Helios Documentation

Updated May 21, 2018

Current Version 1.3.0

IMPORTANT:

Due to licensing issues, as of version 1.0.4 of Helios, the package you download from the Unity Asset Store will no longer directly contain the FFMPEG binary data. However, you can still install them in Helios by clicking THIS LINK to download a free .unitypackage that will set it up for Helios.

Below you will find some in depth information about how to use Helios.
If you are looking for a quick start, check out this tutorial.

Introduction

Helios is a video capture platform for Unity that allows you to capture videos in both 3D/360 and 2D format. With Helios you can create videos in :

  • Equirectangular video format for 360 video sites like YouTube, Facebook, MilkVR etc…
  • Stereoscopic Equirectangular video format, just like normal 360, but in stereo.
  • Stereographic video format for “little planet” style videos
  • Traditional 2D video format

What’s new in version 1.3.0:

  • Added support for Unity 2018
  • Added Job Time estimation tools
  • Added jitter smoothing to Session Recorder
  • Added warning system when HDM detected

IMPORTANT
Google has recently been on high alert in regards to virus detection, and falsely identified the Helios Auxiliary package as infected. It is not infected. I have personally scanned this package with 8 AV tools and gotten an all clear on each of them. The reason for this is because one of the tools I ship in this package the “Spatial Media Metadata Injector” executable file (made my Google) is by the technical definition a “virus”, but only in the fact that it overwrites the file headers of media files with 360 encoding information. If you are uncomfortable with using the version I shipped you can freely download the latest version directly from Google/YouTube athttps://support.google.com/jump/answer/7044297?hl=en

Offline Rendering

Helios was built from the ground up as an offline rendering system, meaning that when you actually record your frame data, Helios will slow the Unity engine down to a constant fixed frame rate to ensure that each individual frame has the time it needs to render every detail perfect. It is important to grasp this concept early on, as many of the tools and features built into Helios are centered on methods to give you the highest fidelity renderings and screen captures.

In contrast to Offline Rendering, many screen capture solutions will just take screen buffer samples at a given real world time frame, which can lead to lag, skipped frames and jittering as the 3D programs struggle to keep up with the frame rate.

When working in an offline rendering system, your approach setting up your scene is slightly different than you would take for actual high frame rate gameplay mode. With an offline rendering system, many of the steps you take to ensure performance can and probably should be ignored as they can cause strange and unsettling artifacts in your your recorded videos. For example, when working with Helios in 3D/360 mode, you want to disable occlusion culling, as the Helios Camera rig will be capturing the entire scene view on every frame and you don’t want parts of your scene occluded. Another example would be lighting and shadows. In Helios you will get better looking videos if you use real time lighting and super high quality shadows, whereas in contrast to gameplay, you would sacrifice these points of fidelity in order to make the scene play faster. While none of them are required, below is a list of things you can do to create better looking videos in  Helios.

  • Disable Occlusion Culling
  • Disable VSync
  • Disable LOD systems
  • Use realtime lighting at maximum bounce and super high quality shadows
  • Use realtime reflection probes

Getting Started

Now that you have acquired Helios, its time to get it installed and setup in your scene. The first thing you want to do is make sure you have the latest version of Helios, and this can by done by going to the Asset Store window in the Unity Editor and finding Helios in your list of purchased assets. Unity will let you know if there is a new version of Helios available to download. If you have not already done so, go ahead and click Download to get Helios onto your local computer, its a small package and should not take very long to get. Once Helios is downloaded, you will want to go ahead and import it into your project.

When you begin the import process for Helios you will see a window like this:

Note, Helios is completely self contained. It will write any files or setting outside of its own installation folder for Unity, so you don’t need to worry about it overwriting your existing scripts or configurations.

Once Helios has been imported into your Unity project, you can find all of its contents under the “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios” folder.

