360 Video: The Complete Guide to What It is and How to Edit It

There are many ways that a person can use video to enhance an experience, and plenty of those people are doing exactly that by capturing amazing clips from everywhere they go. Video recording is so popular right now that it is estimated that about 300 hours worth of video is uploaded onto YouTube every minute!

With all of that popularity and hype around YouTube content, it just makes sense that people might be interested in taking interesting videos for themselves and their friends as well. They can certainly add a lot of value to their content by filming things in a way that others are not. Thus, many people look at taking 360-degree videos as their way of showing something interesting to their friends.

What is a 360-degree video?

A 360-degree video is simply a video that is recorded from all angles at the same time. The human body is not able to see all angles at the same time as we are constrained by the physical limitations of our heads and eyes. However, cameras can be adjusted to allow us to see the full 360-degree view of any scene that we happen to be filming.

You may see people wearing cameras on their heads in order to capture the 360-degree view, or you may see some holding a camera and then spinning around in a 360-degree angle until they are able to capture the entire scene that is around them. Either way, they are capturing something grand, and that is worth paying attention to.

Benefits and common uses of 360 videos

Why would someone insist on filming something at a 360-degree angle? Much of this comes down to the fact that they would probably like to show the people in their lives the kind of the beauty of the world around them and how they have captured it. Another reason is that they may want to see what a particular area looked like in a way that they simply cannot see on their own (in 360 degrees).

Some of the common uses of 360-degree videos include:

  • Capturing the full essence of a beautiful nature scene
  • Helping people see a 360-degree view of a large gathering of family and/or friends (such as at a wedding)
  • To film extreme sports such as rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing, etc.

These events call for a 360-degree video because there is so much going on that needs to be captured all at the same time. It is challenging for anyone to get every bit of the event on film unless they are using a 360-degree video to do so.

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Methods to film a 360 video

There is more than one way to film a 360-degree video, and you likely need to think through how you want to approach this challenge before you dive into the midst of it. There are cameras that are specifically designed to capture 360-degree video, but some of the work can also be done in the editing process.

If you choose to use a camera that is designed to shoot 360-degree video, expect that you will pay extra for the power that this particular camera creates. At the same time you may decide to forgo the expense of a camera that is specifically designed to shoot 360-degree video in favor of one that you can still capture video with but that you will simply use the editing room to help you get more out of it.

There is something special about the editing process that some people like, and it might make more sense to them to use the editing process as their way of stringing together a series of videos into a seamless 360-degree video. It can still turn out just as special as a standard 360-degree video, and they won't necessarily have to spend the money that they would on a 360-degree specific camera.

Things to know when shooting in 360

Choose your location carefully

You won't get to frame your shot in the same way that you would with standard video configurations. Thus, you need to make sure you choose the location that you will begin your 360-degree video from carefully. You want to capture as much of your audience as you can without losing any value of the shot when doing so. Thus, you should try to pick the spot that you will begin shooting from carefully when you first get it set up. This is the best way to ensure the integrity of the shot.

Add extra lighting

You can and should add extra lighting to your shot when possible. A 360-degree video can lose some of its quality as the camera is being spun around, and it is important to include as much light as possible so that all objects are clearly seen when moving the camera around. If you are filming something indoors, you ought to be able to add extra light as necessary to your shot.

Check on the distance of objects from the camera

Every camera on the market has a minimum distance from which objects must be recorded. You should be mindful of this so that you aren't recording too closely to the objects that you would like to capture in your shot. If you are afraid that some objects are too close for what you are trying to do, then you either need to pick a new spot from which to shoot, or you need to back those objects up away from the camera.

Take notes of your shots

You aren't going to capture the perfect 360-degree video on the first attempt in all likelihood, and that is why you need to take careful notes of everything that you are shooting. The reason for this is because you will need to make some edits when it is all said and done, and you want to ensure that you have good notes to back up the shots that you have taken.

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Basics for creating 360 videos

Editing 360 videos

Not every editing program available to you will be able to handle 360-degree videos. There are some that are simply not powerful enough to take this on. That being said, you should check up on any editing software that you are considering using to see what the minimum computer specs are on it as well as what it is and is not able to edit for you. Only buy the products that can take care of the job.

360 tiny planet videos

A fun feature available on most cameras now is the ability to shoot 360 tiny planet videos. What you are actually doing in this case is shooting a traditional 360-degree angle video with your camera and then using special editing features provided by Instagram to allow you to turn it into a "tiny planet" video. You might decide to do this because it is such a popular trend on Instagram right now, and the types of videos that can be created with this feature are truly amazing. Don't be afraid to give it a try.

Why you may want to convert 360 videos to standard videos

There are times when a 360-degree video doesn't turn out quite like you had hoped. However, you may notice that there are elements of the video that you truly want to preserve. Instead of scrapping the whole thing, you may decide that you would prefer to keep certain frames from the video for yourself. If that is the case, then you may decide to extract at least some of the 360 video to use as a standard shot video. There is nothing wrong with this, and you may even find some real pieces of art amongst the 360 video.

Converting 360 videos to VR

Some people take their 360-degree videos to the next level by converting them to virtual reality (VR). A 360-degree video is already very impressive on its own, but we now have the tools to make it even more immersive and interactive for its audience. Who wouldn't want to take their videos to that next level? Thus, converting a 360-video to VR may be the dream of some filmmakers.

When switching to VR, it is possible to:

  • Create an experience that your audience will feel is very close to real life
  • Help bring people into the experience that you had when you filmed the piece of video
  • Allow yet another level of accessibility for people who might not otherwise have had access to it

There are so many people who are experimenting with VR right now, and it is important to them that they have the ability to use what they have learned when creating 360 videos and apply it to the virtual reality experience.

What to know about uploading a 360 video to YouTube

You cannot automatically upload a 360 video onto YouTube without making some alterations to its first. YouTube is great at hosting many types of videos, but they have to draw some strict lines as far as what they will permit on their website. Thus, they need to make sure that any 360 video that is uploaded onto the site has been altered to allow it to get onto the site more seamlessly.

Before you can upload your 360-degree video onto YouTube you will need to modify the video in VideoStudio to ensure that the video file size is not too large to be uploaded. Once you have verified this, then you are set to go ahead and upload your video as you wish.

YouTube does permit 360 videos, but you will need to ensure that you follow all of their guidelines about video uploads, and always make sure your video is the appropriate size for what you are trying to do.

What to look for when choosing a 360-degree video editor

It is almost time to start uploading your 360-degree videos and you could not be more excited about the process. The last thing that you need to do is ensure that you have the right editing software to help out in the process. You need to look for something that can:

  • Process massive amounts of data
  • Have tools that are user-friendly and easy to understand
  • Help you create the content you need for the Internet


Stop struggling with tools that are overly expensive or complicated. Use the VideoStudio. Show your family and friends what you are capable of and let VideoStudio help you along the way.

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