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Shooting 360-degree videos: 8 tips for beginners

Thanks to rapid technical development and falling prices, shooting 360-degree videos has become a great option in addition to conventional videography. Because even with a tight budget, almost anyone can start with the 360° videos and try them out. In this article there are 8 tips for shooting great 360° videos and getting to know new possibilities of videography.

1. Shoot 360-degree videos: It depends on the planning

Good films require a love of detail and a sure instinct when dealing with 360° video technology. But just as important is good planning and preparation. Even if your idea is unbeatably good, you have to remember that you have no control over the external circumstances. Especially when it comes to a professional film, you should deal with the image composition and plan it meticulously. Especially with 360° videos you must not forget that every angle can be seen.

2. Dynamic camera work

Everyone perceives moving images differently, but a film or video that includes too much camera movement can induce something called simulator sickness in viewers. Another term for this disease is motion sickness. The viewers who watch the film on virtual reality glasses are gaining this experience. And this must be avoided in the future, in other words: If you want to create a pleasant film experience, but without making your viewers sick. Of course, you shouldn’t do without the dynamic camera work entirely. In this case, you should only use them carefully and selectively and use them to your advantage.

3. Unipod als Alternative

Anyone who has ever shot a film with a tripod knows that changing the location with the camera and tripod can be relatively difficult and annoying. A unipod brings a number of advantages. The advantages of a unipod are not only that the unipod keeps your entire camera setup stable at all times, but also that it allows you to change the location easily and dynamically.

4. Don’t forget that you are a part of your film

As the name of the 360° videos already suggests, every single image section is filmed. This means that in this case you cannot hide behind the camera, but are a part of your film yourself, at least for a brief moment. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a disadvantage. The moment you blend into the crowd and take part in the action as a silent actor, the viewer doesn’t even realize that the director himself is in the video. Of course, you can also edit yourself out of the video later or cut the video in such a way that you have already left the set.

5. 360-degree videos at eye level

The average eye height of Germans when standing is between about 151 and 163 cm. This means that you should hold your camera at a height of about 1.55 meters in order to create a pleasant filming experience for your viewers. The correct position of the camera gives the viewer the feeling that he can witness the action live. If the camera is placed too high, then it seems as if the viewer is a giant in relation to the objects and rooms. On the other hand, it seems to the viewer as if he was too small.

6. It’s a matter of light

As with conventional filming, it is important that the entire scene is well lit. As with any type of film, natural-looking lighting is also a frequently chosen variant of lighting for 360-degree videos. This not only saves you time and money when purchasing, setting up and dismantling the additional lighting equipment, but also a lot of time in the post-production of the filmed material. Also, the artificial light sources may not be visible later in the video if you used natural light. Another advantage of the natural light is that you can decide for yourself, depending on the location and time of day, which look you want to give your film and use the light as a useful and very helpful tool and thus create an even better 360° video. Go for more here.

7. Synchronicity is the key to success

Assuming you are filming with different cameras at the same time, you should turn on each of the cameras at the same time. Doing this will free up some editing time after filming that you could invest in other projects. It also makes sense to get a clapperboard or, alternatively, to clap your hands. By dropping the clapperboard or clapping your hands, you can find out the exact starting point of the individual shots later in post-production and thus receive a video that is synchronous from the first second.

8. Check settings

Make sure that you have the same settings preset for your cameras that you use for the 360-degree video. When setting up the cameras, you should make sure that each camera uses the same ISO, aperture and color temperature in order to get a uniform image when composing the 360° video. Regarding the aspect ratio, you should record your videos in an aspect ratio of 4:3, so you can film and use the largest possible area. If you take these presets into account, then you should be able to avoid the eternal correction loops after the shoot.

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