Below is a quick summary of what is in the installed folders:

  • Bin – a collection of executable tools that Helios used to encode videos with (Downloadable from here)
  • cginc – where we keep a shared library of shader functions
  • Cubemaps – where we store the cubemaps that are used to render 360 image stills
  • Demo Scene – as you guessed
  • Documentation – a link to this website
  • Materials – a handful of materials that are used
  • Misc – Miscellaneous files and assets that just dont make sense to put anywhere else
  • Prefabs – the tools you can drag and drop into your scene
  • Render Textures –  many parts of Helios make use of static Render Textures, this is where they are stored
  • Resources – Where we keep Icons and things
  • Scripts – The tools that make Helios work
  • Sessions – Used to store temporary session data (Explained Later)
  • Shaders – The shaders used in Helios

Things you can delete:

  • Demo Scene
  • Resources not needed for your operating system (Look under Bin directory and Render Textured directory)

Using Helios: Basics

Now that you have successfully installed Helios, its time to start using it.  The best way to understand Helios is to start by looking at the Demo Scenes provided in the installation. These scenes are setup with the bare minimum of what you need in order to use Helios and get familiar with its concepts.
Go ahead and open the Demo Scene “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/DemoScene/3D_Demo.unity”

This scene is setup wit a few very basic components:

  • Terrain Object
  • Directional Light
  • Helios Camera Rig
  • Event System
  • Screen Diagnostics UI

This demo scene is setup to allow you to walk around the terrain in a first person perspective and explore the world around you. By default, if you simply click play, you will go into first person camera mode and can move the character around using the W,A,S,D keys and Space bar to jump. The Helios camera rig is NOT setup to record by default, so you can go ahead and just play the scene.

Now that you have had a chance to play the scene and see how the movement controls look and feel, we can take a look at Helios itself. Click on the Helios3D game object in your Hierarchy and then take a look in the inspector, you should see something like this:

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 1.33.43 PM

Lets take a moment and talk about the options you see here:

  • Cameras Armed –  This is the option that sets Helios to record mode or not.
  • Projection Mode – This is where you can select what sort of 3D projection you want to capture be that:
    • 360 Video – Equirectangular format for sites like YouTube and Facebook
    • Little Planet – Stereographic projection that makes 2D videos of a 3D world
      • Zoom – The amount of Zoom to use on the Little Planet
    • Stereo 360 – Just like 360 video, but recorded in stereo pairs
      • IPD Offset – the amount of interpupillary distance to offset the cameras with
  • Quality – This is the image size you wish to capture in, we will discuss this in detail later
  • Antialiasing – This sets the level of Unity Editor based AntiAliasing to use on the Render Textures
  • Cinematic Aspects – This option will cause the native “Power of 2” image capture to convert to the matching cinematic aspects
  • Replicate FOV – This sill cause changes that happn to the top level Helios cameras FOV, to cascade down to child cameras as well.
  • Sync Camera Rotation – This option forces the output images to rotate with the camera’s rotation
  • Capture Format – allows you to pick the image file format to save your stills as
    • PNG –  This option allows you to capture your still images in PNGformat
    • JPEG – This option allows you to capture your still images in JPEG format
      • JPEG Quality – This option allows you to specify speed over quality in your JPEG encoding
    • EXR – This options allows you to save your image files in a native HDR (32 bit) image format.  (These files can become quite large).
  • Edge Smoothing – This option can reduce the amount of noticeable stitching artifacts when 360 images are composited
  • Gamma Boost – This option allows you to compensate for Linear/gamma color modes
  • Frame Rate – This is how many frames per second you intend to capture as well as the static frame rate Unity will enforce in record mode.
  • Record Mode – These are the various types of recording triggers you can use to control when Helios should record in your scene.
    • Normal – Helios will start recording immediately upon your scene starting and continue until you stop the scene.
    •  Frame Range – Allows you to specify a range of frames which you want recorded
    • Hot Key -Allows you to specify a key on our keyboard that can be used to tell Helios to record. Helios will record while this key is being held down and you can use this as many times per scene as you like.
    • Remote Control – Allows other programs to use the Helios API and record when they see fit.
    • Test Frame – Records a single test frame and shows it to you in your OS explorer
  • Working Folder – This is the location on your hard drive where you intend to store temporary image stills for Helios.
  • Allow Multiscene – This setting makes the Helios rig apply DontDestroyOnLoad() so it will continue to record across many loaded scenes, as well as support additive scenes.
  • Stream direct to FFMPEG – introduced in 1.2.0 this feature allows you to by pass the tradition saving still images method of recording and stream directly from your editor to a video via FFMPEG. (This is presently a beta function we have put out to let people experiment with, and results will depend on your computer hardware)
  • Output Format – This lets you chose between MPEG4, MOV, AVI, Animated GIF and WEBM output formats
  • File Name Template – This is the naming system Helios will use when making still images, you can set this to whatever you like.
  • Chroma Key Objects –  If you are in PNG mode, you will have the option to use Chroma Key settings.
    • Chroma Key Sky – will cause Helios to block out the Alpha of the skybox so that is is transparent.
    • Key Color – This is the color you will specify to be the Chroma Key color, you may need to change this depending on the color settings in your game.
    • Chroma Bleed – will allow Helios to near match the Chroma Color instead of exact match.
  • Grain Amount – This will add a bit of filmic grain to our output files. This can be helpful in eliminating things like Sky Banding and stitching artifacts in 360.
  • Fade In Time – This will allow you to specify how long the Helios engine will take to fade into your scene from the main fade color specified in your Fade In shader on your child objects.
  • Fade Out Time (Only in Frame Range Mode) -This will allow you to specify how long the Helios engine will take to fade out of your scene from the main fade color specified in your Fade In shader on your child objects.
  • Soundtrack File – Allows you to specify an audio track that will be encoded in your final video as the audio source.
  • Clip Length – Allows you to specify a small range of frames to encode, good for testing.
  • Encoding Quality – Which quality settings to use with FFMPEG
  • Debug Mode – Will output the actual command line encoding instructions to your Unity Editor Console
  • 3D Video Metadata – This option will prompt you to inject the required 3D metadata you need should you want to actually upload to a site like YouTube or Facebook.
  • Delete Still after Video – This option will cleanup the temporary files in your Working Directory once the video has been compiled.
  • Flip Image -Some video cards cause the images coming out of capture to be upside down, use this option to correct that.
  • FFMPEG Switches – allows you to specify any addition command line switches to send to FFMPEG.
  • Helios Button – This is the button you click to begin encoding your videos with.

