How to edit 360° video in HitFilm

by birtanpublished on September 21, 2020

In today’s tutorial we’re going to be looking at the 360 workflow and a couple of features HitFilm has to offer. The link in the description will provide a 50% discount for the 360 Toolkit package. We’ll be going through the basic & most common effects used for 360 video editing, and their main uses. The reason 360 has their own section, is due to the pitch caused by traditional effects. Applying a fractal for example will reveal the seam of our footage at the back, top & bottom, disrupting the immersion created within your scene.

Let’s dive into importing & reviewing our footage. Starting off in the traditional workspace, 360 starts off like any other clip. We’ll right click our footage from the Media Tab, and select ‘Make Composite Shot’. There is no need to change any of these settings at this time, HitFilm automatically recognises its dimensions and resolution, additionally we’ll be using effects to activate they 360 qualities.

The first thing you’ll notice is our footage is comprised of two spherical clips. For this tutorial we used the Samsung Gear 360 which uses two 180 degree lenses. In this particular case, we’ll first need to apply a Fisheye converter. So, if we go over to the effects window, open the 360 video tab & apply Fisheye Converter, it will now blend the two spheres into one 360 equirectangular image. For quick jobs, apply the 360 viewer to your footage to enter the centre position of your camera. Open the Controls tab and let’s go through

Some of these features. Enabling Fisheye Field of View will switch between a lens correction- for VR or headset export it’s best to leave this on, where as turning it off is helpful if adapting for traditional 2D conversion. Disabling the Camera Field of View will allow you to manually control the degrees the viewer can see. Naturally the camera is set to a degree of 90. By increasing we’re able to see a wider area though begins to bring in

What would be the background. Decreasing, creates a tighter vision, be careful with this version as in a headset minor motions will be jarring, possibly leading to motion sickness. Something I’d recommend it adjusting to 120 degrees- this is the degree of the human eye, so helps feel the most realistic. Just while we go through the rest of the features however, I’ll tick Camera FOV back on.

Scale works like with regular footage, though would avoid using this, it can create pitches in the back seam, same goes for the Scale Ratio. Under transform we’re presented with 3 dials for the X, Y & Z axis, and by adjusting these values we can rotate the centre focus. Our final drop-down contains settings for Motion Blur, something to activate if you’re animating the transform values.

So that’s the 360 viewer, again, it’s best used for the one off clip or a speedy review. However, Hitfilm has a far easier method to review footage and an entire Workspace dedicated for it. Let’s remove the 360 viewer effect & by going to the top bar & selecting the workspace icon, we’ll go over to the workspace presets and pick ‘360 video editing’. Now with this loaded we have both a 2D display of our panoramic & a 360 viewer of which we can use the hand tool to look around the scene as if wearing a headset.

Now that we’ve removed the viewer effect we’ll need to apply a ‘360 video transform’ to take its place. Like with the 360 viewer, transform contains three dials representing X, Y & Z. When editing between two clips, something to really take into consideration is eye-line. Where is your audience meant to be looking and where does the action lead them. The transform dials can be used to adjust the points to become closer to one another, making it easier

For your viewer to settle & allows the flow of a scene to continue. Adding text is easy & straight forward thanks to the 360 Text Effect. Simply create a new Grade layer, apply 360 Text from the effects window & enter the Controls tab. Open the drop-down to reveal our features and let’s talk through our options. For the most part it is very similar to the regular Text Application Effect, right away we have our Text, by pressing the ‘A’ icon, this will open up a window for us to type our titles.

We can of cause adapt the design by playing with Font, Style, Colour & Size like with the traditional text effect. We’ll pass on them for the time being but, For more on using text, watch the tutorial in the card on screen now. What we will look is under the Text Position options, primarily ‘Depth’. By moving the slider the text moves within the 360 space. A good tactic is to imagine these points as feet, with zero being the position of which your viewer stands. This can be animated to pass over the camera- potentially

Making for some very dramatic opening credits. It’s important to refrain from using this as a scaling function however- the result will look small, but because of how far it seems, especially if you’re in stereoscopic – more on that another time. Finally, when your text is positioned, you can use the rotation function to help align this to elements within your scene. At this time, HitFilm does not have its own output setting for injecting 360 metadata,

However, by exporting under the YouTube or Vimeo preset it can be recognised after upload. If you are after a headset viewing however, you can apply the metadata by using Google’s free Spatial Injector, link in the description. The last thing you’ll need in your 360 toolkit is a decent thumbnail, a popular one you'll see is the Mini Globe, this effect works great with 360 footage so while I have you and we've got some time, let's make one.

I’m just going to switch back into the standard compositing workspace & the first thing you’ll need to do is adjust your Composite shot to be a square- in my case, I grabbed the width resolution & apply it to my height. You’ll need your footage to be in equirectangular mode, so like before, I’ll apply the Fisheye Converter to my layer. With that done, we’ll make this into its own composite- moving attributes along with it. Select the layer and press Ctrl + M. Select ‘Move with Layer’ under the Masks, Effects & transform properties,

And once set, jump back into the Composite Shot above. In the Controls tab, open transform and rotate the layer by 180 degrees. Now we’ll need to apply Polar Warp, and it’s pretty much done for us! All that’s needed is to extend the End Radius to the maximum value to fill up your scene. Then, to exaggerate the depth, apply a spherical warp. Adjust the scale to remove the outer duplicates and bring the amount to -100.

Last thing to do is go into the transform properties and increase the scale so it fits the composite shot. If you’d like to keep the mini-globe mini we’ll need to fill the surround gaps. We’ll do this by generating a new plane layer, naming it sky, setting it to the color that sits closest to the edge of our globe’s atmosphere. Of course we need to place this layer underneath our globe. Finally, set this back to the original aspect ratio – you can do this by dragging the thumbnail

Into the original composite shot, or reset your composite shot values in the media window. Thanks for watching, we’ll be sure to go over more effects in 360 in future but leave any questions in the comments below. To keep up to date, don’t forget to subscribe & ring the bell for notifications.

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