//5 Best Practices from 360 VR Video shooting with Samsung Gear 360 at SXSW 2017

5 Best Practices from 360 VR Video shooting with Samsung Gear 360 at SXSW 2017

The following is sharing best practices on 360 VR Video shooting with 360-degree video camera.
Anyone can learn how to shoot VR videos efficiently with one of popular360-degree video camera Samsung Gear 360 and do basic editing tasks.

Artist who is shown in 360-degree videos is SXSW 2017 artist “New Portals”.

New Portals is a girl-boy indie electronic pop act from Belfast. They’ve had 14 million Spotify streams between New Portals & folk-moniker The Jepettos. They were recently New Band of the Week in The Guardian, have been played a few times by Huw Stephens & Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1, been playlisted on Spotify (Creativity Boost, Friday Crate Diggers & Evening Chill), in high street stores such as MAC Cosmetics, H&M, Co-Op and Starbucks, been featured on various SkyTV & RTE shows and a feature film, and they have received various endorsement deals- the latest was with Missguided and Dr Martens. Learn more about “New Portals” from Facebook, TwitterSpotify, Soundcloud or Youtube.



Equipment that I used and recommend:

・Samsung Gear 360(List Price: $349. Price: $172~)  Amazon

・Tripod(Estimated Price: $30)

・Duct tape(Estimated Price: $2)

・Galaxy S7 Smartphone (for using Gear 360 App) (List Price: $780)

・MacBook Pro (for importing and editing video) (List Price: $1,499.00 US)



Galaxy S7 and the compatible app “Gear 360 Manager”

The Gear 360 is compatible with Galaxy smartphones and is supported by the app “Gear 360 Manager”. You can shoot remotely with the camera and preview the recording right after. The Gear 360 is also able to shoot as it is, even without the presence of a Galaxy device.

Other functions

– Connect to and disconnect from Gear 360

– Shoot remotely with your Gear 360 and preview the recording

– View content saved on your Gear 360 and save it to your smartphone

– Check Gear 360 status and settings.

※Supported Devices:Galaxy Note7、Galaxy S7、Galaxy S7 Edge、Galaxy S6、Galaxy S6 Edge、Galaxy S6 Edge +、Galaxy Note 5

After downloading the app, turn the Gear 360 camera on and open the Gear 360 Manager app in your smartphone. Long push MENU button on the camera, then the app will find the active camera and connect to it. The app should connect to the camera automatically after that.



Resolution settings

Low resolution videos cannot be expanded to high resolution videos afterwards, so you should opt to set shooting resolution to highest in advance. The initial resolution setting is 2560×1280. If you haven’t decided which size to use, I recommend setting it to the the highest resolution possible: 3840×1920.

Not only is the Gear 360 a camera, but a 360 camera which has double-sided lenses with shared resolution for each of the lenses. It means if the camera is capturing in 4K resolution, it is split into two 2K(same as Full HD) cameras that just combine the images in the the end. Meaning, the resolution of  the 360 camera is technically lower than it says.

Reduction in size from a higher resolution is not a problem, but extending from low resolution is.

The resolution setting of Gear 360 is below:

  1. Power the Gear 360 on
  2. Push ”MENU” button 3times to display ”Setting”. Then push ”OK” button.
  3. Push ”MENU” button 1times to display ”Video Size”. Then push ”OK” button.
  4. Displayed the present setting value.
  5. Push ”MENU” to select size. Then push ”OK” button.

You can also adjust the resolution from the Gear 360 Manager app.



The 360 camera shoots in 360 degrees, but there are still front and back positions.

You must be thinking “Why should I care about the front or back of a 360 camera, if it shoots in 360 degrees?” During the time of the shoot I found that when there is a subject(in this case, a band member), it is important that you point the front lens at the subject. In scenarios where you don’t have a subject at the shooting, you should determine the main point of view in advance.

There are 3 reasons why I recommend pre-determining the main point of view whenever you shoot with the 360 camera.

First, the center of the front lens becomes the start point in the VR content, automatically. You can adjust the position through the InstaVR console/platform later, but it should be fixed at the point you want to show users. This is important to note whenever you create VR content.

Secondly, when you edit the VR video, the video must be a planed video (equirectangular projection) as it is cut open from the center position of the back lens. If you mistake the back lens for the front lens, it tends to complicate certain tasks during video editing.

In my case, I pointed the back lens at the subject during the shoot. I wanted put the song title on the subject in the video but the subject was cut from the center when I was trying to edit the video. This added a lot of trouble on my part, in trying to add a song title to the video.

