You’ve seen them on Facebook and YouTube and you’ve started to wonder, “Can my company benefit from 360° video creation?” The answer is: it depends.
While 360° videos are fun and unique and represent an opportunity to differentiate your business from your competitors, they aren’t ideal for every company. In this article, we’ll take a look at the rise of 360° videos, how to determine if your organization should be creating them, and a six-step process you can use to make professional level 360° videos.
Let’s dive in!
What’s the Deal With 360° Video?
If you’re not familiar with the format, 360° video is exactly what it sounds like: a video recording that captures the view in every direction. This medium creates a very immersive experience for the viewer and due to new technology, has become much more prevalent over the past few years. In fact, many businesses are starting to use it in their marketing efforts.
But is 360° video creation right for your company? Should you invest time and resources into producing this kind of content? Only you can answer that question. BUT, if you decide that 360° is right for your organization, we can help make sure that you get it right.
Let’s talk about the six steps you need to take to ensure your 360° video creation efforts are a smashing success.
6 Steps to Stellar 360° Video Creation
If you’re ready to take the plunge and invest in 360° video (don’t worry, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to produce quality immersive videos) then you’ll want to follow these six steps:
1. Know Your Video’s Purpose
Let’s start with the reason why you want to create a 360° video and the story you plan to tell. Are you simply wanting to do something different than your competitors? Or do you really need to provide your audience with a fully immersive experience?
Also, what story do you plan to tell through your 360° video? It’s worth noting that a 360° video requires a higher level of viewer participation than standard videos do. The viewer isn’t supposed to just sit there, they’re supposed to get involved and take ownership of their viewing experience. If the content you plan to create doesn’t entice viewers to do this, you’d be better off creating a standard video for them to consume.
So before you start dreaming up video ideas, really consider whether 360° video or standard footage will serve your audience best. In general, 360° videos are great for showcasing new places and environments (that’s why both the travel and hospitality industries use the medium), or continuous action such as at sporting events.
2. Create a Storyboard
Now that you know why you’re creating a 360° video and what it will be about, you can start storyboarding content. Decide where your video will be shot and when and the different scenes you want to include.
We encourage you to resist the urge to simply setup your camera in the middle of the room and hit the record button. Remember, if there’s no reason for the viewer to view your video from any and all directions, you’re better off just shooting a regular video. When storyboarding, make sure that there’s something attention worthy happening from time to time from multiple angles.
This may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. A car dealership, for example, could shoot a video of the interior of a car. As the narrator draws the viewer’s attention to different features inside the vehicle, the viewer can “follow” for a closer look.
Also, many people watch 360° videos on their phones. Keep this in mind as you plan out your content and ensure that your story will be enjoyable to view on the small screen of a smartphone.
3. Get the Right Gear
By now, you should understand your video’s purpose and have your storyboard fully fleshed out. Now it’s time to dive into gear. If you plan to create 360° videos on a regular basis, you’re going to want to invest in some quality hardware and software. Here are our picks:
Each of the cameras listed below are capable of producing amazing 360° videos. You’ll just need to choose the tool that best suits your budget and features wish list.
- GoPro Fusion: The GoPro Fusion is a great 360° camera that captures video in 5.2K resolution at 30 fps (frames per second). It’s capable of producing professional level videos but due to a recent price decrease isn’t too expensive at $300.
- Insta360 One X: The Insta360 One X is another great option. It has dual fisheye lenses and a smooth image stabilization feature. It does cost a bit less than the GoPro Fusion, though, with a price tag of $469.95.
- Ricoh Theta V: The Ricoh Theta V is a very capable option and costs $380. It shoots in 4K for video recording and live streaming, and is capable of 360° spatial audio due to its four microphones. It also has the best battery life of the cameras listed here, lasting for approximately 80 minutes.
Many cameras come with software these days to help you create 360° videos. But if you really want to produce professional results, you may want to consider investing in a top-tier program.
