Creating An Immersive Experience With Video

A picture is worth a thousand words, videos more so. In the modern day, we use photos and videos as powerful tools that tell stories and convey remarkable experiences to our audience. Just like any …

A picture is worth a thousand words, videos more so. In the modern day, we use photos and videos as powerful tools that tell stories and convey remarkable experiences to our audience. Just like any other medium of communication, creating a truly captivating video is an art form and requires skill, patience, and lots of practice.

A video taken on your phone may be good enough to share on social media, but with great editing, background music, and some rookie cinematography skills, you can create a truly immersive experience that will engross and captivate your viewers.

Immersive videos make use of Virtual Reality, 360° Video, or a combination of both to create an interactive user experience. These can be used for marketing, advertising, teaching, and training across a wide variety of use cases. They can also be used to tell amazing stories and give your audience a surreal glimpse into your life of adventure!

Use of 360 Video on a Cable Car

With the availability of action cameras like the Insta360 and 360-video equipment at affordable rates, vloggers, adventurers, and storytellers have taken their videography to the next level. By employing simple tricks and adjusting your camera’s settings to unlock its full potential, you, too, can create immersive video experiences that will wow your audience and make your posts go viral!

In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of the kinds of activities you can use 360 videos for, the various filming and editing techniques involved, and also give you a step-wise guide to creating your own immersive action videos!

What are 360-degree videos, and what can you use them for?

360 videos are a unique way of capturing interactive photos and videos that allow viewers to engage autonomously with your content. Without needing special equipment like a VR headset, your audience can swipe on their phone screens to navigate through the landscape and choose their own point of view!

Hikers using a 360 camera on a mountain

Adventurers and outdoor sports enthusiasts often make use of this shooting style to create immersive video experiences, but it has other uses too. Apart from flying, kayaking, snowboarding, racing, biking, and hiking, companies, and small businesses can also use 360 videos to advertise their products or train employees and students.

Using cameras like the Insta360 X3 or the GoPro Max, users can create their own 360 videos with ease. Well, not quite. While these cameras have made shooting immersive footage accessible to more people, filming and editing such footage still remains a time-consuming task.

You’ll need to plan the shoot, bring all the necessary equipment, film your video, and then stitch it together in post-processing. But don’t worry, with a little practice and some help from our guide below, you’ll be posting your own 360-adventures to social media in no time!

A step-by-step guide for creating amazing immersive videos:

1. Choosing your subject:

When you shoot 360 videos, you invite your viewers to be part of something larger and thus bestow certain creative liberties upon them. With just a screen, they can freely swipe through the picture you paint with your lens. Therefore, it is of prime importance to choose your subject carefully.

A 360 beach-city scape

Not everything warrants a 360-degree video, and overusing this method cheapens its charm. As a videographer, you must pick a subject that you feel you can enhance with 360 videos and reveal different aspects of it from every angle. This could be anything; flying, biking, snowboarding, or maybe even a quiet stroll through the woods.

Other than outdoor activities and adventure sports, 360-degree video has a whole host of other uses. You could use it for apartment tours for real estate, in an educational setting for interactive teaching, or even in a museum for guided tours. Local vehicle dealerships can use immersive video to create a simulation test drive for prospective customers.

So even if you’re looking to advertise a product or service, immersive video techniques have their uses. Whatever your subject and reason for filming are, make sure you have a good reason to give your audience autonomy through an interactive, immersive experience.

2. Selecting a camera and equipment:

Now we come to the important part- choosing a setup for capturing your magical moments. Other than budget restrictions, you should conduct in-depth research into your camera choice so that it offers a good mix of portability and performance. Different cameras can be used for different purposes, and many, like the GoPro Max or Insta 360 X3 have versatile uses.

GoPro Max

Another thing you must consider is the technical specifications of your camera. The sensor size, aspect ratio, video resolution, and live-streaming capabilities will dictate how you can use your camera to create video magic suitable for your needs. The latest action camera in the hero series, the Hero 11 Black, comes with a nearly square sensor which makes it a versatile tool for all aspect ratios and makes cropping and editing footage really easy. Other models like the Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition or the Ricoh Theta models let you capture 360 videos using two lenses and can open up a new world of immersion.

