I just discovered this week that YouTube can display 360° panorama videos. So now I can show them in YouTube. And, added bonus, I can embed YouTube videos into this blog.
Click on the video below to see it in action. Once it starts playing, click and drag in the video with your mouse. Or, play it on a mobile device and move the device around. If you want to play with this in a browser in a larger window, here is the link: https://youtu.be/5dxS63p0qmI. This is a still photo displayed as a video. Note that it is only 30 seconds long. To play with it longer than that, pause the video and click and drag around as much as you want.
It took a little work to get it right. 360° panoramas are twice as wide as they are high. Exactly. Thinking about it a bit, that becomes obvious. The panorama is 360° wide (hence the name) and 180° high. But standard HD video is 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high. 4K video (which is what I’m published this at) is twice that: 3840 x 2160. The ratio is 16:9, which obviously is not the same as the 2:1 panoramas.
When I created the first video, there was a black bar top and bottom, which when viewed as a 360° panorama created a round hole at the “top” and “bottom”. Oh, what to do?
The panorama starts out with a horizontal:vertical ratio of 2:1, which is the same as 16:8. If I were to stretch the panorama a bit vertically, maybe about 12.5%, it would then be 16:9 and have the same ratio as the HD video.
So, I created the panorama (I already did that, see https://garystebbins.com/2020/02/04/360-panoramas/), then dropped the file into Photoshop and expanded the image vertically to 112.5%, then dropped that file into Adobe Premiere Pro, added a little music, and there you have it.
Almost… there is a bit of embedded data that has to be added to the file to tell YouTube it is a 360° panorama. I found a little program online called “Spatial Media Metadata Injector,” which can be found here, that does this bit of magic.
Maybe I’ll discover some easier method than this, but now I know the steps, this isn’t bad. I suspect I can do the ratio matching all in Premiere Pro, which would save one step.
If you want to see a wild 360° video check this out:
Be sure to spin it around and look around you. Enjoy!