The iPhone 15 Pro lets you shoot 3D video. Want to see what the new format looks like inside a VR headset? There’s an easy way now.
The Spatial video format has been officially supported by iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max since December. The main and ultra-wide cameras are used to record 3D video, so you need to hold your iPhone horizontally while shooting.
Contrary to what the name suggests, Spatial videos are not volumetric videos (6DoF), nor are they 180 or 360-degree shots (3DoF). Spatial video comes in a stereoscopic, rectangular format, with FullHD resolution per eye, and is spatial only in the sense that it creates a real sense of depth. However, these videos still look pretty impressive when viewed with an appropriate output device. It does not have to be a Vision Pro, a Quest 2 or Quest 3 will do as well.
There is an iOS app that allows you to quickly and easily convert the videos into a Quest-compatible video format. All you then need to do is transfer them to Meta Quest. A guide with examples will follow shortly on MIXED.
Watch a Spatial video on Youtube
A handful of enthusiasts has already uploaded examples of Spatial videos to Meta Quest TV and YouTube, including VR filmmaker and Youtuber Hugh Hou.
In one of his recent videos, you can see the quality of Apple’s new 3D video format, and I highly recommend the video to anyone who owns a Quest headset and is interested in immersive video. The landscape shots have an epic width and depth, and the close-ups of Hou’s dog look fascinatingly real and three-dimensional.
I asked Hou if the footage was upscaled with AI, and he said that was only the case for the gondola ride, which was filmed through a dirty window. So the footage should be representative of the quality you’ll get from shooting your own Spatial videos.
iPhone democratizes 3D video
You can find the video embedded above or under the following YouTube link. Whether you watch in the browser or with YouTube VR (I recommend the latter), set the resolution to 2160P for the best possible image quality. Alternatively, you can also watch the video on Meta Quest TV.
Hou also offers a video tutorial on his YouTube channel that explains how to edit Spatial videos.
What makes Spatial videos unique in the history of immersive filmmaking is that they are being made with a device that is already used by millions. And rumor has it that with the iPhone 16, Apple will switch to a vertical camera layout for the standard models, so that Spatial videos could become a standard feature of iPhones going forward.
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