How to combine a 360º video with animation ?


What can you do with 6 Go Pro cameras, a 6 holder camera rig (some referred to it as a turmeric scented piece of plastic) a stitching programme and a special animation computer plugin?

Ice cream, you say? Nay! A 360 degree video with animation of course, that on the bright side gives you an excuse to buy ice cream so you can chill down while exploring all angles of our 360 video. So that’s what we did! We put all our gear in place, threw a little rooftop party  and made a 360 degree video. And on top of that we hid a cat in it, so up to you to spot the feline!

Now you've witnessed our rooftop party and house cat, let's take you back to the production room and guide you through four crucial steps in creating a 360 degree video.

1. Stitching

Before you can speak of a 360 video, you need to put the footage of the 6 different Go Pro cameras together. This process is called stitching, you are basically sewing all the different frames together to create a spherical environment in which the viewer can freely move around with a VR Cardboard for example. Basically, you could compare it to making a trip in a spherical video quilt.

To stitch the footage of 6 GoPro's together is a pretty nifty job, but luckily we can rely on software to speed up the process. We’ve chosen to work with Autopano Video Pro 2.3, and  we are very pleased. It allows to stitch the videos automatically and requires only a little amount of time to brush up the stitchings manually. One tip to reduce stitching time is to  ensure that the horizon remains on the same hight throughout the entire video.

360 degree video - stitching

2. Parallex

Another important parameter is of course your camera’s position. Since the video will later be manipulated into a 360 video, it is important to keep a certain distance between the camera lens and the persons or objects being filmed. This distance is called parallax with a fancy word. If you are filming too a person or an object to close it will completely deformed after the stitching process. Therefore we recommend to keep at least 2 metres between the camera

3. Colours and Lighting

We wanted to film outside for a wide panoramic view from our rooftop so you can really roam around in our world. But since we're based in Brussels, the sun isn't always shining, there are ways to manipulate the weather in post-production. We felt like weather gods when we turned the greyish sky into a pristine blue summer day. All done with the stitching software.

360 degree video - Background colour

4. Adding animation, because it's in our DNA

Since animation is in the DNA of 87seconds, we did not only wanted to create an awesome 360 video, we wanted to add animation to it as well. And luckily there are ways to do that. Basically what you need is a skilled motion designer and a plugin named Skybox by Mettle.

As you know, a 360 video is the result of a stitching process of 6 Go Pro cameras.Because the frames are not rectangular and bit deformed to create a spherical video, the animations you add must follow the same curves. It would be too simple to simply add the animation. Luckily, the plugin  helps you to change the image in such a manner that you can make it appear in the video without any distortions.

You got bitten by the 360º bug and want to throw your own party? Have a look at our 360/Interactive  offering and see what we can do for you?



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