The development of 360 video has grown from something accessible only to professionals (with pro-budgets) to a far more mainstream technology available to the general public. With the emergence of 360-degree video on Facebook and Youtube and the appearance of consumer-friendly panoramic video cameras and Virtual Reality headsets for iPhones, 360 video has become a tool that virtually anyone can play around with. Whether you are a professional designer or simply a tech industry junkie, here is everything you need to know to shoot your own 360 video.
Buy a 360 camera
The first step is to get yourself your very own 360-degree camera. With a whole batch of new models on the market that are compact and affordable, anyone can now purchase their own panoramic video camera. Ranging in price and capability, these spherically-shaped cameras allow you to capture 360-degree video footage, which can then be edited and uploaded onto whichever VR-capable platform you are using. Many of these 360 cameras (such as the Ricoh Theta) do not have viewfinders – instead, they come with apps that you download onto your mobile phone in order to compose and view your shots.
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Master the 360-degree capture
Some 360 cameras capture only a horizontal wraparound view, while more advanced models shoot 360×180 degree spherical images, giving you wraparound footage as well as full vertical capture. Whichever one of these panoramic cameras you are using, these devices all use more than one camera in order to shoot that 360-degree view you are seeking.
The cameras within the device work together to capture everything within the 360-degree frame, resulting in an impressively immersive experience for your viewers. It is important to note though, that as opposed to a regular video camera, you do not want to move around the 360 camera itself. Eventually your viewers will be moving the video around themselves, so leave the work to the camera and try only to capture natural movement within the frame.
Upload and share
With a 360 camera in hand and the mobile app to go with it, you can shoot raw clips of 360-degree footage and then use the app to upload and share them on social media. Sharing on Facebook and Twitter can be done this way but uploading onto YouTube requires one additional step. To ensure that your 360 video plays successfully on the YouTube site, you first need to download the 360 Video Metadata app, which adds the necessary metadata into your file so that Youtube knows it is 360 enabled. Once you have the app you simply import your file, upload it to the site, and Youtube takes care of the rest.
360 video has transformed the way that we can present and experience video content, and is only just becoming accessible to the masses. With the use of this new tool, individuals and businesses alike can venture into the exciting capabilities that 360-degree video and Virtual Reality have to offer. While still in its early stages, 360 video is as yet a relatively untapped resource, but its emergence on the consumer market indicates a heightened interest and growing demand which will definitely usher in exciting new developments.
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Article By: Olga Grigorenko