Depending on your needs, you may also need your camera to be waterproof or temperature resilient. If you plan on shooting in the extremes, you’ll need a portable yet durable camera capable of withstanding fast action and harsh environments. Many cameras also require special outer casings or mods to make them more durable to the elements. Other handy equipment you should consider investing in are extra batteries, portable chargers, external lights, microphones, tripods, and specialized mounts. All these will make handling easier and make your shooting session as productive as possible.

360 cameras and action cameras, in general, often come with helpful companion apps that make video shooting a less cumbersome and hands-free experience. A well-made app, like the Quik for GoPro or ONE X for Insta360, will allow you to change video settings, set timers, and choose specialized shooting modes that add movie-like effects to your videos. They can also work as remote triggers and let you shoot hands-free.

Look out for different modes on your camera, like Bullet Time on the Insta360 X3 or Time Warp on the Ricoh Theta X. These help you break the monotony and offer cool effects like slowing down time, offering impossible third-person perspectives or even completely auto-editing you out of the shot! With some practice, you should be able to use these to make your videos truly immersive art.

Overall, the market has a 360 camera for every level of user, whether you’re a beginner or a professional, and you’ll surely find something in your budget range. Be sure to check the compatibility of your 360 camera’s specifications with your needs, and get all the necessary equipment for your shooting environment.

3. Software Magic- Editing your 360 footage:

The final step, and perhaps the most vital, is to use powerful editing software on your laptop or PC to turn your footage into a cohesive video experience. Video editing software like Adobe Premier Pro or VideoStitch Studio can help you combine, mix and edit your video with audio and also add filters, subtitles, and watermarks. These applications offer a wide range of tools that you can use to stitch your 360 videos together or create a movie-like experience.

You’ll need to import all your files from your camera’s MicroSD onto a laptop or PC that has compatible editing software on it. 360 video can often take up several gigabytes of data, and it’s a good idea to keep spare MicroSD cards and an empty hard disk or SSD for collecting all of it in one place.

If you’re not very proficient with editing software, you can hire a professional video editor, depending on your budget, or simply look up a tutorial online that meets your needs. Many cameras also come with their own proprietary software for editing and can help you unlock your device’s full potential. 360-degree video is created by capturing footage from a number of different lenses and requires stitching to create the final product.

Editing videos on a laptop

These video processing techniques may require special hardware, too, as many of them are RAM-intensive and may overheat your system. Make sure you can download and run the software before you begin filming your content.

Once you finish stitching and processing all your 360° video files, you can add background music and ASMR or add filters and effects to get the desired end product. But sometimes, keeping the natural sounds of your environment can help elevate the immersion and make your audience feel like they’re there with you.

Although it is a vital step in creating immersive videos, it’s no daunting task and can be quickly picked up by beginners. Like anything else, tutorials, trials, and errors go a long way to help you master the craft of editing.

Using Virtual Reality with Immersive Videos and Concluding Thoughts:

And that’s it! If you follow all our steps, you’ll be able to create some amazing videos that’ll surely blow your audience away. You can post these 360 videos on a number of compatible platforms, most notably Facebook and Youtube. The latter also has features that let your audience use inexpensive VR headsets like the Google Cardboard to dive into your videos and get the full immersive experience.

These Virtual Reality headsets let your viewers mount their mobile devices into them and watch the 360 videos in real-time by turning around in real life! VR Headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are among the best tools to use for your audience to achieve true video submersion. But they can also get pretty expensive and aren’t easily accessible to the larger public.

VR Headset

That’s why the Google Cardboard is a cheap alternative that’ll still allow your viewers a deeper level of immersion without breaking the bank. They can also use headphones to make the stereo audio feel more real.

All in all, 360 videos are becoming more and more accessible to both creators and consumers, and creating an original immersive video is now easier than ever before. Whether you’re a business owner looking for clever ways of advertising or a vlogger looking to take their audience along for the ride, 360 immersive videos will help you create mesmerizing experiences instead of just videos.