So You Want to Make a 360 Video…

We talk a lot about virtual reality. When we do, we can’t help but talk about the future. We keep saying “VR is the future” – and it is.

 

But it’s also the present. At least, a version of it is.

 

Your brand can benefit from 360-video right now, and the process isn’t as hard as you might think.There are just a few considerations you need to keep in mind before jumping right in.

 

First, let’s look at this example from One Republic that shows the potential of 360-video.

 

 

With the 360, VR-esque experience, there are some added benefits to basic video, but there’s also a few drawbacks.

 

When making a 360 video, let’s start with planning

 

Know your equipment

 

You have two choices when it comes to creating your 360 video. You can go the more labor intensive route of rigging together 7 GoPros– or you can choose to use a camera developed to shoot 360 (like the Ricoh Theta).

 

RELATED: 5 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VIRTUAL REALITY

 

While rigging together GoPros may sound like the worst approach (both in terms of extra work and quality), it actually yields the best result. Cameras capable of 360 video can only produce video that can be viewed at 1080p, where GoPros can create video viewable at as high as 4K. That’s a big difference that you shouldn’t ignore.

 

Check out this comparison video to see the difference for yourself.

 

 

Know Your Angles

 

You don’t need me to tell you that 360 video productions require a completely different understanding of framing.

 

One thing that may surprise you is how much angles play a role in shooting 360 video. Because 360 limits you to a wide-angle shot at all times, understanding the frame can get a bit tricky.

 

For example – before, you were probably always told to hold the camera at eye-level. Now to create 360 video, you need to hold the camera at chest level to allow for mobility. Viewers are going to be able to change their perspective, so you need to anticipate any and all of their actions. Additionally, you need to be sure that objects in the frame aren’t too close or too far away or else they will be distorted. 

 

RELATED: KEEP VIRTUAL REALITY ENTERTAINING

 
This seems obvious, right? You don’t want anything in your video to be obviously out of focus, misshapen, or hilariously deformed. But you also need to be aware that a simple camera angle can create an entirely different experience for the viewer, and can even alter the intention of the film. Even subtle choices or mistakes can completely change the end product.

 

Know Your Space

 

Not only do you need to worry about what’s right in front of you – now, you need to worry about what’s behind you, and beside you… and below you…and above you.

 

In traditional video, all aspects of production from lighting and equipment to filmmakers and producers are all safe behind the camera. With 360, everything in the space matters.

 

How will you light your set? Will you be rely on natural light, or edit out your equipment in post-production?

 

If your video is scripted, how will you use a teleprompter? Will you incorporate it into the video, or try to hide it?

 

 

RELATED: FULL SENSORY VR

 

 

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to making these choices, which is the beauty of the creative world. You can make the choice based on what fits best in your storyline, or with your narrative.

 

So while we all can appreciate the end product of a 360 video, you need to think about the logistics when considering producing one. Once you’ve made your creative decisions, you’re on your way to creating interesting content that will surely engage your audience.
Featured image from http://www.arch2o.com/


emilyEmily Stewart is a Marketing and Communications Intern at Green Buzz Agency.

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