Now that you have had a chance to review the main Helios component itself,  lets make a quick video and see how easy it really is to use Helios.

  1. Click the Camera Armed check box and activate Helios
  2. Set your Projection Mode to 3D video
  3. Set your Quality to Preview(480)
  4. Set your Frame Rate to 60
  5. Set your Record Mode to Normal
  6. Set your Working Folder to a new folder OUTSIDE of your Unity project
  7. Click Play to start your scene
  8. Explore the scene and walk around a bit
  9. Stop the Scent (Ctrl+P)
  10. Open the folder you set as your Working Folder and see the still images that were saved
  11. Go back to Unity
  12. Set Encoding Quality to Fast
  13. Disable Debug Mode, 3D Video Metadata and Delete Still options
  14. Click the Helios Button
  15. Helios will notify you when the video is ready
  16. Open your Working Folder and play your video

The video you have just made is only a demo to show the very basic workflow for working with Helios. In the next sections we will go over ways to elaborate on this basic approach and create more complex scenes.

Using Helios: Intermediate

Now that you have the basics of how to enable the Helios script and make videos, we are going to look at some of the other tools included and discuss how they can be used to make your scene even smoother. The first tool to discuss is the Session Recorder which is used to record information about the positions, rotations and state of your Game Objects that can be played back in Offline Render Mode.

Why use the Session Recorder?
As with most computers that you try to record video with, there are limitations to what your video card can do. If you are trying to render a beautiful scene in Unity, Capture every frame, Post Process and adding 360 degree shader stitching it and Save it to disk, sooner or later your computer is going to start lagging and skipping frames. When you start getting skipped frames, your video starts to look bad. Helios overcomes this by using an Offline Rendering technique where during record mode, we instruct Unity to slow the game time down and guarantee that each individual frame is perfectly rendered, and because of this Helios can produce pixel perfect videos at 60 FPS up to 4K resolution.  However, this Offline rendering method comes at the cost of making it difficult to just make a video of you just walking around your scene as it can sometimes take up to half a second to render a single frame (4K as an example).

The Session Recorder allows you to make a pre-record phase pass at moving your character/Helios Camera Rig/NPCs/other scene geometry around and save them in a session file which can be played back later and preserve the precise location, orientation, animation state and other important settings on a frame by frame basis. This allows you to setup the perfect shot before hand and not have to fumble around with LERPing tools that approximate positions over gameplay time.

