The Foundry has released CARA VR, a plugin for Nuke. After a couple of years of exploring and talking to VR companies, the Foundry has released a great addition to NUKE for doing VR work.

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The new toolset provides headset review, stitching, grading/balancing tools, faster workflow and compositing of 360° video footage. The system heavily relies on the GPU so it is fast and works well moving back and forth between on screen and review in a headset.

 

The plugin is about US$4295 or £3,295. For this you get :

  • Stitching of mono and stereo VR content. Stereo stitching is particularly hard and the new toolset borrows heavily from the Foundry's stereo disparity technology in Ocula. CARA VR offers presets for many popular camera rigs and is easily configured for custom rigs. this includes GoPro: the Freedom 360, JauntVR, and Nokia OZO, plus support for custom camera rigs. Python scripting support lets you automate camera solving and access rig data for other tasks.
  • Automatic stitch clean-up and correction CARA VR automatically corrects for exposure and white balance differences between cameras, and stabilizes moving camera shots for a more comfortable viewing experience. Stabilizing 360 previously could be extremely hard in some situations, and yet to clients a seemingly easy request. Stabilization data from Nuke’s built-in Camera Tracker can also be used as part of the workflow.
  • New VR compositing workflows . The plugin makes it easy for artists to use Nuke's full suite of compositing tools on 360° footage for clean-up, set extensions, 3D element insertion and more. including built-in node toolsets that make it easy to quickly roto, paint and track. A new Spherical Transform node lets you work with rectilinear, lat/long, cube map and fisheye projections, internally or exported.. In addition, you can apply any convolve or blur effect across the 360° material.
  • The version of Nuke’s ray trace rendering engine included with CARA VR offers additional support for stereo lens models, together with a slit-scan shader that can control the depth at the poles in 360° footage, resulting in a more pleasant VR viewing experience when looking up or down. The depth falloff can be controlled to match common stitching and rendering patterns, ensuring consistent results across the post pipeline.
  • Headset review inside Nuke - With CARA VR’s support for popular VR headsets, you can review directly from Nuke’s viewer or Nuke Studio’s timeline, eliminating the need to export to a separate application each time you want to see the material in a headset. CARA VR includes support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift CV1 on Windows and the Oculus Rift DK2 across Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Note : VR headsets are only supported on Nuke 10.0v1 and 10.0v2. Headsets work as normal on all Nuke 9.0 builds
New Deal used CARA VR to make a 360° virtual reality video for Galvanized Souls music videoClick To Tweet

 

New Deal Studios has been a leading content player in VR for some time. The company has done multiple projects and even hosted VRLA at the New Deal Studios offices in LA. Matthew Gratzner was quick to approach the VR problem from a story point of view and not only explore the tech of VR but what it means to be a filmmaker in VR in terms of cuts, composition and narrative. (See video above).
"It was amazing, as I had this whole projection/reprojection workflow that I had created initially and The Foundry had one node that replaced that entire process. It made the process significantly faster. There were elements that had taken a significant amount of time to render and with The Foundry’s help we were able to render virtually instantaneously—and it was far easier to work with...Without Nuke and The Foundry’s VR tools, it would be such an immense challenge that I think it would be near-impossible".
Jeff Jasper, CTO/Digital Effects Supervisor, New Deal Studios

Minimum System Requirements • A version of Nuke 9.0v7, or above on: • Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or 10.10 (Yosemite) • Windows 7 or Windows 8 (64-bit only) • CentOS/RHEL 5 or CentOS/RHEL 6 (64-bit only).

For the GPU workflow you will need an Nvidia GPU - CUDA 4.2.

 

Cara VR is out now.


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