How Facebook makes those 360-degree videos look so awesome

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Ever wondered how Facebook’s 360-degree videos look so good, no matter where you turn your phone (or, if you’re watching on your desktop, where you slide with your mouse)?

It’s all explained in a new video shared by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Thursday.

The videos are created using a technology called cube-mapping, in which the video is projected onto faces of a cube, with each face representing one direction relative to the viewer. This enables the viewer to see the video from all angles, while removing some redundant information that causes video warping, reducing the file size by 25% — a big deal on Facebook’s scale.

The video also explains how this works for high-definition VR-watching. Here, the 360-degree video is projected onto the faces of a pyramid. As the viewer changes his or her point of view, viewpoints are dynamically switched, with the one in focus always showing the optimal resolution. This technique drastically reduces file size, while keeping the quality of the video high.

In his post, Zuckerberg also shares a mind-blowing statistic about video on Facebook. Facebook users watch more than 8 billion videos on the network every day — up from 1 billion in 2015.