After Effects offers native support for editing your 360/VR videos. You can use a host of dynamic transitions, effects, and titles to edit and enhance the immersive video experience. You can experiment with the different 360/VR tools in After Effects for a seamless post-production workflow.
When you work with VR, you could run into memory limitations indicated by a banner that states - Requires GPU Acceleration. By default, Adobe video applications require approximately 1GB of memory for every 1K of horizontal resolution when working in VR. In After Effects 2018, you can reduce the requirements, called Aggressive Memory Management. To enable the setting, select Preferences > Previews > GPU Information > Aggressive GPU memory use (for VR).
The 360/VR tools in After Effects automate complex compositions and workflows for a seamless 360 production. These tools provide accurate results and reduce editing time.
Create VR Environment automates the process of comp creation and camera relationship setup. You can use it to automate aspects of VR authoring environment in After Effects.
- Use 2-node camera: Select the option if you want to use a 2-node camera.
- Use 3D Null camera Control: Select the option if you want to control your SkyBox Camera via a 3D Null layer.
- Center camera: Select the option if you want to center-align the camera.
- I am using 3D plugins: Select the option if you are using 3D plug-ins.
- Use edge blending: Select the option when you use plugins that are not true 3D plug-ins.
Extract Cubemap removes equirectangular distortion from 360-degree footage and extracts six separate camera views. The six camera views are positioned in a cube formation. You can do motion-tracking, object removal, add motion graphics, and vfx to the composition.
The Adobe Immersive Environment in After Effects allows you to preview how your 360 and 180 degree footage looks like in a VR head-mount display (HMD).
After Effects supports the following VR headsets:
- Oculus Rift (Windows only)
- HTC Vive (On Mac and Windows)
- Windows Mixed Reality (Windows only)
To use your VR headsets, ensure that your system meets the VR system requirements, and install SteamVR application. SteamVR is a virtual reality system that you need whether you are using the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. For more information, visit the SteamVR support page, and refer to the documentation that came with your headset.
Go to store.steampowered.com/about, and click Install Steam Now. To install, follow the installer instructions.
From within Steam, click Run Room Setup to set up your room.
For more information, see the Steam documentation: Room Setup and SteamVR Tutorial.
- HTC Vive: Follow the instructions that come with your HTC Vive headset.
- Oculus Rift: For information on downloading and installing Oculus Rift, see the Oculus Rift documentation.
Before you enable Adobe Immersive Environment, ensure that your headsets and controllers are working fine in SteamVR.
Click the Adobe Immersive Environment menu in the Composition panel and choose the viewing option from the following options:
- Theater Mode (Rectilinear): Previews the composition as a flat rectangle in an empty room, simulating the view of looking at a movie screen.
- 360 Monoscopic: Previews the composition as a monoscopic 360-degree field of view image.
- 360 Over/Under: Previews the composition as a stereoscopic 360-degree field of view image. Assumes over/under layout in the composition.
- 360 Side-by-Side: Previews the composition as a stereoscopic 360-degree field of view image. Assumes side-by-side layout in the composition.
- 180 Over/Under: Previews the composition as a stereoscopic 180-degree field of view image. Assumes over/under layout in the composition.
- 180 Side-by-Side: Previews the composition as a stereoscopic 180-degree field of view image. Assumes side-by-side layout in the composition.
The Video Preview Preferences options allows you to configure your preferences. To turn off preview to your HMD, disable Adobe Immersive Environment in Preferences > Video Preview.