5 Creating Your Own Virtual Worlds

360 Degree Video Tools & Considerations

Working in 360 Degrees

360 Degree Image
A 360 Degree view of the NUI Galway MakerSpace.

360 degree video can be a good starting point for working with VR since it gives you an opportunity to consider what is like to create a fabricated scene in every direction rather than in a specific area. With traditional filmmaking, the only thing that is shown is what the director wants you to see. Microphones, lights, assistants and scaffolding can all be off-screen. With 360 degree video everything is on display, including the camera operator. The same principles apply to painting, photography and really any visual medium: the creator chooses what is in and out fo frame. In this case, the creator chooses where to place the camera (high, low, indoors, outdoors) but beyond positioning, there is no such thing as framing.

The images which are initially captured by the 360 degree camera will be flat and distorted. Once imported into a video editor they can be adjusted and output for different viewing formats. The metadata incorporated into your video files will enable them to be read by video hosting platforms like YouTube so they can be viewed in a monoscopic or stereoscopic format depending on the viewer’s preferences.

Monoscopic video allows you to watch 360 degree video without a headset. The video is projected onto a flat plane and the viewer can look around within the scene either by moving their device (sometimes called ‘magic window’ viewing) or by clicking and dragging to move the image.¬†Stereoscopic¬†video outputs provide two slightly different image outputs, one for each eye, and are designed for viewing with a VR headset.
360 Degree Viewing Angles


The Camera

There are a number of 360 degree consumer-level cameras on the market today. The MakerSpace in the NUI Galway Library has Insta360 cameras which can be rented out by staff or students using the equipment booking page on their website.

360 degree cameras work in one of two ways: by capturing images with a pair or a number of fish-eye lenses and stitching the images together in-camera, or through a rig which allowed multiple cameras to be fixed in position so an editor can stitch the footage together later.

360 degree camera rig
Example of a homemade 360 degree camera rig


This section is still under construction, more equipment and tips coming soon!



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