360-video editing software

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360° videos are becoming more and more popular, this also raises the question of how to edit 360 videos. Since 2018 I have been working on 360 video editing, 360 cameras and everything that goes with it. Especially the topic 360-video reframing & virtual-reality video editing is still a niche and there are only a very limited number of programs, which allow a proper editing of 360-degree photo & video footage. In this article I present you my favorite PC desktop software solutions for editing, cutting and reframing 360 videos & photos.

360-video reframing & VR video

Before we start with the various 360-video editor solutions, I want to explain the difference between 360-video reframing and VR video. Both options require a 360°-video as raw material, which is recorded with a 360-camera.
 
Reframing
We talk about reframing, when the 360 video footage is converted (reframed) into a regular standard video. Reframing means, the perspective is given to the viewer and the spectator does not have the possibility, to move himself in the immersive room. Here is an example of a reframed 360-video!

VR video
360-video/ VR video editing, refers to editing the entire 360° video footage. The viewer is free to move around in the immersive 360 room. He can choose the perspective himself and focus on certain areas. Here is an example of a 360 VR video!

Both options require different tools and programs. Some programs also offer the possibility to cover both.

My favorite 360 video editing software: Adobe Premiere Pro + Reframe Plugin

My absolute favorite 360 video editor is the Adobe Premiere Pro. 90% of my 360 video projects I cut, edit and reframe with Adobe Premiere Pro in combination with the “GoPro FX Reframe Plugin”.

Adobe Premiere offers you all the necessary tools for 360 degree video editing. Whether you want to create 360 immersive VR videos or reframe 360 videos. Premiere Pro is offering specially developed “immersive video effects” which are designed for editing 360-degree videos.


It is also easily possible to export VR videos, which are then automatically identified as 360 videos. This allows you to upload 360 content on Youtube or Facebook, which is automatically recognized and played back as 360 VR video.

If you want to reframe 360 videos, I recommend you to use the free “GoPro Reframe” Plugin. With this Plugin, you are able to easily reframe your 360° video and create unique perspective and effects. The “GoPro Reframe” Plugin makes it possible to let your creativity run wild. You are able to control all reframing-parameters. The GoPro Reframe Plugin is not limited to GoPro 360 footage, only. It is possible to reframe any 360 video material.

Another thing I really like about Premiere Pro, is the 360° video proxy footage management. Most of the 360° video files are very large, which requires a high performance PC. Proxy files are small preview files with low resolutions, which are perfect substitutes for video editing. In Premiere Pro these proxies can be created with just a few clicks.


Besides editing 360 footage, you can of course use all the classic video editing tools. In summary, Adobe Premiere Pro is my favorite (360) video editing software.

Quality also costs money, this is the reason why the Software is not free. Everyone has to know for themselves, how much a proper editing-tool is worth to them. Because I work with it quite a lot and I’m also convinced of Adobe, I can only positively recommend Premiere Pro to you. The subscription model offers you the possibility to purchase the software for a relatively small amount. It is also possible to test the software before you decide to subscribe.

PRO
+ 360-video reframing & 360 VR video editing possible 
+ Best 360 editor Software on the market (my opinion)
+ Many useful 360 video plugins available
+ Suitable for beginners and professionals

CON
- Not free (but a 30 day trial possible)


Follow this link to test or subscribe
to Adobe Premiere Pro:
 *CLICK*

You can download the “GoPro FX Reframe” Plugin free here.
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Unleash the full 360 video potential with Adobe After Effects

If you want to unleash the full 360 video potential, I recommend you to use Adobe After Effects in combination with Adobe Premiere Pro. After Effects is a very powerful special-effects Video Software also for 360 videos. I personally use Adobe After effects for 360 video/ Photo Animations. 360 video animations are the best way to bring your 360 content to the next level. I recommend After Effects + Premiere Pro for the professional 360 video sector.


Follow this link to test the
Adobe Premiere Pro + After Effects Bundle: *CLICK*
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Free Alternative: DaVinci Resolve

If you looking for a free alternative, DaVinci Resolve is a good choice. With Reactor and KartaVR you are able to easily reframe your 360 video in DaVinci Resolve. Here is a very useful tutorial, which explains step by step how to install and reframe 360 videos in DaVinci Resolve.