- Adobe Premiere Pro: The top option for most videographers is Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s a professional program that will help you edit and polish your creations to perfection. It should be noted, though, that Adobe Premiere Pro is only available via subscription for $20 a month.
- VideoStitch Studio: VideoStitch Studio is a video stitching software (a software that allows users to “stitch” multiple videos together to create a full, 360° immersive experience.) that can be had for $295. It’s an intuitive tool for those using multiple cameras to film their 360° video masterpieces.
4. Shoot your 360° Video
When you’ve chosen your camera, you can begin filming. We have a few tips for you in this department but first, we need to explain the difference between monoscopic and stereoscopic 360° videos:
- Monoscopic: This is the standard 360° video format that’s seen on Facebook and YouTube. Viewers are able to control their viewing angles, but there is a distinct lack of depth perception.
- Stereoscopic: Stereoscopic, on the other hand, use two lenses to capture footage. This gives videos depth and a more 3D like quality. If you plan for your videos to be viewed via VR headsets, you’ll want to film in the stereoscopic format.
Now that we have these definitions out of the way, how about some 360° video creation tips?
- Lighting is Essential: Your 360° video won’t be any good if the lighting is poor. Natural light is generally best, but no matter what, make sure that the subjects of your video are well lit and that there aren’t any unsightly shadows.
- Be Careful Where You Place the Camera: You’ll want to place your camera in a place that allows the viewer to see your environment from every angle. Also, if you have a main subject, make sure they are easily seen at the beginning without adjusting the camera at all.
- Don’t Neglect the Sound: We’re talking about video, visuals are obviously important. But so is audio! Remember, viewers watch 360° videos because they crave an immersive experience. So make sure you test the sound before filming and get a good signal before shooting for real.
5. Edit Your Video to Perfection
Your video has been filmed, congratulations! But your work is far from over. You now need to edit your footage into a pristine 360° video creation that viewers will enjoy watching. If you used multiple cameras to capture footage, you’ll need to invest in a video stitching software (we mentioned one above) to put your video together before you edit it.
The way you edit your video is up to you. Get creative and have fun with it. But be careful not to go overboard. In general, the best 360° videos aren’t heavily edited. This makes them feel more natural and helps immerse the viewer in the experience.
One element you may want to consider adding during the editing phase, though, is graphics to help direct the viewer’s attention to specific things or actions.
6. Publish Your 360° Video Creation!
Once your video is edited the way you want it there’s only one thing left to do: publish it and let the world see your 360° video creation! You can embed it on your website, upload it to social media sites like Facebook and YouTube, export it and use it in your next presentation. The basic rule of thumb is, publish your video wherever your unique audience is.
When your 360° video is published, don’t forget to market it! Tell your family and friends, post about it on social media, email your list. Depending on what your video is about and the reasons why you created it, you may even want to run promotional ads.
The choice is yours but you worked hard on your video right? Don’t run out of steam at the very end and forget to market your masterpiece.
Market Your Company With 360° Videos
360° video creation is exciting! If your company decides to start crafting this kind of content be sure to follow the six-step process we outlined in this article:
- Know Your Video’s Purpose: Why are you creating it and is a 360° immersive experience really the best way to tell your story to your audience?
- Create a Storyboard: Map out your scenes and camera placement before you begin filming. This will make the 360° video creation process much easier.
- Get the Right Gear: The right camera and editing software will allow you to make 360° videos that look professional and polished.
- Shot Your 360° Video: The time has come to get out there and shoot your video! Pay special attention to lighting, camera placement, and sound quality.
- Edit Your Video to Perfection: Have fun and edit your video to your liking. Don’t go overboard, though. The best 360° videos feel natural to viewers.
- Publish Your 360° Video Creation: Once your video is finalized, publish it to your website, social media, etc. and drive traffic to it.
Not sure what to do with your 360° video creation after it’s finished and published? CleanPix is the perfect digital asset management solution for storing, organizing, relocating, and even sharing your 360° videos. Our platform is intuitive and cost effective. Give it a try for FREE for 14 days and see for yourself.