Using the Session Recorder is a straightforward process where you add the record/playback scripts to the object you wish to control, click play in record mode and move those object around and then disable the record mode.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.07.01 PM

Helios Session Recorder

The settings in the Session Recorder are as follow:

  • Save Session – This setting causes the Game Object to record its state data while in play mode.
  • Pegasus Mode – This setting causes the the Session Recorder to operate in Audio Only mode.
  • Enable Playback – This setting is used to tell the engine to play this object back during subsequent game play sessions.
  • Save Audio – This setting can be used to capture Audio from your scene’s AudioListener object, more on this later.
  • Horizontal Movement – Save Horizontal movement or not.
  • Vertical Movement – Save Vertical movement or not.
  • Cursor Lock – What to do with the cursor when the game play starts.
  • Session Name – The name of this session, must be unique.
  • Clear Session Data button – Delete all of the session data for this object.

Lets try the Session Recorder out.

  1. Make sure that you have demo scene open
  2. Select the Helios3D Game Object
  3. Select The Session Recorder in the Inspector
  4. Check the Save Session Option
  5. Uncheck Pegasus Mode
  6. Check Enable Playback
  7. Check both Horizontal and Vertical Movement
  8. Name your session something like TestSession
  9. Go To the Inspector called Helios Controller and set your Horizontal Speed to 0.25
  10. Go Back to the Session Recorder
  11. Click Play
  12. Move the Helios Camera Rig around the scene
  13. Stop the scene (Ctrl + P)
  14. Uncheck Save Session
  15. Click Play
  16. Watch your movement play back.

Now you should have a basic understanding of how you can use the Session Recorder in your scene to pre record the movement of Game Objects such as Characters, the Helios Camera Rig, NPCs, etc…

The Session Recorder can also be used in Tandem with the other Helios tools like

  • Helios Controller – the movement controller component
  • Helios Look – a simple mouse look tool.

Helios Rigs

Now lets talk about the different types of setup configurations that you can use Helios with. Helios supports 3 main types of video configurations, and each of these has their own nuance of usage you should consider.

  • 3D/360 Video– For when you want to make fully interactive Virtual Reality videos that you can host on websites like YouTube, Facebook and MilkVR. These videos are output in Equirectangular video format where a full 360 degree panoramic image is deformed in such a way that the entire image contains an equal distribution of spherical distortion.

rqui

Equirectangular Image Format example

  • 3D/360 Stereoscopic Video – Just like normal 360, but recorded in stereo pairs with the left eye image on top and right eye image on bottom.

img00057

  • Stereographic Video – For when you want to create Little Planet style videos that show a 360 degree panoramic image projected onto a spheroid surface.

ster

Stereographic Image Projection example

  • Normal/2D/Planar video projection – Your traditional 2D video as you would record for a simple game demo.

gaia

2D Image Projection example

Now that you have an understanding of the video formats supported by Helios, lets consider which Rig is ideal for you based on your recording scenario.

  • Helios 3D/360 Rigid Body Rig (Mono or Stereo) – This is the rig you want to use when you want record a video demo directly from the 360 camera perspective as if it were a first person player exploring a scene. This Rig has a Rigid Body and Capsule collider as well as the Helios Control scripts that give it basic player movement. This rig can be used as a direct record or Session Recorded pass. You can find this rig at: “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Prefabs/Helios3D” This rig can be used in Equirectangular or Stereographic render mode.
  • Helios 3D/360 on Rails – This is the rig you want to use when you want to record a video that is based on an existing camera path animation from tools like Pegasus, Cinema Director, Simple Waypoint System, etc… In this scenario, you are going to let the animation system of the other tool control the position of the Helios camera and not bother with Rigid Body physics. This rig can be found at: “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Prefabs/Pegasus/Helios3D”. This rig can be used in Equirectangular or Stereographic render mode.
  • Helios 2D Rigid Body –  This is the rig you want to use for shooting a traditional 2D first person or 3rd person video experience. In this scenario, you use the Rigid Body and Capsule collider in combination with the Helios controller and mouse look scripts for traditional W,A,S,D player movement. This rig can be found at: “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Prefabs/Helios2D”. This rig only outputs 2D planar video format
  • Helios 2D on Rails – This is the rig you want to use when you want to record a traditional planar 2D image format but want to attach the camera to an external control mechanism such as a follow cam on a 3rd person character, a tween/spline system like Pegasus, Cinema Director or Simple Waypoint System. This rig can be found at: “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Prefabs/Pegasus/Helios2D”. This rig only outputs  2D planar video format.

