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5 Tips For Stitching A Seamless 360° Video

5 Tips For Stitching A Seamless 360° Video

Some say stitching together 360° video is harder than brain surgery. Or actually, maybe not, but it’s definitely not easy! You need an extremely stable rig with about six to eight cameras that shoot every angle simultaneously and a steady hand to stitch the files together. Like sewing two fabrics together, stitching is done by aligning 2D video frames using special editing tools like Kolor Autopano or VideoStitch. If done correctly, the stitching should be invisible to the naked eye and the video should appear seamless no matter what direction you’re looking. Sloppy editing, on the other hand, looks blurry or leaves uneven streak marks, like a shoddy tailoring job.

These tips will focus on Kolor’s Autopano Pro because it is one of the most popular 360° video editing programs out there. While Autopano will sync and stitch your 360° video for you, you can’t rely on its automated process alone. If you do, you’ll get blurs along the stitched video seams and unstable images. Here are five tips to help you create that perfect, seamless 360° video.

1. Create an audio or motion-activated sync point before shooting.

Image from Freedom 360 Shop

Create a sync point for the cameras to match up in Autopano Pro by clapping loudly, walking around the camera, or making sure there is movement in your scene. Use a larger time range in Autopano Pro if you sync with motion, and a smaller time range if you sync with audio.

2. Level out the horizon.

After syncing and stitching your video using Autopano’s automated process, level out the horizon so it’s as straight as possible to save yourself editing time in Autopano Giga.

3. Straighten out the vertical lines. Repeatedly.

Image from Freedom 360 Shop

Choose a frame in your video that has plenty of vertical lines — like the sides of buildings — and trace their edges with Autopano Giga’s verticals tool. If lacks vertical lines, use the tool to trace a line straight down and across the horizon. Repeat the verticals process at least four to five times.

4. Color correct your video in Masking Mode.

In Autopano Giga, select your best lit image with the color correction tool to fix the exposure in the rest of the film. The color needs to be uniform among each angle, or it will look off to the viewer.

5. Map control points and delete the extra ones.

Image from Freedom 360 Shop

Last tip for Autopano Giga — make sure the videos are stitched together properly with the control points editor. To do this, add control points to an object situated where two video frames overlap, and then delete any extra or random control points in the frames. Repeat this process for all the frames you are having trouble with stitching perfectly.