How to Shoot Great 360 Video in Five Simple Steps

shoot a great 360 video -VPai Stand

So you’ve decided you want to shoot great 360 video, by capturing a special and unique view of your surroundings, but how? With a 360-degree camera like the VIA VPai 360, you’re now a video pioneer. Where you’re going, the rules of the game are only just emerging.

How do you shoot great 360 video?

It’s early days for 360 videography, but here are a few ways you can make sure that your 360-degree video is going to impress:

1. Choose an unusual and open location

If you want to make the best of having an all-round view, be sure to film somewhere that’s not dominated by blank walls or plain buildings. Go somewhere interesting enough that the viewer will to want to explore the scene around them. Watch this video of the Aurora Borealis over Kashwitna Lake, Alaska for some inspiration.


 

2. Go for action-packed camera placement

The viewer needs to feel like they’re right in the center of the action. So, it really helps if there is something going on all around the camera position, so the viewer can explore in all directions. The video below — Surrounded by Wild Elephants – shows this off perfectly.


 

3. Consider a purposeful level

Hold the 360-degree camera at head height If you want the viewer to feel like they are physically standing in a place.

However, you may want to create an unusual point of view by putting the camera high up, or low down. It’s not so important if people are experiencing your 360-degree videos online, but if they’re watching them through a VR headset it can make a massive difference. Check out the Growing a World Wonder video below to see what we mean.


 

4. Start with a bang

Although the viewer can explore your 360-degree content any way that they want, you have immediate control over where they start. Make sure that your video begins with the most exciting thing in your environment front and center in the shot. See the Base Jumping near Moab video below…


 

5. Don’t get too close

Taking great 360-degree video is all about wide angles, and the fish-eye lenses used in cameras tend to shrink far-off objects and slightly distort anything close-up. Get the best shots by keeping subjects and people at least 3ft from the camera and, if you’re using a 360 camera accessory on your phone, make sure you hold it with either an outstretched arm or a selfie stick.

Know what makes a ‘bad’ 360 video

Although the 360 scene is all about experimentation, there are some common mistakes you should be looking to avoid. These include:

1. A poor choice of location

You’re capturing every detail of a special place at a specific time with a 360 camera, so you need to make sure it’s compelling. If what’s behind you isn’t as interesting as what’s in front of you, film somewhere else.

2. Squandering the sphere

If there’s something going on in a location in only one direction, a 360 camera can capture a lot of nothing. For instance, at a music festival your video may capture a video of people looking at a stage, which is not interesting to watch. However, if everyone is dancing or singing, or there’s an awesome light show, it could be exhilarating.


 

3. Too much movement

If you move the camera too quickly the viewer will become disorientated and even nauseous. They also won’t have time to look in all directions and truly explore your scene. Movement should be smooth and brief, and always intentional.


 

What you need to take 360-degree video

Although you can get complex 360 camera rigs, the easiest way of shooting is to find a product that plugs into your phone. Not only are they quick and easy to use, but you can then be star of your own spherical video.

Don’t just record a video, capture an experience. Start taking your own amazing 360 videos today with a VIA VPai 360 camera.