Oculus Link is out and I played lots of Stormland using my Quest instead of my Oculus Rift S, and I very enjoy it. But, as a 360 filmmaker, you probably care more about using the Oculus Quest to edit your VR video. This tutorial is all about why you should color grade directly on Oculus Quest, teaching you to set up your Quest with Oculus Link and my USB cable suggestion to save money and have the best editing experience inside the brand new Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2020. If you ready to throw away your HTC Vive Pro, or even the Oculus Rift S, let’s dive right in:
Before watching this tutorial, you need to know why and how to edit VR video with VR headset like the Oculus Rift S here. No matter what camera you use, GoPro MAX, the new Kandao Qoocam 8K, Insta360 ONE X or the Insta360 Titan, you need to edit inside VR headset if you are distributing your content within VR headsets. There is no way around it. If you are the one edit and publish a VR video without even check your works within a VR headset, you are making your viewers hate VR — don’t be that guy or gal:
So why edit directly inside Oculus Quest is even better than Oculus Rift S? Besides the fact that Oculus Quest is more popular than any other VR headset on the market beside the Oculus Go, there are practical reasons as well. Color grading is a big one. The display within Oculus Quest is different than Oculus Rift S or HTC Vive. And your final video will probably be consumed on Oculus Quest and Oculus Go. Quest will eventually be more popular than Go with gamers pushing the sale. With the release of Oculus Media — which I am working on that tutorial — and the upcoming release of Oculus TV, more people are going to watch your content on the Quest. So as an editor, you should target your color grading to the Oculus Quest instead on any other headset. You future proof your videos.
Okay, now, let’s learn how to set up your Oculus Quest with Oculus Link so you can use it within Premiere 2020.
First, let’s make sure your computer is powerful enough to edit VR video or play VR games. I will recommand using steamVR performance test. I will put the link down blew. Then download the Oculus software onto your computer. Please make sure you have the latest version as Oculus Link is only in beta right now and you need the latest Oculus software to make it works. Then download StreamVR. If you follow my previous tutorial on setting up Oculus Rift S — this is no news for you. Then of course, please make sure update your Premiere Pro CC to 2020. 2019 will work but 2020 has VR performance optimization — which will help a smoother playback in higher resolution VR video. I hear Black magic Fusion 16 from DaVinci resolve will also work with Oculus Quest using Oculus Link. But I will save that tutorial when I work on my DaVinic Resolve series.
USB Cable for Oculus Link
One of the biggest issues for lots of users is finding the correct USB cable. Oculus Link, essentially is just a USB cable to connect your PC to your Oculus Quest headset. Do you need to spend $80+ dollars for the official cable from Oculus? If you are playing lots of VR games then yes. But if you are a VR video editor, then no. Why?
Well, the official cable is a USB-C to USB-C cable. As you all know, your thunderbolt 3 or USB-C cable should be connected to your SSD or external hard drive like the G-tech Shuttle XL. This is to make sure you have the fastest read and write speed for large VR media. Even the consumer camera GoPro MAX is 5.6K — and that is lots of data going from and to your computer.
So, your Quest can not use any USB-C from your computer. You can only use USB 3.1. So you need a cable that is USB-C to USB 3.1. Here is the cable will work and recommended by the official Oculus — the Anker PowerLine. It only costs $12 on Amazon. It is shorter than the official cable — but you mostly sit next to your computer so the length is never the issue.
Setup Oculus Link with Quest on PC
So now go ahead and open Oculus Software you just downloaded, go to devices — which is on the left of your Oculus Software menu. As you see all the devices I have connected to my PC. I have the original Oculus Rift, the Oculus Rift S — which has been my main editing VR headset for all my works, and the Oculus Quest — which is currently connected to my PC. You won’t see your Quest yet so go ahead and hit the Add headsets button down below. BTW, before you do that, I will recommand disconnect all your other Oculus headset to avoid problems — I find that usually was the issues. So do that!
The next screen — go ahead and select Quest and continue. So now Oculus asks you to connect your Oculus Quest. So turn on your Quest, make sure it is at least 50% charged. Connect it with the cheap USB cable you just got from Amazon, the other end to your PC USB 3.1 port. If your graphic card supports a virtual link, you can connect your official Oculus USB-C cable to your graphic card instead. I will do a review of the official Oculus Link cable when it comes out so subscribe and keep up to date.
