On June 9th, Mark Zuckerberg shook the internet with the release of 360 photos and videos and video for Facebook. This new feature helps the users explore photos through an interactive 360 degree view by clicking on the photo. On your smartphone, you can either use your finger or move the phone to see a 360 view, allowing the space to come to life as if you were there.
We were all over this new feature after it released, sharing our dynamite team members and our boutique office space. And after playing around in our office to find out which method is best and simplest to use, we’ve rounded up the top five ways to create a 360 photo or video.
How to create a 360 video for Facebook
The easiest and fastest method for uploading a 360 image on Facebook is the panorama feature on your iPhone or Samsung. The panorama works with Facebook and does the technical work for you. Similar to other panoramas, simply choose the mode, spin in a slow circle, and upload it as a photo onto the newly updated Facebook app. Once uploaded, you can scroll around the image easily. Unfortunately it will lack vertical movements in your panoramas, simply allowing you to scroll horizontally.
Cardboard Camera was probably the easiest app to use. Simply move the phone’s camera around the room like a panorama, and when uploaded to Facebook, this basic panorama transforms into a dynamic, revolving image. This app is connected to Google Cardboard, so before uploading to Facebook, one can insert their phone into the device, and watch their images truly come to life.
This free app allows you to shoot both photos and video in 360. For the photo feature, simply take a series of photos of a space, horizontally and vertically, and Photonomie will fill in the blanks. It sounds simple enough, and the quality of photo is fairly high, but be prepared for some glitches.
While we found that the videos were slow to load, the images turned out quite well. The added benefit was that it was easy to post them on Facebook, as it automatically connects to your account.
Google Street View
Google Street View could definitely be successful, but might need a little more practice compared to the others. Street View requires users to follow an orange dot with their camera phone, and take photos all around the room. It was a fun process, but the final product was not as good as we expected. People in the room were duplicated, objects disappeared, and there was a real lack of fluidity. However, once mastered, Street View has the ability to produce an amazing shot.
This is another free app, that takes a series of photos for you and renders them into a high quality, horizontally scrolling 360 image. We liked it because we didn’t have to figure out which portions of the room were missing when shooting the photos; Panorama takes them automatically by recognizing where you are in the photo, and stitches them together seamlessly. Much like the basic panorama feature on your phone, though, it doesn’t allow you to see vertical space. It is easy to upload them onto social media sites and it geotags them so you can keep track of where they were taken.
After testing five different methods for getting the perfect 360 photo, we found that the Panorama app or Cardboard Camera were the most successful. They are both simple to use, with easy connectivity to social media, and shooting high quality images. For 360 videos, though, it is easiest if you set up multiple cameras, and actually invest the time into making them great. Although they can be easy to shoot, if you really want your 360 video to stand out, going the extra mile will make the quality higher, and easier for your viewers to navigate.