At Seigi Media, we’re interested in your story. We want you to get started making 360-degree, immersive podcasts and virtual tours right away! This doesn’t mean that you have to go and buy an expensive 360 camera – we’ve designed a solution and researched accessories that will allow you to start shooting impressive 360×180 photos, starting from well under $100.
Once you’ve taken the photos, for a small fee, we can stitch them (students free for their first project!). If you want to DIY, Hugin is an excellent free tool that is available for Windows or Mac, but the learning curve is a little steep for newbies. Alternatively, you can buy Panorama Studio – it’s a little more user-friendly and we’ve produced panoramas of high quality with little fuss. Once you’re done making the 360 x 180 photos, they can be uploaded for free at 360 sharing platform, VeeR. Audio tracks, 2D images, floating text and links to external resources can be added we all the photos are in place.
VR Experiences can be ideal platforms for student-led education, journalism, advertising or even a low-cost DIY alternative to the virtual tours created with sophisticated and costly Matterport 3D platforms for real estate.
Here’s what you need to get started:
- A relatively static subject. If it’s going to move, then you need a 360 camera.
- An action camera. At the moment, we’ve only tested a small number of cameras, but that number will grow over time.
- A panohead or panoramic mount. There are others out there, but we’ve designed ours to be cheap, durable and to work in most spaces. In fact, we’d be surprised if you find another panohead that’s cheaper than ours. Even better, it fits in your pocket. If you somehow break it, you’re not going to have a good cry.
- If you have a Yi Lite, YI 4K+ Action Camera, a YI Action Camera (our recommendation for price vs performance), a GoPro Hero4 Black (it will probably work with other GoPros – we just haven’t tested them yet) or an SJCAM 4000, then you will want to get our 3D-printed (in wood) Seigi Pano Mount 3 X 4.
- If you don’t have one of these, then our second panohead will probably work with yours, although results may vary and some may not work at all. If in doubt get in touch before ordering. We tested with the Apexcam, which retails for about CAD59 and produced this: https://kuula.co/post/7YLCy
- If you don’t have a tripod, then for about $20, you can use a photography light stand that will do the job. Light stands have the added benefit of being very slim and easy to remove (Photoshop) from panoramas. The end result will make you think that there was no camera in the photo at all.
- Stitching software. We find that the best results appear to come from Panorama Studio Pro 3 (see link above). However, if you don’t want to invest in software, then at a reasonable rate, we can stitch the photos for you, but only if you’ve used one of our panoheads. Oh, and students are free!
- Once you’re done, it’s time to upload to VeeR. Again, there are other services out there, but VeeR is free and it has some of the best virtual tour (they call their tours ‘experiences’ and we prefer that name as well) features on the market. If you’re stuck, we can help you get started.