Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How to add image stabilization to your 360 videos for free


360 videos need to be stabilized to avoid making viewers dizzy (especially if viewed in a headset).  However, not all 360 cameras include image stabilization, and the ones that do don't always have effective stabilization.  Fortunately, it's easy to add image stabilization to your 360 videos simply by uploading them to Facebook.
Facebook will automatically attempt to stabilize a 360 video when you upload it.  That's part of the reason it takes a while before the 360 video shows up on your post.

To test this capability, I took a test video using an Insta360 Nano and Freeline Skates. In the first part of the video, I skated on concrete.  In the second part of the video, I was skating on asphalt.

This was a very difficult video test for several reasons: first, the asphalt was little bumpy.  Second, I was turning a lot, not just going straight.  Third, I was holding the camera at various positions and sometimes inverted (to get closer to the skates).  Fourth, in the second video, I was skating down an incline, which makes determining the horizon more difficult for the software.

Anyway here are the results.  First, here are the sample videos without stabilization (uploaded to YouTube):




Here are the videos on Facebook:




It appears that the stabilization algorithm had difficulty with the inverted portion of the video (the video became inverted).  But it looks a little improved.  Facebook's stabilization is even more effective for videos where you're holding a 360 camera as you're walking.

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