Omni Stereo

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Source Code:


The RifPlugin presented here is intended to help artists experiment with the intriguing VR camera ( RixProjection) plugin written by Mach Kobayashi. The source code for his plugin can be found here:

Ideally, his plugin should be automatically loaded by Maya as a result of RfM sourcing the users custom RenderMan_for_Maya.ini and RMSWorkspace.ini scripts. However, the Rif presented in this tutorial greatly simplifies the process of using Kobayashi's plugin because users do not have to maintain any custom initialization (.ini) files.

Step 1 - Download the Pre-Built Plugins

Pre-built versions of the plugins are available for download from the links at the top of this page. Copy the OmnidirectionalStereo and OmniProjection_Rif plugins to the Maya project directory you intend to use for your "stereo" work. For example,

Step 2 - In Maya

Launch Maya and before opening a scene file set your project directory using,
    File->Set Project...
Either open an existing scene or create a few simple objecs and save your scene. Confirm your project directory is set correctly open Render Setting and go to the Workspace tab - figure 1.

Figure 1

Step 3 - Assign the Rif Plugin

Go to the Render Settings Advanced tab and open the "Ri Filters" panel. Click the "New Rif" button and browse for Kobayashi's OmnidirectionalStereo plugin. On Windows the plugin will have a .dll file extensions.

Figure 2

Step 4 - Set an Image Size and Select a Camera

There is no need to use Maya's stereo camera. The OmnidirectionalStereo plugin renders an image with upper and lower halves. The upper portion of the image is rendered from the point of view of the left eye. The lower half is rendered from the point of view of the right eye. Kobayashi recommends the format of the image should be square.

Render the scene to the "it" window to confirm the rif and the OmnidirectionalStereo plugin are being referenced without any errors. Because both plugins were copied to a specific project directory it is vitally important the project directory has been set correctly in Maya - step 2.

Adjusting the Left/Right Eye Separation

The default eye separation (interpupilaryDistance) in Kobayashi's plugin is 0.0635. This can be overridden by specifying a value in "Rif Args" - figure 3. For example.

Figure 3

Specifying a Path to the Kobayashi Plugin

Users who prefer to copy the Kobayashi plugin to a directory other than their current project directory can do by specifying the path to that directory - figure 4. However, the path must use forward slashes (even on Windows) and MUST NOT contain any spaces in the names of directories. For example.

Figure 4

What to do Next?

Information about how to upload and use omni stereo movies can be found at Upload virtual reality videos.

© 2002- Malcolm Kesson. All rights reserved.