Video is a powerful method to record moments. And the hottest topic in 2018 is still VR and 360 degree videos. Both Facebook and YouTube are trying to support 360-degree videos. Many people confused VR and 360-degree video. The basic difference is we have to watch VR content with a VR headset; but 360 videos are free to enjoy with 360 browsers. But that does not mean we can make 360 video files as easily as panoramic pictures. Sometimes a 360 video is useful and fantastic, so you must want to know how to make 360 videos. Just read the article to find whether it works for you.
As a beginner, you may just want to try to make 360 video. And when you search online, you will find out that the dedicated 360 video cameras are too expensive to afford. Nokia OZO, for example, is the most professional 360 camera and its price is up to $ 60,000. Actually, if you are not a professional, your smartphone is smart enough to make a 360 video, no matter you use iPhone or Android phone. Before shooting, make sure that your smartphone has both front and back cameras.
1. Open the camera app on your smartphone and activate the DUAL CAM mode. If you use iPhone or the built-in camera app does not have the ability of DUAL CAM mode, you can download a third party camera app with such mode in App Store or Google Play Store. DUAL CAM mode allows you to open front and back cameras at the same time.
2. Hold your smartphone and move it around about 180 degree.
3. Search and download a video stitcher on your smartphone. Stitch the video clips in the video stitcher.
4. Then you can share the 360 video on social media and check it on your smartphone with a 360 video player.
The process of making 360 video on your smartphone is easier than you thought. Although the video is not as perfect as the professional 360 videos, this method is appropriate to make 360 video for fun.
The memory of smartphones is limited, so you can not make a real 360 video on smartphone. The other way to make 360 video file is using the professional software on computer, like After Effects and the plugin Skybox Studio. This plugin allows you to load, edit and export real 360 videos.
Before sharing on YouTube, the 360 video can be viewed from different perspective. Skybox Studio provides three perspectives, Equirectangular Map, Cube Map and Sphere Map. Although equirectangular perspective is a little complicated, it is an accurate 2D display of 3D video. In one word, it looks like viewing the 360 video in a non-360-compatible video player. If you view a 360 video in cube map mode, the video will be divided into 6 square planes. They are the six face of the square unfolded. So this perspective is the best way to depict 360 video in 3D space. Another perspective is Sphere Map. It seems to look at the subject through dew.
1. Launch Adobe After Effects and select footage in the Project Panel.
2. Open Skybox Extractor window and click on Extract Skybox button to activate the 360 video feature.
3. Then Skybox Studio will organize the video into four compositions automatically, including Skybox Footage, Skybox Edit, Skybox Preview and Skybox Output.
4. The Skybox Footage is used to place the raw video file from the camera.
5. Then you can edit the 360 scene in Skybox Edit. It will show the 360 video as the form of a cube. You can adjust the elements located in the scene and add 3D object here.
6. Skybox Preview allows you to preview and navigate the 360 video, so you can test the output and modify the details.
7. Adding 2D into the 360 video is complicated, because the object will distort. You can use Skybox Converter script to input 2D and output Equirectangular to add 2D object into the 360 video seamlessly.
8. Skybox Output is the final development process. You do not have to change anything in this step. When you are ready to get the output, you can access it to export the 360 video.
9. Finally, you may want to share the 360 video on YouTube. At this time, you need Google’s 360 Video Metadata Tool to make 360 video compatible with YouTube. Open the output in Metadata tool and click on Inject.
As you can see, the process of making 360 video is less complicated than you thought, although it is complicated than making panoramic pictures. If you are beginning to make 360 video, smartphones are better choice. There are many useful applications on smartphone could help you to make 360 video. Although iPhone could take panoramic photos, the built-in camera app does not the ability to open front and back cameras at the same time. So iPhone users have to install third party camera apps to obtain the DUAL CAM mode as well. And after you get a 360-degree camera, you can use more professional software to make a real 360 video on your computer, like Adobe After Effects and its plugin Skybox Studio.