Lastly, if the joints of the front and back lens face the subject, it will come out looking compressed in the final video. That’s why I recommend that you take note of where the lenses are pointing, and in particular what the front lens is capturing.




Note the overheating of the camera

The Gear 360 camera stops automatically, to prevent overheating.

The main reasons for overheating are shooting at high temperature locations like a place under blazing sun, in a studio heated by lighting equipment, or if the exhaust isn’t able to disseminated from the camera.

The Gear 360 camera has three small holes. One particular one is a ventilation hole, and if it is covered with something like tape, it becomes a cause of overheating.

This was a lesson I learned the hard way while filming for the 360 app. I fixed a camera and a stand with a duct tape tightly. When the shooting started, the camera stopped many times during the live recording. After the shoot, the camera was heated more than usual. Apparently, it may have been caused by fixing the camera with too much tape and not being able to exhaust the heat. The main takeaway is if you fix the camera with tape, you should pay attention to where you apply it.  The application area must be small and avoid sealing the small holes on the surface of the camera.

The pictures below best illustrate this:

[BAD]I covered almost all surface of the camera with duct tape except the lens, buttons, and display. The cable cover had opened to charge the battery.[OK] I fixed the camera with duct tape which I twisted while putting the adhesive surface face up. It was a smaller application area of tape on the camera compared to before. I avoided covering all holes with the tape.

When overheating occurred, the camera stopped sometimes for a few seconds, up to a few minutes. I wasn’t alerted before the camera stopped. And it took a while to recover until it cooled down.

Also, overheating can be a cause of fire, so please be careful about that when you’re shooting.



Choose bright location for VR shooting

I don’t recommend shooting in a dark place. The gap of light and shadow is getting flat there, and it doesn’t look solid. Thus, the image quality is further degraded by light quantity insufficiency even if the resolution setting is high.  To provide a sense of immersion into a virtual space, you need both high-resolution and solidity. For that reason, I recommend to shoot in a bright place.



There is no dead angle at VR shooting.

If you are a cameraman, you cannot see yourself in the video, but a 360 video does not have a “dead angle”. If you need to avoid being in the image, then you can hide in the shadow of something, such as a tree, where the camera won’t see you.

In this situation, it will be difficult to touch the camera directly and preview the images. The Gear 360 Manager App is perfect for this – it will help you shoot remotely and even preview the recording.

Conversely, you can blend in the crowd at the shooting of an event. If you are able to see your subject while shooting directly, it is much better and smoother compared to if you are hiding. In that case you should act like the audience, keep distance from the camera, and don’t look at the camera unnaturally.



Tricks and traps of longer video shoots with Gear 360

The video files are automatically separated into smaller files so as not to exceed the size limitation of 2GB, which is about eight minutes of 3K. For example, if you need to shoot a 16-minute video, it will split into two files, each being eight minutes long.

There might be a bit of a hitch if the video file cuts out in the middle of a song. You can easily merge or splice together two videos, but there will be a slight noise at the splicing point. In this case, editing the audio might be necessary. For this this particular video, the band members recorded clear sounding audio separately. I could replace the audio easily.



Keep “Radio Frequency Interference” in mind.

Using the Gear 360 and the Galaxy smartphone with a WiFi network may cause interference with other electronic equipment.

I wanted to set the camera as close as a band member on the stage at the shooting. However, they requested that I keep a proper distance. I’m not 100% sure that was the cause, but a communication failure with a microphone and electronic music equipment occurred when the camera was near them. That might be because the Gear 360 that is monitoring the camera uses a smartphone via wifi network.

And that’s it for video capture with the Gear 360! It’s very simple once you’ve done it once. Click the link below to learn how turn the raw video footage into InstaVR-ready media using Adobe.

Now, Let’s try video editing with “Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017” next!


Grow Your Business Using Virtual Reality

InstaVR has been selected by over 20,000 companies and professionals

  • Full VR Features. 360 Mono/ Stereo Images and Videos are supported. Scene Navigation, Popup Info and Execute External Action.
  • No-Coding, Web Browser based, Interactive Authoring Tool allows you to make interactive 360 images/videos based VR experience very quickly
  • Single-Click Publishing enables to publish created VR experience to all VR platforms such as Gear VR, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE, Google Cardboard (iOS, Android) and Web as Native White Label app
2019-07-03T08:20:44+00:00 May 17th, 2017|General|