How To Build Your Own 360° Rig

How To Build Your Own 360° Rig

Krish Thapar is one of TCC’s efficient and talented Editors. He has a wealth of experience in branded content and short form editing after working with the likes of Coca Cola, Oral B and Vodafone throughout his career. He uses his own 360° camera and software to keep up with the ever changing visual world and here, he explains how he goes one step further to get the best out of his equipment.

Project: Travel and tourism immersive promotional content

Client:  Adriatic Luxury Hotels, Croatia

Post: Adobe Premiere CC / Adobe After Effects / SYMAX 360 Player

Kit: Custom built 360° rig (Future Productions – Scout 360 Rig)

800w Redhead x 1 , 300w Redhead x 2, Led Light Panels custom built.

Kit Spec: 4K 360 capture and 360 YouTube streaming

Best Feature: Very fast field deployment for 360 filming, very simple design and ultra quick post production workflow.

Brief: We created a short 360 pitch film for the Adriatic Luxury Hotel chain demonstrating the hotel and surrounding areas in a 360° video.

How it was done: As we were not happy with the quality of the consumer options available for 360 filming, we decided to undertake an assignment to build a 360° rig to be reliable and efficient in terms of capturing 360° content. The building process and energy efficient adaptive lighting tests went as follows:

The Building Process

1) Firstly, we modified a tripod to bear a heavier load with the 360° camera and lighting gear on board so we added a heavy duty quick release plate to a tripod that was lightweight and optimised for rapid deployment whilst filming.

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2) Next we mounted a dual flash bracket and are waiting on parts to build the complete LED lighting array. The LED array will be USB powered and both the camera and LED lighting will eventually run from a power bank thus eradicating the need for running extensive wires.

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3) Then, as the standard indoor lighting is never good enough for professional filming, we aimed to eradicate some of the shadows using a concealable inbuilt lighting solution.

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4) Finally, some tests were run using a wireless 360° monitor on an Android smartphone. The light output can be controlled using this and the rig’s on-board adaptive dimmer.

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Development

The rig is by no means complete as we are still learning and developing the technology independently. We are still in the process of building a completed rig and anticipate completion in a few weeks.

We used an earlier 360° rig to capture the hotel room and tourist sights as a demonstration of the technology for the travel and tourism sector. 360° technology also has incredibly advantageous uses for brands and event live streaming.

360° technology is very much in its infancy and as a result, the image quality is not as high as standard video. Using VR headsets, panning and tilting through 360 video on mobile phones seems like the easiest solution to display 360° with consumers. However YouTube’s space-saving compression on 360 videos severely affects the image quality. The desktop playback of 360 videos bears the highest quality from our experience, particularly when playing the original file using a stable 360° player like SYMAX 360.

Discover more of our Editors and their work in our post production showreel gallery.