360 video is here and with YouTube supporting its format, this immersive experience has made its way into the fast lane.
What is a 360 video?
360 videos are made either by utilizing an omnidirectional camera or fixing multiple cameras strategically on a special gear that allows the cameraperson to take truncated shots in every direction.
While in an omnidirectional camera the laborious need to stich multiple videos together is eliminated, using multiple cameras requires you to unite those different shots together using a software in the post-processing phase. Not only different scenes need to be merged together, but various attributes of the picture such as the white balance, contrast, etc. need to be finetuned for a consistent outlook.
Once they have been put up on a video streaming platform, the process to view 360 videos is a piece of cake: hit the play button, watch and enjoy the 360-degree experience – unless you’re streaming one of those horror 360 videos on YouTube.
Here’s an example:
If I had a crystal ball to predict the future, it’d without a doubt validate that 360 video is here to stay.
However, before you get too excited and invest your hard-earned marketing fund into it, we recommend that you take a look at the tips below which will enlighten you about the key factors you need to keep in mind to shoot an amazing 360 video:
1. Get the Right Panoramic Camera
Like we discussed above, the cameras to shoot 360 videos are different from conventional cameras. You should perhaps consider purchasing an omnidirectional camera to circumvent the tedious after-shoot editing that comes with those other all-seeing mechanical eyes.
2. Invest in a Tripod
In videos, nothing says amateur like a shaky shot. It compels the viewer to click on the close button with the force of the Hulk. So, to make lasting impressions on your audience, be sure to purchase a tripod.
While purchasing the gear to go with the omnidirectional camera, you have to keep in mind that these cameras capture everything and if you don’t pick the right stand, it will be included in the video too.
However, don’t feel constrained by this because there are plenty of tripods out there without adjustment arms which would do the job. One of the best options is a travel tripod. Not only is it lightweight and easy to carry but there are no arms involved.
3. Focus on the Content Quality
Here’s a hard-to-admit truth: Compared to what most people are used to, the quality of 360 video, as of now, is poor.
So, to make viewers stay and watch your creation, it is imperative to focus on the content you’re putting out there. If it doesn’t resonate with people, they most likely won’t even make it halfway through it.
Read more: How to Succeed at Video Content Marketing
4. Decide the Viewer’s Vantage Point Carefully
When you’re shooting a 360 video, you are at liberty to place the viewer anywhere and show them anything in the scene. So, you need to be careful when you pick the setting because if it’s anything short of visually captivating, you could lose your viewer.
To excel at picking the viewer’s vantage point, you can think of your camera as a person who’s a part of the scene and find the best spot for them to stay and “observe”.
For example, if you’re shooting inside a building, a bad shot would be to place the camera against two walls. This would restrict how far the viewer can see. A well-planned shot would be to place the camera in the middle of the building, where the viewer can navigate in all four directions.
5. Be Careful with Your Moves
According to studies, virtual reality causes sickness in some people, which acts as a barrier in the way of mainstream adoption of this technology.
If you followed the advice given in the second point, then having a tripod would likely limit the jerkiness of your camera. However, that’s not enough. You need to keep swift and sharp movements to a minimum to avoid your audience from encountering motion sickness/nausea.
Additionally, 360 videos come with a sense of belonging. But if the viewer sees the camera continuously shaking, it’d create a disconnect that would be difficult to recover from.
So, be sure to keep in control of what is in the frame.
6. Learn to Edit on a Spherical Surface
Like we have already discussed, most omnidirectional cameras perform the most difficult task of video production for you: stitching the shots together. However, even then there are some things you have to care of yourself. One is the adding text part.
Keep in mind, due to the round nature of the video, your title and credits would look stretched out. So, you have to drag it meticulously for it to blend with the sphere’s curvature.
7. Don’t Miss out on the Metadata
The metadata of a 360 video is a key element that needs to be uploaded to the video streaming platform for it to recognize the format. Without it, most platforms would play it as a 2D video.
8. Mind the Gap
Since 360 cameras are basically two cameras working in harmony, the area where the two ends meet appears to be non-congruent. So, make sure any focal points aren’t located in this gap area.
Our advice for shooting a 360 video is consistent with any other video format: focus on the quality. If the quality of your content hits the right chord, you easily could be the individual who states the rules for tomorrow’s immersive shooters.