You decided you’re going to make a 360-degree video. That’s great! To make a good 360 video you need to prepare for it. In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of what steps you should take before your first shoot.
Why 360 VR is different from a normal video?
- Scene setup is different (no behind the camera).
- Normal videos don’t have stitch lines.
- It’s hard to cut (redo) a section from a 360 scene – record it in one go.
- Everything is part of the scene.
- Treat it more as theater than video production (preparation is essential) – check out our post about 360 filming techniques here.
Scripting and planning for every scene
- Description of the scene – how will you set up a 360-degree scene, including reporters, subjects, props, the environment in the back, what should be the viewer’s main point (where’s the action),…
- There are no frames, so you need to describe the whole environment.
- Do not create too short scenes (no quick cuts) as the viewers always need some time to adjust.
- Use block diagrams detailing all objects and subjects in the scene.
- A block diagram is a circle that displays the scene as a 360-degree environment from the top.
- The camera is in the middle and stationary (it shouldn’t move).
- The first circle is the minimum distance from the camera (minimize parallax issue – 1-2m).
- Mark stitch lines (depends on camera) so people don’t stand on the stitch lines.
- Show actors, important objects, and movement with vectors.
- In each scene mark the first thing the viewer would see.
- Soundscape plan – where the major sounds will be coming from and how to use sound to attract the viewer’s attention.
- Light plan – how to position the camera without having direct lighting (lens flare).
- Plan for hiding places for the crew.
- Decide on where the crew should hide if you want it outside the shot.
- Define the process of how and when will you start recording.
- Some cameras support playback, some don’t (in this case good planning is crucial).
What to do a day before the shoot
- Prepare your 360-degree camera.
- Clean the lenses.
- Charge the batteries.
- Install any camera software if necessary.
- Format SD cards.
- Test connection with a remote trigger (usually smartphone).
Great. If you followed all the steps, you are now ready to shoot your 360-degree video. Congrats!