by Hugh Hou
Oculus TV is like Netflix for VR Video. Millions of Oculus VR headset users are watching content on Oculus TV every day. If you are like me and want to be one of the first creators to distribute your stories directly to VR, where VR content is best enjoyed, this tutorial is for you! We will start by teaching you how to watch high-quality content on Oculus Quest 2 or Oculus Go. Then how to publish content using the brand new Oculus Media Studio. We will cover best practices that will help you get a better chance to be discovered & featured by Oculus and earn thousands of views:
Oculus Media Studio is a new media management tool for immersive creators to upload, publish, and analyze VR-first content.
Not like other platforms, such as VeeR or YouTube VR, Oculus Media only accept 4K+ high-quality 360 or 180 videos. And all your uploads will be manually approved by Oculus.
Fortunately, all 360 or VR cameras reviewed on this channel will meet the requirement. So you can use Insta360 ONE X2, ONE R, Qoocam 8K, or GoPro MAX as a capture camera:
I personally will recommand 3D Stereoscopic cameras like Insta360 Pro 2, Titan, ZCam K1, or K2 Pro or the brand new Kandao Obsidian Pro, review right here. 3D is more immersive than 360 alone. Also, Oculus prefers 3D content. So your VR Video will have a higher chance to be featured by Oculus if it is in 3D 360 or 3D 180.
In terms of editing 360 videos for Oculus TV release, I already made many tutorials on this topic. If you use Adobe Premiere Pro, check out this from start to finish tutorial:
If you use Davinci Resolve, check out this ongoing tutorial series:
I assume you already watch those tutorials, so I will start where those tutorials left off.
In Premiere, you will want to render in H.265 in 5760 x 2880 for monoscopic video captured in Insta360 ONE X2, ONE R or GoPro MAX:
Bitrate I will set to 60Mbps. Qoocam 8k, Tech360 Anywhere, or Insta360 Pro 2 you can render in 7680 x 3840. Make sure to check Video is VR and set it according to your video. Check to use maximum render quality — and the final mp4 file will work on Oculus Media Studio. Not all VR headsets can play such a high-quality upload. Lucky, Oculus Media Studio will optimize the media for you for optimized playback on different versions of Oculus VR headsets:
Using Premiere is the easiest way but NOT the recommended way. The best way to get the best render quality is to use FFMPEG. I went into details on my original Oculus Quest 2 tutorial here. So def go check that video tutorial out. If you want all the FFMPEG commands as cheatsheet, check out Eric Cheng’s blog post here. He did a great job listing all the commands.
Here is the command I will use:
FFMPEG code I use (for MAX Quest 2 quality):
ffmpeg -i “input.mov” -c:v libx265 -preset slow -crf 17 -vf “scale=5760×5760” -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a copy -movflags faststart “output_h265_crf17.mp4”
5760 X 5760 is targeted at Oculus Quest 2. Oculus TV tends to downsize it for you in Go or Quest 1. So it is safe to use now. But if it does not work, try 4096 x 4096.
Using FFMPEG does not encode audio. Oculus strongly suggests using the official 10 channel ambisonic audio — Hybrid Higher Order Ambisonics. Oculus is the only VR platform that supports higher-order ambisonics. Good audio is 50% of a good immersive experience. So I will recommand learning how to do it correctly with Reaper and Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation. I have an in-depth tutorial right here. Even tho the tutorial is old, it is still the best tutorial on teaching you how to encode 8 channels ambisonic audio correctly. So go watch it.
If you are lazy and do not want to bother ambisonic audio, you can cheat Oculus to upload a 2-channel headlock audio track with an empty ambisonic track.
Make sure you download FB360 encoder. Link it is in the description down below. Think FB360 encoder as your encode swiss army knife. It can encode for both YouTube VR and Oculus TV. And it is a free download from Oculus.
Pick Facebook 360 or 180 video here, and skip the Spatial Audio. Drop your stereo audio wav file in HEAD-LOCKED STEREO field right here. Pick your video layout and drop in your video track from FFMPEG render. Go ahead and hit encode. FB360 will encode the correct file for upload onto Oculus Media Studio.
In the upcoming future, Oculus might stop you from uploading immersive videos with only stereo audio like the direct output from Premiere or Resolve. Using FB360 plugin to embed empty ambisonic and head-locked audio is the sure way to make any output work.
