How to Shoot 360 Video


360 videos are the new trend and if you want to stay in the loop, pun intended, you sure would like to know how to shoot 360 video. It’s not just photos now. We’ve moved on from panoramic shots and advanced to an even more exciting achievement in the world of media. You see it on Facebook and some even do it live! It would be a lot of fun if you can do it on your own as well.

Now, to do this, the very fact is you would need a little tool for enhancement. Our technology has advanced but it’s not magic so you can’t just use your regular phone or camera and shoot 360 video. But don’t worry because this guide will help you with every step to shoot 360 video using your own devices and what additional items you need to make it happen.

Video shooting has never been as exciting as it is now. But it has a long history. It didn’t always have the capabilities it has now. There are different types of camera used for different types of shooting. It’s great to learn about them and look back at how it came to be. Here are the history and evolution of the video camera. For taking selfie photos, this is the best selfie stick.

Types of 360 Videos

Before you learn how to shoot 360 video, you must first understand the concept behind it. There are two types of 360 videos and this will determine the way on how you shoot it and what equipment you use.

  • Monoscopic

    The most common type of how to shoot 360 video is monoscopic. It is the type of 360 images found in Google’s street view or in other 360 players like FB and YouTube. The videos have flat renderings that have 360 angles that you can view on any screen. You can move around the space but there is no real depth perception. You should note that you need to use the proper browser if you want to watch it on your computer.

  • Stereoscopic

    In this type of how to shoot 360 video, the video amps up the virtual reality element by creating a 3D rendering of your 360-degree shot. It uses a separate input for each eye. It’s a type of immersive content that is usually shot with two lenses. It uses one lens per field of vision. This can be viewed in 360 with a VR or virtual reality headset.

The Right Camera to Shoot 360 Video

So as mentioned, you would need a special tool to create this type of video. You would need the right camera. The best cameras to use to shoot 360 video are truly omnidirectional. This means that they capture the full surroundings instead of just truncated portions of the scene. A convenient 360 camera would produce videos that you can edit and share with simple software and tools. They don’t require too much stitching or post processing.

Here are some 360 cameras that you can look at:

Samsung Gear Real 360° High-Resolution VR Camera

LG G5 Friends 360 CAM

How to Shoot 360 Video

Now you know some of the basics and the concept behind the 360 video. You might already have the right camera. How do you actually shoot it?

  • Tripod

    First, you need to choose the right position or location where you want to shoot 360 video. And this might mean that you would need a tripod. The tripod you need to use is one without any adjustment arms that might stick out on the shot. You can use travel tripods which are ideal. If you don’t want to purchase one, you can also use a light stand which they use at photo shoots. They also work for 360 cameras and are very cheap and lightweight.

  • Placement

    Now you need to find the proper placement. If you have an omnidirectional camera, it will work best when you plop it in the middle of your scene. When people watch your video in a full headset or cardboard viewer, they can turn their heads and look at anything they want in your video. This is a great revolutionary feature when you shoot 360 video. Just be aware that because of this, your viewer might also completely miss what you’re trying to show them.

    Whatever camera you use, place it in a visually stimulating location. It should have plenty of things to look at in different directions. You can also provide a unique perspective like a bird’s eye view or ant’s view of the world. Put some space between the camera and the subject because it uses a fisheye lens that can distort the image.

  • Action

    Next, you need to master your moves or how you shoot 360 video. If you want to do action shots, keep the camera steady and limit its quick movements. Avoid the camera to bounce up and down or your viewer may feel very uncomfortable. If the camera is moving, your viewer will not be in full control of what they’re watching and it will create a disconnect and defeats the purpose of shooting the video in 360.

  • Stage the Shot

    You can stage the shot as if you’re not there in the scene. If you don’t want to be in the video, you can simply use a mobile app that will allow you to record and pause the video remotely. You can also blend in the environment.

  • Editing

    Finally, when you shoot 360 video, you would have to edit it before it can be ready to be viewed in 360. The process is different from editing an ordinary video. Most 360 cameras can already do the stitching for you. Sometimes, you can do this with a press of a button or by using a mobile app. You can edit and add titles but you need to get used to the spherical shape. To make something appear flat, you need to distort it to match the sphere’s curvature.

  • Add Metadata

    Now you’re ready to share your video. But before uploading it to Facebook or YouTube, you need to add the metadata so that the player will recognize it as a 360 video. If not, it will play as flat, 2D video. Now you can share it on social media or any platform you choose.

Just like any technology, be reminded that there are limitations when you shoot 360 video. The image will not be as high definition so that’s one sacrifice you need to make.