Recording Audio

While recording audio in Unity may seem like a trivial task, once you realize how the underlying audio system works, you soon see the problems it presents to screen recording applications. The main issue at hand is that the Unity audio system runs in its own thread, independent of the rendering loop of a game. So if your game is lagging at a sluggish 10 frames per second, the speed and sample rate of the audio system does not slow down to compensate. As you can imagine, getting audio to sync with an offline rendering system like Helios presents quite the challenge, well actually not.

As part of the pre-record phase when you use the Session Recorder, there is an option to Save Audio. Using this option you can play through your level in realtime and capture all of the sounds that the Helios camera rigs Audio Listener would hear. This works by a special piece of code we have that listens for all of the audio samples that come into the main audio listener object and saving them to disk in RAW audio format once your Session Recorder completes. As a final step, Helios will then convert this RAW audio into a .WAV file that you can later attach to your output settings and have them shipped off to FFMPEG when you create your final video.

Lets go over the steps to capture audio for your scene:

  1. Use the Session Recorder as you have previously to define where exactly you want your player movement to go.
  2. Once you are happy with the camera movement from your session uncheck the save session option on the Session Recorder
  3. Check the Save Audio option
  4. Click Play
  5. Helios will now move your character through the positions it had saved in the session, and begin recording sound samples
  6. Once it finishes, uncheck the Save Audio option
  7. Go to your “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Sessions” folder and notice that there are now 2 files a RAW and a WAV file
  8. Drag that WAV file into your Soundtrack file option in the Output Settings of Helios
  9. Arm your Helios camera rig
  10. Let the Scene record all the image frames needed
  11. Once completed, click the Helios button at the bottom of the Helios inspector
  12. Browse to the output folder where you saved your video and now take a listen

Using Helios : Tips

Now that you have had a chance to play with most of the core ideas of how Helios works, lets discuss some of the other ways you can use Helios to make your scenes.

  • Always preview your scene in low resolution – Since offline rendering can take a while to process, its a really good idea to preview your scene with the low resolution option first. This will make a 480p video is much smaller in size and much quicker to process. You can even upload this demo video to a 360 player to check it out.
  • Preview with Kolor Eyes – You can download the free version of Kolor Eyes to preview your 360 video locally on your development machine.
  • Avoid trying to force the users perspective –  This is a 360 degree video, try to make the viewing experience one where they users can look at any and everything in your scene at any given time. Try to avoid putting them into corners, no one wants to watch a corner.
  • Avoid excessive movement – The goal is to make a passive and immersive experience for your viewers. Don’t make the video jerk around and make sudden movements as it can be quite jarring to see in a 3D headset.
  • Be careful about post processing effects you use – There are many great post processing effects you can use in conjunction with Helios, however you need to be careful about which ones you use, as some of them will just not make sense. Case in point, Vignette. If you were to use a Vignette effect you would actually see 6 separate vignette effects applied as Helios works off of Cubemaps and Render textures taken from 6 camera shots per frame.
  • Put your Post processing effects BEFORE Helios –  This will ensure that the effects you want to show are applied to the finalized Helios render. If you put your post processing effects in after Helios, they will show up on screen, but not get recorded into the still images.
  • Put Post Processing effects on the Stitcher Camera –  In every Helios3D rig, there is a child camera that actually record the data from the Scene. This object also does the image stitching work to create the image maps. This is where you need to install your Post Processing Effects.
  • Turn off Occlusion Culling – Since Helios will be taking images from all directions and stitching them together, its a good idea to go ahead and turn off Occlusion Culling, as you want everything to be see as well as all shadows to be cast.
  • Do not ship Helios in a customer facing game – Helios is a Unity Editor tool that is intended to be used for recording demos of your game play. You probably want to delete Helios from your project before you attempt to make your compiled versions of your game as it will only take up space and in some cases like iOS and Android cause the compiler to fail because of executable files included in the package
  • Auto Save – Helios comes pre-installed with a script, which will auto save your Unity Scene when you enter play mode. If you wish to remove this functionality, you can delete the following file from your project: “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Shaders/Helios/AutoSave.cs”

Uploading your Media

Once you have created your 2D/3D/360/Stereo videos with Helios, you are going to want to do something with them. Here is a guide to how to upload your content to the some popular internet sites. Mind you that these sites change things from time to time, and we cannot guarantee how accurate it is at any given time.

