If a 360 camera isn’t properly leveled, the captured video can be disconcerting to watch in VR, but fixing this manually in Mistika VR is simple.
Image: Steve Cooper
Read Time: 10 Minutes
It’s not unusual to encounter an unleveled 360 video during the shooting process. Despite the best efforts to level a VR camera on set before shooting, slight pitch and roll variations of a few degrees or so can be evident in the shot. It's easy to spot an unleveled video. If the horizon isn’t completely straight across the center of the frame, or if vertical elements such as light poles aren’t square to the horizon, the video will need to be leveled. In Mistika VR, it’s a quick process to fix the video by modifying the Output Camera’s Yaw, Pitch and Roll parameters using keyboard combinations and mouse clicks.
This video requires leveling, as is evident in the high and low points along the horizon line. Interactively changing the Output Camera Yaw, Pitch and Roll parameter values will provide a quick fix.
The first step to leveling the horizon in Mistika VR is to turn on the Grid Overlay which is accessed via a button at the bottom of the Visual Editor window. The grid can also be turned on with the numerical 3 keyboard shortcut. The grid provides a horizon reference line and vertical references to use during the leveling process.
Grid Overlay toggle is found at the lower right corner of the Visual Editor pane, or can be toggled on by hitting the 3 key.
With the Grid Overlay enabled, the horizon is ready to be leveled.
Using the Grid Overlay as a horizontal and vertical reference the following two keyboard combination shortcuts will quickly be used to level the video:
Ctrl-click / drag high point on horizon
Using the ctrl-click / drag technique on high and low spots of the horizon to level it with the green center line on the grid. After each ctrl-click / drag, the grid will reappear to use as a reference for leveling.
A leveled horizon is only a few keystrokes away using the ctrl-click / drag method.
Fine tuning the mid-portion horizon line with an additional ctrl-click / drag
After adjusting the horizon using a few ctrl-click / drag passes on the scene, vertical elements such as light posts, utility poles and architectural elements should be adjusted using the alt-click / drag keyboard combination. This action will rotate the section of the image under the cursor.
The light pole is not perpendicular to the horizon and requires slight adjustment using the alt-click / drag method
Place the mouse cursor over the vertical element which needs correction. Using the alt-click / drag method, carefully rotate that element to adjust it's angle. This method will also modify the horizon. Working in small increments at this stage produces finer results.
Once an adjustment has been made using alt-click / drag, a vertical line will be displayed for reference. Further adjustments, while balancing changes to the horizon line are possible.
Once the video has been fully leveled, baking in the modified Yaw, Pitch and Roll values allows for further editing flexibility, such as reorienting the video to create an optimal view point in VR. The Bake in Output Camera will use the newly modified Yaw, Pitch and Roll parameter values from the leveling process and set those as the zero value for those parameters. This is very useful for reorienting. The leveling process can be added to stabilized footage in Mistika VR.
Bake in Output Camera control is located in the Positions pop-up menu. Once selected, the modified Output Camera Yaw, Pitch and Roll parameter values will become the new zero point.
Horizon leveling is complete and baked into the Output Camera