Unfortunately there is one big disadvantage. The free DaVinci Resolve version, only allows you to import & export a max. resolution of 4k. 4k sounds like enough in the first moment, but you have to consider, that “only” a 4k resolution if available for the entire recorded 360 video.

Most of the consumer 360 cameras are recording in 5,7K, 8K or even higher and this will increase in the future. When you reframe or playback the 360 video, only a small certain part is shown. As an example, imagine that 6K resolution is available for the entire 360 degree spherical space. But if only the front part of the room, say 1/6 of the area, is visible to the viewer, he will see only 1/6 of the full resolution. (1/6 of 6k = 1k) With a classic 16:9 ratio, these were only 960 x 540 pixels. So the higher the 360 video resolution, the better the quality of the 360 video. 4k for the entire 360 video, is therefore not much.

But there is a simple solution for this problem. When you purchase DaVinci Resolve Studio, you are not limited with the resolution. Plus you additionally get a lot of useful features.

PRO
+ Free in the standard version
360-video reframing & 360 VR video editing possible

CON
- limited with the resolution in the standard version

 

Click here to purchase the DaVinci Resolve Studio Software*
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Mac Alternative: Fincal Cut Pro + Apple Motion

If you search for a Mac 360-video editor then maybe Final Cut Pro is the right choice. Final Cut Pro also allows you to import, edit and share your 360 content.

In combination with Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro provides a 360 VR motion graphics workflow, with real-time visualization for a VR headset. You can design 360 titles, graphics, animations and apply filters + effects for your VR scenes.

PRO
360-video reframing & 360 VR video editing possible

CON
- Not free

Get more information about Final Cut Pro & Apple Motion
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The best free choice for beginners: Insta360 Studio

If your 360-camera is from Insta360, the best free 360-video reframing editor is Insta360 Studio. 

With Insta360 Studio you can easily stich, reframe, cut and export your Insta360 footage. Insta360 Studio is the perfect 360-video editor for beginners. It offers the user all the important 360 video editing functions and tools, a lot of useful extras like: Object tracking, hyperlapse creation, motion blur, AI Color grading and a lot more.


The program is constantly being developed and expanded with new functions. Insta360 Studio is a very powerful 360-video & photo reframing software, it’s not developed for creating 360 VR films. 

Check out my full Insta360 Studio tutorial here and learn more.

There is only one big disadvantage! Insta360 Studio only works with Insta360 camera footage. However, since Insta360 is the market leader in 360 cameras in my opinion, it makes sense to purchase an Insta360 camera as well. Check out all the available cameras on their website. If you want to purchase an Insta360 camera, I can support you with an Insta360 coupon code.

PRO
+ Free Software
+ Easy to use
+ All important functions included

CON
- only works with insta360 camera footage
- only editing of one 360-video possible, no compilation of multiple sequences
- mainly only suitable for reframing

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Summary: My suggestion

If you own an Insta360 camera, I would definitely recommend you starting with Insta360 Studio. Insta360 Studio offers you all the important 360 video reframing functions, which are necessary for the beginning. If you don't have a 360 camera yet, I would definitely recommend purchasing one from Insta360, so that you can also use the Insta360 Studio software.

If you want to go deeper, or work in the field of 360 VR video creation, I can only recommend you Adobe Premiere Pro in combination with After Effects. This covers the entire 360 video editing workflow from simple 360 video projects, to complex virtual reality video animations.

If you use an Insta360 camera for the 360 footage creation, the whole thing will be even easier, because there is an Insta360 Adobe Premiere Plugin available which seamless lets you import and edit the 360-video files. The stitching process and stabilization is done automatically, which saves you a lot of time.

This is the reason why I enjoy editing 360-video created with Insta360 cameras in combination with Adobe Premiere Pro + After Effects. All the Adobe programs are also available for Apple Mac!

 Check out the *ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD 2021* here!
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Gimbal Guru Tip

Students and teachers receive especially favorable conditions. Up to 70% cheaper than the normal price! Therefore make sure (if possible) that you purchase such a license!

Click here for the Adobe Creative Cloud students offer: *CLICK*

There are also special offers at Adobe (e.g. BlackFriday promotion) where the price is reduced significantly. For example, I took advantage of a promotion and paid 75% less than the normal price for 1 year. I will update the page regularly to inform you about such special offers. So check back regularly!

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