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Working with 360 Video Part II

Recently the Pathways team took part in an exciting project in creating one of Canada’s first 360 video eLearning modules. Last week I wrote about this experience, talking about the lessons learned, specifically related to camera movement and lighting. This week I would like to continue the discussion, focusing on our discoveries around the camera hardware, sound and available post production software.

With regards to the camera hardware, our device, like many 360 cameras, did not include expandable storage so all content is saved directly on the camera. Not the best solution when shooting a video that involves multiple locations, actors, props, etc. to coordinate so it is important to ensure your footage is reviewed and uploaded to a laptop, and then backed up on a cloud storage for safe keeping.

Similar to the lighting challenges mentioned above, another aspect that is unique to the 360 camera is the ability to record live audio. As the camera does not allow for a wireless mic connection, and we cannot have a person holding a “boom” microphone over our actors to capture the audio as they would obviously be seen. Using the camera itself to capture audio is an option, but due to the limitations of the hardware, not the best solution. So here, our lessons learned were that if using the camera to shoot scenes that include audio, it is best to add that component in the post production. By doing so you can ensure a more consistent audio track and maintain quality.

Moving on to the post production process, it became clear very early in testing that camera editing software in the market is not as capable with regards to managing the unique challenges and nuances of a 360 video. Due to this we decided to use an open source solution that was available and included the features we needed to complete the project to everyone’s satisfaction. While this open source option worked for this current project, it is not our preferred solution so we will be continuing to keep an eye on the market place for future 360 video editing programs that are released.

Next week I will conclude this topic with a discussion on where we feel 360 video is heading with regards to using this medium as part of your training and eLearning.

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