture. All 16 of those sensors can record raw content at 8k and 60 fps at the same time. Optics in Manifold are custom Schneider 8mm, F4.0, 180-degree fisheye lenses. I/O connectivity includes a single SMPTE 304M cable for power, control, and data transmission. A Camera Control Unit and storage device can be up to 100 meters from the camera head.

Manifold has five, 12g SDI outputs for monitoring or third-party stitch processing and there are multiple third-party storage devices with up to 1 hour or more of record time that will work with Manifold. Accessories available include front of lens ND filters and quick release handles for maneuvering and setup. A web app-based control interface allows for flexibility and user interface device choice and an SDK for post-processing.

Facebook promises future updates that will include progress details, pricing, and availability information.

Tags:  camera, Facebook, Red, VR