Hi! I decided to take some time this week to continue my search for what program is best for my needs to share my 360° media. Today I’m focusing on the Kuula website.
I used the Ricoh Theta SC Hatsune Miku to capture my photos/videos and an iPad Pro to edit them. I am interested in trying out different 360° programs in order to find what fits my needs best; something quick, efficient, and optimized for social media.
The Kuula site is a sleek and easy to use interface for designing virtual tours and standalone 360 images. I was particularly interested in some of the example images I had seen from the front page, and was excited to see the editing abilities of the application. Kuula offers you to start with a free account or activate your free 14 day trial and drop to a free account after. For the purpose of this review, I maintained the free account.
There are several types of preset filters you can work with, as well as the ability to vary the intensity of your chosen filter.
One thing that I really liked was the ability to create “tiny planets” or “rabbit holes”. As you can see in this picture, the “tiny planet” that Kuula made out of my 360 image was fun! I had inserted my Theta in between some of the cacti leaves to change up the perspective in my shots, since I seem to gravitate towards anything that looks different than grass.
This is the rabbit hole that I made. It’s the inverse of my tiny planet, fairly unsurprisingly. I liked this one a little more, if only because the sun isn’t glaring and taking up more space than necessary.
A really cool feature of Kuula is the ability to add solar flares into your images. There are a couple different options for the type of flare you can add in, the one I picked was the “Round with rays” type. You can see below that to get a good flare, I had to make the picture basically unpalatable in terms of brightness.
Never to fear, though! As you can see here, the other side of my picture – the cactus – looks just fine in the selected overexposure. This leads me to believe that the exposure is mostly tied to the location of the solar “pin”. This is nice, as it lends the option to add in the solar flare at a high intensity and then pan away to other areas of the image that are more pleasantly lit.
To check out the “tour” I made, click here.
In summary, here are my pros and cons for the Kuula web tool:
|Tutorials available for most options||Filters are not super aesthetically pleasing at times head on|
|Can take individual images or groups of images (tours)||A lot of features are in the Pro edition|
|Solar flares are awesome!||In free edition, photos are public|
|Filters are nice||Batch upload only allows for 5 at a time, though you can add extra photos after|
|Quick uploading time||Hotspots only work in Pro edition. Any photo linking that is done in the Free edition won’t show up. (Thanks @Waldo!)|
|Option to remove EXIF data|
I really liked Kuula. I thought it was a nice marriage of Google Tour Creator and the Theta+ app, which I’ve reviewed as well and am linking here. I thought that the solar flare ability was really, really cool; definitely the best part of this application by far. All things considered, the free version was just fine and I could see that being just fine in the long term for someone.
Until next time!