Convert Still 360 Image Into Video Clip Using Free Software Panolapse

This was written by Komei Harada

Back in February, I figured out a way to convert a 360-degree still image into a video clip using a program called Panolapse.

Here is how I did it:

  • Download Panolapse from http://www.panolapse3…­, install and run.
  • In “File” > Preferences", select “Preview speed” (e.g., “30 fps”).
  • “Tools” > “Animate a single image” and open a Ricoh Theta JPG image.
  • Enter “Number of frames” (e.g., “300” for 10 seconds), change “Lens type” to “Equirectangular (360 degrees)” and click on “Done”.
  • Enter “Convert to focal length” (e.g, 16 mm).
  • Select a frame, adjust Pan, Tilt, Roll (and Focal Length if you checked “Enable Zoom”). Dragging mouse in the image changes pan and tilt, right button mouse drag changes roll. Move to another key frame and repeat.
    Typically, I go to the last frame first and uncheck “Key”, go to the first frame and set the initial position, go to the last frame again and set the final position.
  • “Preview”. If necessary, stop at a middle frame and adjust roll, etc.
  • “Export frames…”
  • Select a video format from “File Format”, select Output Folder and click on “Queue for render”.
  • Click on “Render all”.

This tool has limited features but it’s free for the 720p video.
(If you are serious enough to pay, I assume the new Adobe Premiere Pro can do the same thing with better UI?)

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Following Komei’s directions, I used Panolapse and could build some simple videos. I like the idea that many images are included in one photosphere. And that many people may not have 360 viewers or may not care to use one. This app allows you to show off a 360 image by “moving through” it and displaying it as a equirectangular video.

The instructions that Komei uploaded here are great, easy to follow. I’d just add that the final render of 300 images took 3.5 minutes. Nothing very serious, but depending on your computer setup, it’s not instantaneous.

Here’s an example:

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This is great. I would like to see this same navigational control as part of a live stream. Seems doable in the near future. We’re right at the cusp of some pretty amazing advancements in augmented reality and 360 view tours, which the media is calling VR.

Worked like a charm!

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