YouTube
Probably the most popular place to host your format, YouTube can accept a wide variety of formats and resolutions. Below you will see the steps you need in order to upload for the appropriate video format. When sharing your 3D videos in YouTube, remember that you need to avoid embedded sharing as the 360 player will not load. You want your users to go directly to the YouTube page or view it in the YouTube mobile app.

2D
This is the most basic setup and does not require many special steps to make your content work.

  1. First of all, you will need a YouTube account.
  2. Log Into your YouTube account
  3. Click the Upload Button
  4. In the Upload window you can drop the video you want to upload on the empty space, or you can use the Browse button
  5. YouTube will automatically begin the process of uploading your content.
  6. While yout video is uploading, you can fill out the information about your video like description and thumbnails.
  7. Once the upload is complete, YouTube will begin processing it, you must wait until the processing is complete
  8. Once the Processing is complete, you can click the Publish button.
  9. Now YouTube will provide you with a link you can share with your friends.

Mono 3D/360
The process of 3D/360 video for YouTube is much like the process of 2D, with an additional step in the beginning.

  1. When creating your video with Helios, you will need to use the Spatial Metadata Injector tool provided with Helios
  2. Inside this tool, you select your file by clicking Open and then browsing to it
  3. Now, you will need to specify that it’s an equirectangular format by ticking the Spherical checkbox
  4. Next, click the Save button to specify what you want the injected file to be named
  5. Your file is now saved
  6. Next, you will need a YouTube account.
  7. Log Into your YouTube account
  8. Click the Upload Button
  9. In the Upload window you can drop the video you want to upload on the empty space, or you can use the Browse button
  10. Make sure you select the Injected video you made with the converter tool, as it will tell YouTube that it is a 360 video
  11. YouTube will automatically begin the process of uploading your content.
  12. While your video is uploading, you can fill out the information about your video like description and thumbnails.
  13. Once the upload is complete, YouTube will begin processing it, you must wait until the processing is complete
  14. Once the Processing is complete, you can click the Publish button.
  15. Now YouTube will provide you with a link you can share with your friends.
  16. Don’t share the video yet, as it takes YouTube up to an hour to fully process the 360 video content
  17. Check back periodically to see if your full resolution 360 video is completed
  18. Now share it

Stereo 3D/360

The process of uploading and sharing stereo 360 videos in YouTube is very much like the process of mono, with a few exceptions.

 

  1. When creating your video with Helios, you will need to use the Spatial Metadata Injector tool provided with Helios
  2. Inside this tool, you select your file by clicking Open and then browsing to it
  3. Now, you will need to specify that it’s an equirectangular format by ticking the spherical checkbox
  4. You will also need to tick the 3D Top-Bottom check box (SUPER IMPORTANT)
  5. Next, click the Save button to specify what you want the injected file to be named
  6. Your file is now saved
  7. Next, you will need a YouTube account.
  8. Log Into your YouTube account
  9. Click the Upload Button
  10. In the Upload window you can drop the video you want to upload on the empty space, or you can use the Browse button
  11. Make sure you select the Injected video you made with the converter tool, as it will tell YouTube that it is a 360 video
  12. YouTube will automatically begin the process of uploading your content.
  13. While your video is uploading, you can fill out the information about your video like description and thumbnails.
  14. Once the upload is complete, YouTube will begin processing it, you must wait until the processing is complete
  15. Once the Processing is complete, you can click the Publish button.
  16. Now YouTube will provide you with a link you can share with your friends.
  17. Don’t share the video yet, as it takes YouTube up to an hour to fully process the 360 video content
  18. Go to your video manager page and take your video into Edit mode again.
  19. Go to the Advanced Settings tab
  20. Go to 3D video and tick the checkbox for This is a 3D video
  21. Select Left over Top
  22. Click Save Changes
  23. Check back periodically to see if your full resolution 360 video is completed
  24. Now share it

Facebook
The process of sharing on Facebook is a bit easier than that of using YouTube, but has the limitations of not offering a binocular view of the video. Facebook will accept a spherically formatted equirectangular video with no problem and process it, but the viewer is just a fullscreen monoscopic view.