If you render and upload VR180 or 3D 360 video onto Oculus Media Studio using a professional camera like Insta360 Pro 2 or Z Cam K2Pro, I am making a detailed beginner guide on my 360 VR filmmaking masterclass, link right here. Check it out if you need more help.
Think Creator Portfolio as your YouTube channel or your Instagram Page. It is where your fans can subscribe to your content. I highly recommand you to create a creator portfolio before uploading your VR video.
Create a Creator Portfolio is extremely simple. I will provide the written guide from Oculus here. Just follow it step by step.
Here again, is my Creator Portfolio page. You can feature a VR video, list your website, and showcase all your playlists.
After you render your VR video using FB360 encoder and created a Creator Portfolio, you are ready to upload your first VR Video on Oculus. Go to your Oculus Media Studio homepage. Select Upload Video in the upper right-hand corner to upload your video.
Drop your video here, you will see the brand new Oculus Media upload interface.
The official document uses the old interface, so just follow along in this video. Put in title and description. Please make your Title as short as possible. Oculus cut off your video title in VR headset. So the first 3 words are most important for discovery. Drop your SEO mindset in Title and description creation. Write like a human being, not a keyword machine.
The description also does not support HTML — so no links. This is not the place to promote your YouTube channel or TikTok profile.
Next is really important — upload a beautiful Thumbnail and Hero Image. Not like YouTube, they have to be in PNG format. The Thumbnail size is 1080P, and Hero Image is 3000 by 900 pixels. Even tho the Hero image is optional, please do not skip that. Attractive thumbnails and Hero Image tend to get more views on Oculus TV.
As you see, my Travel the World playlist has very similar thumbnails on all videos — using the same fonts and colorful design. It establishes a good brand so your viewers can easily spot out which is your video.
Session 3 is Trailer. You can upload a 1080P or 4K 2D trailer under 1GB in size. This trailer will be displayed on your Oculus page and also shared on your Facebook Page for people do not have a VR headset yet to see. We recommand uploading that as well. We are basically following all the best practices Oculus suggests so we can get featured by Oculus. So don’t get lazy here. If you need help on creating reframed 2D video from 360 videos, check out this tutorial right here.
In session 4, you can choose when and what to post on your Facebook Page that is connected to the Oculus Media page. I usually choose “Do not post to Facebook” during my release. The reason is that Oculus will not release your VR video immediately. They will need to go tho a review process. When your video met their community guideline and technical standard, they will approve your release. But we have no idea when it will be approved. So it is better to make sure when it is LIVE on Oculus first, then you can come back and post either the 2D trailer or the Entire Video on your Facebook page.
Talking about Facebook page, I have a pretty large following on my Facebook page — now it is around 200,000 followers. So I temp to NOT post the entire video on Facebook. I will render a monoscopic 4K version of the 360 or 180 video to post it separately onto my Facebook page as an original video. This actually gives me another chance to pick up by Oculus TV. Oculus TV sometimes goes into Facebook to search for popular 360 videos to repost inside Oculus TV. If you do not have a big following on Facebook, then it does not really matter.
You can then preview your post to make sure everything looks good. Visibility, make sure you choose Public. But if you do not want Oculus TV to promo your video or telling people about your video, then use unlisted. An unlisted video will be only accessible by sharing the Oculus Page URL directly. It is a great way to show your client the video without them downloading your file and do the whole sideload thing with sidequest. Think of it like Frame.io for VR video.
I won’t Publish directly btw. I will save as Draft first to make sure the video looks and sound correctly inside Oculus Quest 2 before I come back here and edit it to Publish. There are many things that can go wrong with releasing on Oculus TV — like ambisonic sound off or video not in 3D. So make sure your draft looks great in VR first before publishing. You and anyone in your Organization can see the draft content inside VR headset. You can save it or push it onto your device. So it is safe to do so.
Next, I will consider it is building some playlists. Playlist allows you to categorize your videos — which helps in discovery. I do dance music videos in VR and also travel videos in VR — so I have two playlists. Building a playlist is very straightforward. Just click Create New Playlist here and fill out the information. Then add your video to the playlist.
The playlist will displace on your public creator portfolio.
Follow me on Social Media to get more latest info on 360 VR filmmaking:
➜Oculus TV: https://ocul.us/2PINYMz ➜YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/creatorup ➜Facebook: https://facebook.com/360creator ➜Instagram: https://instagram.com/hugh.hou ➜TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@hughhou/ ➜Website: http://film360.video