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How to get 5.7K 360 video from Garmin Virb 360: Mistika VR basic tutorial / demo

Stitch 5.7K 360 videos on Garmin Virb 360 with Mistika VR

To get 5.7K 360 video from the Garmin Virb 360, you need to use a 3rd party stitching software. SGO’s Mistika VR is a powerful stitching software that can use optical flow stitching for almost any 360 camera or rig. Here is a basic tutorial and demo.

Garmin Virb 360 is a 360 camera with the most detailed 360 video among consumer 360 cameras as of August 2017.  The videos are stitched in-camera at 4K, which is convenient.  However, in-camera stitching is almost always limited to template-based stitching, which means that the stitching will be performed for a specific distance.  Any object that crosses the stitch line farther or closer than that specific distance will have parallax stitching errors.

The Virb 360 has another video mode that enables it to shoot unstitched 360 video at 5.7K resolution (as two separate circular fisheye videos at 2880 x 2880 resolution, according to the specifications).  The unstitched video must be stitched using third party software, such as Mistika VR, a powerful stitching program that uses optical flow stitching.

To recap, here are the steps for a basic stitch:
1. Open a new project.
2. On the main panel, right click to add the videos that will be stitched (“add cameras”). In the file selection dialogue box, you can drag the files into the main panel. If necessary, drag the files to place them in the right order.
3. When the videos are loaded, you can get a jumpstart by using a preset. Right click on the main panel and select ‘Load preset.’ Try one of the presets and see how well it works for your video. For the Virb 360, the Kodak SP360 preset works.
4. If there are stitching errors, pause (or stop) the video in the scene that needs to be fixed and click on position then “improve alignment.”
5. When you’re ready to render the video, define the range that you want to render by using the marker below the video along with the Edit In [ and Edit Out ] brackets.
6. Select the audio track that will be used for the video by clicking on the sound icon beside the video for which you want to use the audio.
7. Go to File… Export. Select “Current Shot.” Specify the format, bitrate, filename and destination.
That’s it.

[BTW, something unusual about the Virb 360 is that the circular files were only 2496 x 2496 (instead of 2880 x 2880 as stated in the specs).  Nonetheless, Mistika can render the video as 6144 x 3072.]

As you can see from the video demo, Mistika’s optical flow makes the stitching on the Virb 360 seamless at all distances.  Mistika can apply optical flow stitching not just for the Virb but for almost any 360 camera or rig.  There are presets for popular 360 cameras such as the 2017 Samsung Gear 360 (using Mistika, you can avoid the warping that occurs using Gear 360’s own stitcher). Here is a sample using the Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere 360 camera (you don’t even need to split the files):

Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere with Mistika
Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere with Mistika

I used the Samsung Gear 360 preset, which I modified by adjusting the focal length to 10.4.  If you need a preset that they don’t have, you can send send the unstitched files to SGO, and they will create a preset for you.

In fact, this video demonstration barely scratches the surface of what Mistika can do.  It has many more functions, which I’ll demonstrate next time.  (To see some advanced functions, check out Hugh Hou’s demo of Mistika with the Insta360 Pro, which has six lenses.)

Mistika VR is available as an annual or monthly payment.  Garmin Virb 360 is $799, and is available from Amazon or B&H Photo.

About the author

Mic Ty

8 Comments

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  • Hi Mike,
    Just wondering if you have a balance diagram of the virb360 on the guru360 offset to hide the gimbal motor? Thanks

    • Hi Xerxes. Yes I think what they mean is that in order to switch to 5.7k unstitched mode, you need to use the app (not the on-camera menu). But the app cannot stitch the 5.7K video – you’ll need to use a third party software to do that.

      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Hi Mic- very timely and excellent demo video! I am trying to learn to use a VIRB360 to create medical procedure teaching videos and the VIRB360 in 5.7K raw mode seems to be the best consumer/prosumer option available currently. I just bought the camera and subscribed to Mistika VR but I have a couple questions as a relative 360 video novice:

    1) Is there a reason you did not choose the VIRB preset currently available in Mistika VR?
    2) I noticed that for a 7m32s video shot in 5.7K raw the camera output 4 pairs of front/back hemispheric videos (8 total). Does Mistaka VR allow you to stitch them all at once (i.e. add videos 1-8 as cameras all at once)?

    Thanks!

    Brandon

    • Thanks Brandon! Congrats on getting the Virb!
      1) At the time I made the video, I was using 8.8.1, and there was no Virb preset. As of 8.8.2, there is now a Virb preset, and yes you should use that instead.
      2) I don’t know the answer to your second question and Mistika documentation is a little sparse. I think it would be best to ask them. They have been pretty responsive on their facebook page.

      Best regards,
      Mic