How to make a Tiny Planet video
Tutorial with the Ricoh Theta 360 camera
Last week, I was playing around with a friend’s 360 camera and made a Tiny Planet video. A few years ago this was a difficult and expensive process, so I was excited to discover how easy it is now!
Once you have the right equipment, it only takes a few minutes and now there are apps that handle all the editing for you.
We made this video:
It used to be a lot more expensive to make Tiny Planets (also known as Little Planet, or 360 Spherical Panorama). You used to need a $2,500 six Go-Pro rig and some advanced video editing knowledge. Thankfully, it’s much easier now.
I’m using the Ricoh Theta S 360 camera, which is $350.
There are a lot of 360 cameras out there. The reason I like the Ricoh Theta though is because it comes with an app that makes it really easy to make tiny planets.
The camera has two sides:
Step 1: Record Video
Walk around with your 360 camera and start recording
Step 2: Open your 360 video
You’ll need to use the Theta app (free) to transfer the video from your camera to your phone.
Now you’ll have a 360 video, which should look something like this:
If you pinch and zoom, you can create the Tiny Planet effect
That looks cool, but this app won’t actually let you save the video like this. You’ll need a separate app to save it out.
Step 3: Save out the Tiny Planet video
Download the Theta+ Video app (free).
When you open your video, select the Cropped Video mode.
Tap on “View”, and then “Little Planet”
Voila! Pan and zoom until you’re happy with it, and then save it out
Get better Tiny Planets with a selfie stick
You’ll notice that I’m using a selfie stick to record. The reason is because if you hold the Ricoh directly, your hands look huge.
With a selfie stick:
Without a selfie stick — hands look massive:
Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t come with a selfie stick, so I got this one. They’re pretty cheap, about $10.
Editing together multiple Tiny Planet videos
To make a Tiny Planet montage, you can edit the videos directly on your iPhone with the iMovie app ($5).
You can also use more advanced editing programs like Premiere Pro (which is what I’m using) or Final Cut Pro.
Tiny Planet Ideas
Make a Tiny Planet for your next vacation. Beaches look really nice:
Playgrounds look cool:
Try walking around the camera in a circle:
Make a video for your city or hometown. I live in San Francisco — here’s mine!
Get the Ricoh Theta 360 camera here.
Submit your video
If you make a Tiny Planet video, I’d love to see it!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your video. I’ll feature the best ones here.
I make viral videos, which you can check out here.
I run Karen X, a creative agency that makes videos for brands and tech startups. The videos I’ve worked on have over 50 million views.
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