  1. When creating your video with Helios, you will need to use the Spatial Metadata Injector tool provided with Helios
  2. Inside this tool, you select your file by clicking Open and then browsing to it
  3. Now, you will need to specify that it’s an equirectangular format by ticking the Spherical checkbox
  4. Next, click the Save button to specify what you want the injected file to be named
  5. Your file is now saved
  6. Next, you will need a Facebook account.
  7. Log Into your Facebook account
  8. Go to make a New Post
  9. Click on Upload Images/Video
  10. Browse to your injected video
  11. Facebook will begin the process of uploading your file
  12. While its uploading, write a description of your video and select anyone you want to share it with.
  13. Once the video finishes, Facebook will begin processing it.
  14. Facebook will send you a notification once the video is done processing
  15. Share the post with your friends and groups

 

Resolution Format Guide

Below is a guide to the output resolutions from Helios

3D/360

  • Cubic
    • Preview : 512 x 256
    • Mobile : 1024 x 512
    • Desktop : 2048 x 1024
    • DVD : 4096 x 2048
    • VR : 8192 x 4096 (Higher End GPU required)
  • Cinematic
    • Preview : 704 x 480
    • Mobile : 1280 x 720
    • Desktop : 1920 x 1080
    • DVD : 3840 x 2160
    • VR : 7680 x 4320 (Higher End GPU required)

Stereo 3D/360

  • Cubic
    • Preview : 512 x 512
    • Mobile : 1024 x 1024
    • Desktop : 2048 x 2048
    • DVD : 4096 x 4096
    • VR : 8192 x 8192 (Higher End GPU required)
  • Cinematic
    • Preview : 704 x 960
    • Mobile : 1280 x 1440
    • Desktop : 1920 x 2180
    • DVD : 3840 x 4320
    • VR : 7680 x 8640 (Higher End GPU required)

2D

  • Cubic
    • Preview : 512 x 256
    • Mobile : 1024 x 512
    • Desktop : 2048 x 1024
    • DVD : 4096 x 2048
    • VR : 8192 x 4096 (Higher End GPU required)
  • Cinematic
    • Preview : 704 x 480
    • Mobile : 1280 x 720
    • Desktop : 1920 x 1080
    • DVD : 3840 x 2160
    • VR : 7680 x 4320 (Higher End GPU required)

3rd Party Components

Here is a list of 3rd party components that are shipped with Helios and what they do:

  • FFMPEG – This is the tool that we use to actually convert all of the still images we capture into a video. FFMPEG is a free and open source tool used by millions of people to make videos with. It has an extensive list of options to which we really only scratch the surface of in the implementation of Helios. We ship both the Windows and OSX versions of this tool, so you can delete the one for the operating system you don’t use.
  • 3D Metadata Injection Tool – This important tool is the secret sauce of making these equirectangular videos work with sites like YouTube and Facebook. This tool has one simple purpose, which is to inject a simple header into the video you have already crated and notify the website you host it on that it is a 360 formatted video. Without this tool your video would not project in 360 degrees on YouTube, but just be an video of an equirectangular projection. We ship both the Windows and OSX versions of this tool, so you can delete the one for the operating system you don’t use.

Helios and Pegasus

Pegasus is a camera fly-through tool made by Adam Goodrich (the creator of Gaia). We worked with Adam in tandem on the release of Helios and Pegasus to make each product very compatible with each other. While Helios does ship with a simple Session Recorder tool that you can use to make a very nice walkthrough of your scene, Pegasus will create even more smooth and beautiful camera movement.

If you want to use Helios with Pegasus, simply use the Helios prefabs located in:  “Assets/UtopiaWorx/Helios/Prefabs/Pegasus” as they have no rigid bodies or colliders.

Getting Help

If you have read all of this and still need some help with using Helios here are some resources you can use:

If you have a bug to report, please contact us first before you leave a bug report in the Unity Asset Store Ratings for Helios.