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Working with 360 Video

Recently the Pathways team took part in an exciting project in creating one of Canada’s first 360 video eLearning modules. While it was overall a very rewarding experience, given this was our first “official” endeavor using this medium I thought I would provide a few thoughts on the experience, both what worked well and what challenges were presented.

Most of our “lessons learned” related to using the camera itself as this is still a new technology for us. Specifically, movement of the camera presented some unique challenges. For example, movement of the 360 camera increases difficulty of footage edits and placement of interactions. For our video one scene has a volunteer moving through a room with the camera mounted atop their head. While this provided an excellent overview of the area and potential “hot spots”, it was difficult in post-production to ensure the desired effect was created. As such, we would not have recommended to add interactions while the 360 camera is moving.

Going in to our video shoot we were aware that the lighting would be a challenge since you cannot use tripod mounted lighting, as is done when shooting a traditional video, as this would be seen on the video. Add to that we shot in-doors in a windowless area so could not rely on any natural light. Due to these issues, I would strongly recommend shooting in as brightly lit area as possible as some video quality is lost in darker, or dull lit areas. As for our own lessons learned, one process that we have added specific to 360 video projects is ensuring we complete a “test shoot” in the area we will be filming, in the same conditions. By doing so we will then have a better idea as to any potential quality issues and be prepared to offer alternative solutions should that be necessary.

Next week I will continue his topic, discussing the hardware and audio issues that can arise when filming a 360 video.

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