Editing 360 doesn't have to be a challenge!
If like me, you have just got yourself a 360 camera, and are desperate to edit and share the footage but have no clue how to do it.
Of course I am no genius and did have to google ‘how to edit 360 footage’. I am not an editor and struggle enough with standard footage, so getting my head around how to edit 360 took about an hour of research and another hour of playing around with it. Once I found a process to follow I actually found it surprisingly easy.. And I didn’t need to ask my videographer brother for any help.. Oh no, I worked this one out all by myself.
There are still some questions I have and some things I don’t quite understand. However I am happy to just accept the process and follow the steps below because they work really well for me.
I am writing this from a mind set of ‘I know how to edit and upload a standard video, but not 360’. This is my process to go from raw footage (using the IMMERSE 360 DUO) to edited 360 video on Youtube/Facebook;
Get the footage on your laptop or computer. This is exactly the same as any other footage upload – memory card goes into card adaptor, adaptor goes into laptop. Open the folder in ‘my computer’, drag and drop files on to desktop. Easy peasy.
Convert the video. Urgh, this caused my BIG problems. When the videos are opened on the laptop they appear as two circles in one square.
There is no way my laptop or any existing programs on my laptop will play the video or allow me to drag the screen around to see the full 360 view. This is because you need to convert the files, I am not sure what they convert to in tech talk. To me the video is essentially knitted together and stretched across the screen. Looks pretty funky..
OK so how the hell do you convert it?! I had to download a program called SYMAX360 Video Converter. I downloaded both the player (green button) and the link for the SYVR360.
Once it has downloaded it is super easy to use. Drag and drop video you want to watch or convert. It will play automatically.
To convert it press the button in the bottom left corner, select resolution type and press start. It takes a little while to convert each video and they save into their own folder, so it's worth noting the name of the file. I was unable to change the name which sucked as it made finding the newly converted file that bit harder.
Edit the video. Wahoo, creative time! I use Sony Vegas pro. Find the converted video file, drag and drop it into the to editor. When editing you are editing the weird stretched version so it does look a bit funny. Once edited I ‘render as’ a sony .mp4 file or a file that is suitable for internet uploads.
Metadata. No idea what this is, but you need to upload the metadata to the edited version of the video. In my mind this is some super techie code that turns the stretched video back into 360. It is REALLY easy to do, the internet folk just make it seem complicated. You need to download 2 things; Python 2 and the meta injector source code here is the link for both. I opened it up from 'my downloads' its a pretty scary looking black box with some computer writing that looks like code, it could be code, I don’t know, I don’t even look at it. Then another box pops up, this pop up box is your friend. You need to choose the video you edited and tick the top box ‘my video is spherical (360), then press ‘inject meta data’. God knows what it is injecting, but it works. Then press save. Mine always save as the file name_injected. It might not seem like it has saved because the box just flashes quickly and does nothing more, but it is. One thing to note is that I am yet to figure out how to play the 360 video on my laptop. My guess is that I need to download another program. I tend to jump straight to the next step.
Upload to video to Youtube/Facebook. This is seriously easy – open up Youtube/Facebook and upload as normal. Youtube and Facebook are both clever and know it is a 360 video and do all the work for you. So upload as normal and it is done.
Wahoo! We got there. So editing 360 isn't really that hard, it just take a few steps to do it. Once you know the steps it is easy!
Here is the first 360 video I edited. I know, it is pretty basic, but by starting with an easy video I was able to teach myself the steps above :)