Now put on your Oculus Quest, it will prompt to enable Oculus Link beta, hit confirm inside the headset and you are ready to go. You should see a different interface than the Quest and all your Rift S VR games should be available. As you see, I am playing stormland right now with my Quest — which was only available to be played on Oculus Rift S. BTW, I did not notice the latency compared to Rift S — it is literally the same experience. I am not a professional VR gamer — for a casual gamer who just wants to play Asgard’s Wrath, Blade & Sorcery, or Stormland — the Quest is good enough, and you don’t need to buy the Rift S.
If Oculus Link does not work for you or it disconnects randomly while playing VR game or inside Premiere, it is probably your USB port is not 3.1 or does not provide enough power to charge your Quest while playing back the content. Especially you are using the front panel USB ports like what I do here on my PC. Well, my PC is built by maingear for VR gaming so all USB ports are quality checked. So if disconnect issue happens or simply just not working, try the back panel of your motherboard. The easiest way to find out which USB port will work is by downloading this free utility app called USBDeview. I will provide the link down in the description below. When you connected your Quest, it will show up as you see here. Scroll all the way to the right, and you see the power consumption. My Quest draws 896mA on a USB 3.1 port. That should be you as well. If you see the number lower than that, we have some issues, and you need to switch USB ports or called your PC help support line. I hope this little tip helps you to solve your issue. If it does not, comment below and I will help you out.
Edit VR inside Premiere Pro 2020
Okay, now it is the exciting part. We are going to connect your Quest to Premiere 2020. The process is the same as 2019 or even 2018. But 2020 works better so far for VR editing — I can’t vouch for that for 2D video editing — so please, please keep your 2019 instead of deleting it. You never know when you need it.
Also, double make sure you install Steam and SteamVR — if you can, go play some streamVR game using your Oculus Quest.
Open Premiere and open up a VR project. Here I have the Boston drone fly project open shot on the GoPro MAX in Cambridge on top of MIT and Harvard University. I highly recommand to check it out on Oculus Quest — which I will provide the link down below. Not on YouTube VR as it has compression — but directly on Oculus Quest. You need to see it yourself to find out how much better even without sideloading.
Go ahead and hit the toggle VR display button to make sure you have the correct meta. If meta is missing, go on to sequence settings and make sure your VR properties are exactly like mine. Play your video in VR mode, and make sure it does not has any dropped frame. You can see the drop frame indicator right here. If it does and you are not following my GoPro MAX render setting in ProRes — please make proxy first. I have many tutorials on that, so I am not gonna repeat myself.
Now go ahead and click the ranch icon, choose Adobe Immersive Environment, and also monitor Ambisonics for spatial audio if you like I do. Again, spatial audio is very important to your VR production — so please check out this series to learn how to do it properly.
Now, Oculus Software should open if it has not already and also SteamVR should open. Make sure your headset icon and your left and right control turn green. Bring Premiere back to focus, go ahead and hit the space bar to play the video. Put on your Quest and you should see the video is playing. You can hit the menu icon to bring up the Premiere timeline. Again, bring up your controllers, you should see all the control. X and A buttons are stopping and playing video. Point and grab will allow you to srub tho the timeline. There are many controls within the VR environment that allow you to edit fast in VR. The controls are identical with Rift S — so please watch this tutorial again to learn all the controls and how to edit in VR with Premiere Pro.
If you want to bring up the monitor windows as I do here, right-click on SteamVR icon on your taskbar, check Display VR view, it will bring up the monitor. It is good to show that when you play the video for your clients and director and know where they are looking at. It brings so much fun in the editing base and let the clients see the final product before rendering and really help the communication between you — the VR editor and the rest of the team.
I hope this video helps you to setup and start editing in VR. Again, I can’t stress more how important you should make your cut in VR. If you can not see what your end-user see, you are not editing VR correctly. So please, help the industry by doing things the correct ways — make awesome content to wow your audience instead of making them sick in VR headset.
The next tutorial, I will show you how to release content directly onto the Oculus ecosystem — be the first one on Oculus TV, which is not released yet — and gain views and build your audience base in VR. Remember that, as a CreatorUp follower, you are an immersive content creator and pioneer that are driving this industry forward. You have your responsibility to follow best practices, care for your audience’s experience, and guide them into the cinematic VR world — instead of driving them away. Together, we grow the VR industry.
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Oculus PC Software: https://ocul.us/2E2tlVb
SteamVR Performance Test: http://bit.ly/2OWaAso
Boston in 360 Sample: https://ocul.us/366rvOJ
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Oculus Quest: https://amzn.to/33UnQSL