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Integrating 360-Degree Video Into Unity

Convert a 360-degree video into a Skybox texture with newly integrated shader.

The Unity engine is one of the most popular videogame engines in use today. The power behind titles such as SuperHot VR and many other successful videogames, Unity have now announced a beta version of a High-quality Shader that allows Unity users to integrate 360-degree video into Unity.

There has been much questioning over when full 360-degree video integration would be added to Unity since the introduction of the Video Player component. The new shader, though still in Beta, is available for use by developers working with Unity version 5.6 or higher.

The new integration allows developers to take any supported video file, such as an .mp4 that contains 360 or 180 cubemap or equireactangular content and import it as an asset that can be played through the Video Player component.

From there it is possible to target the Video Player to render a texture with the same dimensions as the video and connect that texture to a Material set to use as a new Skybox, or Panoramic Beta shader. This enables the Skybox to act as a ‘screen’ for a 360-degree video. Then users can turn on Virtual Reality Support Player setting and don a VR headset to experience the 360-degree video projected all around them.

With the use of 3D 360-degree content, it’s even possible to create immersive experiences by using 360-degree vide as a backdrop, combined with Skyboax Panoramic shader’s 3D settings/

Further information and full documention can be found at the Skybox Panoramix Shader GitHub page.

VRFocus will bring you further information on Unity’s new VR and 360-degree features as it becomes available.

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