You can shoot your own virtual reality videos with a 360-degree camera and quickly upload them to YouTube, to share with anyone who owns a VR headset. Here’s how.
Step one: Buy a VR camera
For our VR video we used the Ricoh Theta M15 camera, a handheld candybar-style device with two lenses poking in opposite directions. The convex lenses cover 180-degrees each, meaning you’ve got total coverage of your surroundings when you hit ‘record’.
Step two: Setup and record your VR movie
Download the Ricoh Theta app onto your smartphone, which doubles as a handy remote control. If you want to shoot a static scene, your best bet is to mount the camera onto a tripod, to keep it still and ensure your arm and head aren’t a prominent part of the video. When you’re ready to film, use the app to remotely activate the Ricoh Theta M15. Note that your videos can be a maximum of three minutes long.
Step three: Copy the VR movie files to your PC/Mac and convert to MP4
All you need to do to get your movie files onto your computer is pair the two via a USB cable. With that, you can drag and drop your files to whichever folder you wish to store them in.
Now to convert those crazy MOV files to MP4, ready for uploading to YouTube. To do this, just download Ricoh Theta’s app for PC or Mac from its website. Open the app and then simply drag your MOV files into the window and you’ll be prompted to choose a directory and filename for the output. With that done, hit ‘start’ and your video will be converted.
Step four: Upload to YouTube
Sign into your YouTube account and hit the ‘upload’ button at the top of the page. Now just drag your converted MP4 file into the browser window and it’ll automatically be uploaded and processed by YouTube into a fully-fledged VR video.
When the video is uploaded, slip your phone into a VR headset like the Gear VR or Google Cardboard and enjoy. As with other VR vids, you can move your head around to look in any direction. And if you view the video on a computer, you’ll notice a d-pad virtual joystick in the top left corner, to move the view around. Here’s our own sample video, which lets you check out the Recombu studio during a simple unboxing:
The Ricoh Theta M15 360-degree camera is available now for £239.88 at QVC