Facebook Open Sourced Geometric Encoding Formats that Boosts Loading of VR Videos

Facebook Open Sourced Geometric Encoding Formats that Boosts Loading of VR Videos

We all are using the famous social networking site, Facebook, but have you ever imagined the huge expansion of video sharing to the social media website. In the past few years, Facebook's video sharing has become so popular and gained a lot of popularity because of the 'Streaming Video Engine' (SVE) technique that lets Facebook slice videos into little chunks, cutting the delay from upload to viewing by 10X.

The social networking site has invented and open sourced new geometric encoding formats to ensure the next generation of 360 and virtual reality videos load fast too. Facebook has also developed a pyramid encoding technique that makes virtual reality videos for headsets 80% smaller. This led the company to add the ability to share immersive video content filmed in 360 degrees, as well as video shot in VR. Facebook said it adapted tools that have been used for computer graphics and image processing for years, to bring the same benefits to 360-degree video.

The social networking site shared that it developed a technique to 'remap equirectangular layouts to cube maps', which it said had a dramatic effect reducing file size and eliminating image distortion at the top and bottom of the video. Facebook has released a video explaining the process, but in essence transform maps spherical video to six flat cube face sections. Facebook Engineering said that these improvements work great for 360-degree content, but streaming VR videos required approaching the problem differently. Facebook Engineering adapted the process with pyramid geometry.

Facebook said there are 30 viewpoints to render with this process, and it processes each video in five different resolutions, so rather than encoding the video on the fly, Facebook stores pre-generated video files on a server. The company reported that it is eager for people to adopt this tool, and we can't wait to see how developers build on top of it.