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Tips for filming 360 video for elearning

For the past two weeks, we have taken a day to film 360 video and take 360 photos for ACCES on workplace safety in industrial settings. 360 photos and videos are starting to become more commonplace when it comes to showing virtual spaces and giving your learner partial control over exploring those spaces.

If you have taken a “virtual tour” of a house or apartment recently, you are already familiar with the concept! You can click and drag the camera view to look at a space from every angle from the one point, and sometimes there are interactable spots allowing your view to move to the new point, or do some other interaction with the space.

Our task was to take 360 video and photos of several large job sites, with the idea to develop interactable areas within each one that demonstrate a particular risk or hazard that the learner needs to be aware of.

The first thing about using a 360 camera is that it is difficult to hide the cameraperson! There is no “behind the camera” for someone to stand. By the same token, everyone that you don’t want in the shot also need to find places to hide that are out of line of sight. The only places the camera can’t see are directly below and above it, or behind objects, of course.

For taking still 360 photos, you can just have the camera on a tripod. But to be able to take a 360 video that moves through the space, the easiest solution was to mount the camera on a piece of headgear (in our case, a hard hat), and have the camera person walk evenly through the space as it’s filming. The rest of us who didn’t want to be in the shot hid behind walls, equipment, or piles of materials.

We were also concerned that the person who had the camera controls wouldn’t be able to connect wirelessly to the camera as the cameraperson moved too far away. We were in a big space and weren’t sure how far the bluetooth connection would stretch. This didn’t turn out to be a problem, but it’s something to keep in mind if you end up working in a larger space.


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