What Is 360 Degree Video?
360 Degree Video is an brand new form of video content with immersive VR experience for users with the VR glasses on. Let’s find out more of what 360 degree video is?
Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard about Virtual Reality. The term has gained popularity recently with a whole new set of VR headsets and games.
Have you ever thought what it is? The core idea of the same is 360 degree view, which allows you to focus on the surroundings rather than a single, principal object. It is believed that the fisheye lens is the ancestor of these type of videos that capture wide angles.
If you know nothing about 360 degree videos and views, this article is specially crafted for you as I am going to share some insights on it.
Are you ready to get into the real meat of this post? Here you go!
What is 360 Degree Video?
The 360 degree videos are the real application of virtual reality. In such types of videos, the viewers get the ability to look around to have the premises view. Meaning, you can see both the sky and the ground of a 360 degree skydiving video. Isn’t it awesome?
A 360 degree video is otherwise called as spherical or immersive videos, which it truly is. Once you start watching a 360 degree video using a VR headset, you will adapt yourself into what is being shown because you can’t see your real environments by turning the VR head.
Aren’t you curious about how these videos are made? Let’s know more about the production.
How to make a 360 Degree Video?
You need a specialized omnidirectional camera to create a 360 degree video. As it simultaneously records things from every direction and merges them all to give the final output, the viewers will have the immersive experience.Though numerous spherical cameras are being regularly launched, Google supports only four of them; Ricoh Theta S, Kodak SP 360, IC Real Tech Allie, and Giroptic 360 degree camera.
You need to spend at least a $300 to get your hands on a camera. Alternatively, it is possible for you to create customized rigs. But don’t go for it if you are on a shoestring budget.In case your 360 degree camera is unable to stitch the visuals together and sync the audio, you must use a dedicated editor which can do this for you.
The most widely used 360 degree video editor is Kolor Autopano. It supports both Mac and Windows. But you need to have the hardware backup to render 4K or full HD videos along with the individual frame rate conversion.
Don’t you know that 360 degree videos are here for a while? Then why it is trending only now? The tech giants YouTube and Facebook have started supporting them, and that’s what made it an instant hit.
YouTube 360 Degree Video
Among the two, YouTube was first in bringing 360 degree support back in the mid-2015. Viewing 360 degree videos on YouTube is not at all a Herculean task. In case you find it hard to spot 360 degree videos, use this link. As you can see in the image, they incorporated a navigation button (PC users) on the left-top corner of the video screen to turn around. The mouse helps you navigate with a left click and drag.
For smartphone users, I recommend buying a VR headset. Google Cardboard is available for a low price and it is easy to setup too. Make sure your phone has a gyroscopic sensor before you make the purchase.
How to Upload 360 Degree Videos on YouTube?
You can upload an immersive video on YouTube just like any other one. The video file you intend to upload should contain metadata.
The following are the steps to follow for uploading a spherical video on YouTube.
Step 1: First, you have to download the metadata app. Both the Windows and Mac versions are available.
Step 2: On Windows what you get is a zipped file. Unzip the same and open the app. You can directly open the app from Mac.
Step 3: Opening the app will give you the option to open video. Browse for the 360 degree video you already created. Then, click Inject and Save.
Step 4: As in every save file box, you need to give a name and press Save. It will create a new file in the same location of the original file.
Step 5: Upload the new file to YouTube. Sure, it will have enough metadata.
Caution: — YouTube 360 Degree Videos shouldn’t be altered using your own tool because the in-house editing tools don’t support 360 degree at this moment. And, you need to wait at most 1 hour for the 360 effect to take place.
Facebook 360 Degree Video
Better late than never! That’s why Facebook unleashed their support too. The company has grown so far with a subsidiary company called Oculus that manufactures Oculus Rift, a VR headset. The videos can be watched on Facebook in the same way as we do on YouTube. On a personal note, I like watching videos on my smartphone rather than on the PC because the latter is not as immersive as the former.
For uploading Facebook 360 degree videos, one should ensure that the file contains metadata. If not, you can use the same metadata app I shared you with above.
Note:– Facebook doesn’t support 360 degree videos with more than 10 minutes duration and a size greater than 1.75 GB. Facebook uploads and shares numerous 360 degree videos regularly on their official 360 official page.
Finally — Wrapping Up
Though I have talked only about 360 degree videos here, the immersive media technology has a broad scope in different fields. Facebook itself has launched Oculus Rift along with some perfect game titles that you can play in 360 degree experience. YouTube developers are trying to support 360 degree videos in every possible way given that their editor lacks it. So yeah, 360 degree videos and virtual reality is the technology of future.
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