With the passage of this year, a lot of things are grown old and out dated.In the same way,Flat, two-dimensional photos are old news. The future is 360-degree photos that let you look around in any direction from a single standing position. You can share 360-degree photos everywhere from Facebook to Street View, and unlike 360 video, they can be easily snapped using the phone you’ve already got. Here’s how to get started.
First, you need an app. The one you want depends on where you’re sharing or storing the picture, but most platforms work with most apps. The best app for the job is Street View for Android or iOS, but you can also use the photo sphere mode in the stock Android camera or Surround Shot mode on Samsung phones.
The Street View app is a lot like the photo sphere mode offered by the stock Android camera. Tap the large orange plus icon then pick Camera, at which point the app will guide you through the capture process—basically you have to stand in one place and hit all the orange circles to fill the orb at the bottom.
Images are snapped automatically when you reach each designated position (no need to press the shutter button), and once you’re done, the app does all the hard work of stitching together the images you’ve taken. If you’ve got Google Photos installed, that’s one of the apps that will be able to show your 360-degree photo in all its glory.
If you’re on a phone, you can view a photo by moving the handset around to change the view (or tapping and dragging). If you’re in the browser mode of Google Photos, you can click and drag using the mouse. If you want more people to see your immersive image, you can upload it to Street View or to Facebook in the same way as any other photo.
At the moment Android is more 360-degree photo-friendly than iOS, but Apple will most likely catch up. Facebook can process iPhone panorama pictures as 360-degree pictures, or you can use a third-party app (such as Street View or something like 360 Panorama). Of course you can pick up a dedicated 360-degree camera if you prefer, which will let you shoot video clips too.
You don’t need an expensive 360 camera to make awesome 360 shots
- Download the Cardboard Camera from the Google Play store.
- To take your first 360 shot, press the orange camera icon on the bottom right.
- Keeping your phone in portrait mode, slowly turn the phone 360 degrees until the orange arrow has reached the full length of its path.
- Be careful what you say, as it records the audio at the same time.
- Once complete, press the tick and Google will process the shot, stiching the images into a sphere.
- Once complete, you can view your photosphere in your Freefly. Press the image and select the VR goggle icon at the bottom before placing in your Freefly. You can then look around the scene as if you were there.
- You can share your wrap-around creation with others who also have the Google Cardboard Camera.
How to share Google Cardboard Camera 360 photos
You can share your Cardboard Camera 360 photos if you know how. Unfortuntely you can’t share a VR version of your photosphere with another person within the app, but they can view your photosphere, using their fingers.
- To share a non-VR mode Google Camera 360 image via Whatsapp, open up the Cardboard Camera app and select the image you wish to share from the gallery.
- Open up the settings (via the three dots on the top right) and select Open in Gallery.
- Then select the Share icon and Whatsapp, as if sending a regular image.
- Once your friend as received the image on Whatsapp, they need to open up the WhatsApp gallery and select the three dots on the top right to bring up the Settings. Next they need to select Move to Album and move to the Pictures album.
- When they press the Widescreen icon, they will be able to maniplate the image with their fingers.
- To share a Freefly VR mode compatible Google Cardboard Camera 360 image with a friend, you will need to use a third party website called Spherecast.
- Open the website on your mobile phone and select Choose File. Select the 360 Cardboard Camera image you want to send and Upload.
- After a few seconds, you will see your image as a 360 file which can be split into VR mode by pressing the Viewer icon. To share this image, you simply press the Share Icon. You will be presented with a unique URL. Copy and paste that URL and Whatsapp it to your friend. Once they receive it, they can click on the link and view your 360 image in VR mode on their phone, or move around the image using their mouse on their computer.
- Inform them that the image needs to be switched to Full screen via the expander icon on the bottom right and the phone needs to be rotated to Landscape mode.
Unfortunately, the quality is not as good as when viewing natively in the Google Cardboard camera app. It will no longer be stereoscopic, and your friend will see a black bar at the top and bottom of the image.
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Check out SuperViz (www.superviz.com). Works on both iPhone and Android, is free, and you can share and enter into the 360 images together with others to discuss the scene.