September 5, 2018

360° Figaro - First opera recording realized for Virtual Reality with the OmniCam-360 from Fraunhofer HHI

In the digital age of the 21st century, Virtual Reality (VR) plays an increasingly important role. Countless 360 degree videos are already available, enabling the viewer to experience the content as a kind of panorama from every angle and right from the center of it. This innovative technology now also reaches the classical music scene with “360° Figaro”. This 25-minute music film was recorded for Virtual Reality in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI. The OmniCam-360, a panorama camera from Fraunhofer HHI, made the recordings possible.

In the music film 360° Figaro, an opera scene was conceived and staged exclusively for VR for the first time. In the scene from the second act of Mozart's "Figaro's Wedding", live singing, performance and instrumental playing took place during the recordings. The technology of the OmniCam-360 places the viewer at the centre of the performance, which conveys the feeling of participating live in the opera.

The OmniCam-360 developed by Fraunhofer HHI is a series of scalable multi-camera systems with and without mirrors. It generates 2D and 3D panorama recordings that can be used for a wide variety of productions. The different versions of the OmniCam-360 are equipped with either 10 or 20 micro-HD cameras. Single exposures are corrected in real time and assembled into a parallax-free UHD video panorama with a resolution of approximately 10,000 times 2,000 pixels per channel. The images can, for example, be transferred to VR glasses and thus provide the viewer with an immersive viewing experience.

The film project was realized by Pars Media in cooperation with the Leipzig Opera, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and digital images GmbH. The project was supported by the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Nordmedia and the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern.