Stereo Panoramic Capture Tips & Tricks

In the following section, we will go over some of the most common errors and issues that you might run into when using the Stereo Panoramic plugin and how to go about solving or getting around them.

Capturing Movies in Stereo

You can also use the Stereo Panoramic capture tool to output an image sequence that can then be turned into a Stereo Movie. To get the best possible results before you try and capture a stereo video, make sure you do the following:

  • Command Line Options: These commands should be added to your game / editor.exe, so they are enabled when your project is loaded.

    • -usefixedtimestep

    • -notexturestreaming

    TP_CommandLineOptions.png

  • Console Commands: The following Console Commands will help to make sure nothing is missed during the capture. You can place the following Console commands in the level Blueprint that the capture is taking place in.

    • r.AllowOcclusionQueries 0

    • t.MaxFPS 60

    • SP.HorizontalAngularIncrement 2

    • SP.VerticalAngularIncrement 30

    • SP.CaptureHorizontalFOV 30

    • SP.ConcurrentCaptures 16

    • SP.CaptureSlicePixelWidth 720

    • SP.StepCaptureWidth 4096

    Click for full image.

  • Movie Capture Setup: The best way to capture a stereo movie is to animate a camera using Matinee or Sequencer and then call that sequence along with the following command to output a movie image sequence.

    • SP.PanoramicMovie (Frame Range Here)

    TP_Movie_Capture.png

When completed your Level Blueprint should look similar to the following image.

Copy Node Graph

TP_FinalBPSetup.png

You can copy the following Blueprint code by clicking on the Copy Node Graph option that is in the upper left hand corner of the image.

Image Seams

When viewing, images using the Stereo Image Material you might notice a seam where the left and right eye Textures met like in the image below.

Seam

No Seam

To remove these seams, you will need to open up your Left and Right eye images in the UE4 Texture Viewer. Then in the Level of Detail section, change the value for Mip Gen Settings to NoMipmaps.

Click for full image.

Image Darkness

If you notice that the captured images are coming out very dark, it could mean you are using the old tonemapper. To change to the new tonemapper enter the following command into the console and then re-shoot your images.

r.tonemapperfilm=1

r.ToneMapperFilm Off

r.ToneMapperFilm On

With the new tonemapper now enabled. You can adjust the following Post Process settings to your liking.

  • White Balance

  • Color Grading

  • Film

  • Scene Color

  • Global Illumination

    Please note that while a lot of the above categories have settings in them that will change how the screen will look, you might find some settings that do not work.

Image Distortion

Due to the manner in which the Stereo images are created, you will get some image distortion / pinching at the top and bottom of the image. You can see an example of what this distortion / pinching looks like in the following image.

Click for full image.

While you can not eliminate this distortion, there are a few things you can do to help minimize it. Below you will find a few tips on how to address this distortion / pinching issue.

  • You can add a small gradient that fades to black at the bottom and or top of the image to help hide this distortion / pinching issue like in the image below.

    Click for full image.

  • Objects that are very close to the camera that is capturing can cause divergence which makes it hard for a user to focus on the 3D image. Be careful with objects that get too close to the camera as this will cause divergence. While in some cases image divergence will not be possible to avoid, thinking about your camera placement can help lessen the effect. The following video shows how you can have different levels divergence in your images.

    When the user looks up, they will have issues getting the top part of the image to be in focus due to how close the top of the hang glider was to the capture camera. However, when the user looks down, they will have no focus issues as the ground was far enough away from the camera to not cause divergence.

Not all Effects Work

Effects that are created in screen space or effects that are camera facing will not work with the Stereo Panoramic image capture tool. This means that the following types of effects should be disabled so that your images do not have any errors in them.

  • Light Shafts

  • Screen based Distortion effects

  • Camera Facing Meshes or Particles

  • Vignette

Please note that there could be other effects that are not listed here that also do not capture as well. If you see any similar artifacts in, your images try disabling the effect and re-capturing the image to see if the artifact goes away or not.

In the following image, you can see what happens when you try and capture something that makes use of screen based effects or is camera facing. If you take a look at the highlighted areas of the image, you will notice what appears to be a hard line in the clouds that are off in the distance. This line is there because the capture tool works by capturing your scene in a series of zoomed in the image for both the horizontal and vertical axis. Because of this effects that face the camera do not know that the camera has moved and do not update their orientation to reflect this resulting in artifacts like you see in the image.

Click for full image.

Additional Resources

Ninja Theory did a great write up on how they used the Stereo Panoramic tool to capture images and movies in stereo. If you have not checked out their blog post on the Epic website, you should as it is packed with useful information. You can view the blog post by clicking on the following iamge.

Hellblade_Link_Image.png