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Making Video 360 In After Effects

June 21, 2021 by Adam R. Anderson
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Video 360 is one of the hottest trends in the media, and it has become easier to create your own virtual content than you might think. Let’s see how this happens with mettle’s Skybox Studio plugin for After Effects.
The video 360 is exploding in popularity, everyone, from virtual reality enthusiasts to the average smartphone user, is taking advantage of the new possibilities offered by the new technology. The idea of producing 360 video content may seem daunting, but thanks to many dedicated enthusiasts, creating and downloading your own 360 video has become easier than you think.

You may have already seen some 360-degree camera variants on the market, but how to format camera images to work properly on compatible sites like YouTube? Well, one of the easiest ways to export 360 videos is to use the After Effects plugin launched in may of this year, Skybox Studio by Mettle.

Skybox Studio uses scripts and plugins in After Effects so you can import, edit, and export 360 videos. It produces a user-friendly and efficient composition structure that is easy to understand even for beginners of After Effects. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the process behind creating 360 videos in After Effects.

Before entering the software itself, it is useful to know some basic information about the actual operation of the 360 video. Before uploading to a host site, a 360 video can be viewed from different angles. Skybox Studio allows you to view your video from multiple of these views, each with its own lens. Here are the three formats in which the 360 video is often displayed, with some visual examples for reference.

Three Options For Perspective Municipalities

1. Equirectangular Card

As the name implies, this perspective is somewhat more complex than others. Most commonly seen in environment maps for 3D objects, the equirectangular perspective is a 360 video sequence unpacked for a standard and flat image format. This is what 360 videos look like before they are implemented into a compatible player. This perspective serves as an accurate 2D interpretation of 3D data, but is not very convenient for editing. When you export a 360 video, the result should look like this in a non-360 compatible video player.

2. Map Cube

A cube map splits the 360 video into 6 square planes that are used as individual sides of a cube. Often seen flat, with six sides unfolded (as you can see below), the cards cubic are one of the best ways is to provide an accurate description of how video 360 works in 3D space.

3. Map Of The Sphere

Ball cards work similarly to dice cards, but instead of wrapping the video around the six sides of a dice, it is wrapped around a ball instead. This is technically the way a player interprets images like YouTube, with the camera (aka the view from a smartphone or VR headset) positioned in the ball in the middle.

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