360 Camera Techniques

Tutorial: How to get seamless stitching on Insta360 ONE

Insta360 ONE seamless stitching tutorial
Insta360 ONE seamless stitching tutorial

Insta360 ONE is capable of seamless stitching — it’s actually quite easy. Here’s a tutorial.

Insta360 ONE (reviewed here) is a stabilized 4K 360 camera that can operate either as a standalone camera or as a smartphone 360 camera. Although it became famous for its video capabilities with stabilized 4K video, and its freecapture and bullet time modes, it is also a very capable 360 camera for photo. One of the reasons I use it for photos is because of the 24mp photos with seamless stitching. The tricky part is that by default, the stitching is good but not seamless. Fortunately, getting seamless stitching is pretty easy.  There are two ways to do it: either on the phone or on desktop.

Phone app: on the phone app, you simply have to switch on the optimize stitching, which is one of the options when you load a photo.  Here’s an example.  First, here is the unedited photo.  You can see the stitching error (with the mismatched tiles near the middle).

original photo
original photo

To fix this, tap on the three dots on the upper right corner to bring up additional options, one of which is optimize stitching (fourth from the bottom).  Turning on this option will activate optical flow stitching, which means the app will warp the image as necessary to make the stitch line smoother:

The app will load for a while to calculate the best stitching.  Here is the finished stitch, which looks perfectly seamless:

After optical flow stitching
After optical flow stitching

 

Desktop

You can also use the desktop software Insta360 Studio to stitch photos from the ONE seamlessly.

1. Connect your Insta360 ONE to your PC or Mac via a Micro USB cable and copy the files from the ONE to your computer.

2. Launch Insta360 Studio and open the photo (in .insp format).  Note: You may select several photos at the same time.

3. On the right side, check the box for “optical flow stitching” AND “calibrate stitching.”  When you hit “Preview” below Calibrate stitching, you should see the stitching alignment improve , but it will likely not be perfect yet:

Insta360 Studio optical flow stitching
Insta360 Studio optical flow stitching

4.  After you export, then you should see a smoother result with optical flow stitching.

Result with optical flow stitching
Result with optical flow stitching

Limits and additional tips:

Notice that the stitching with Insta360 Studio is smooth but there is a portion that has a noticeable undulating line, whereas the photo stitched on the app has no noticeable line.  You may want to experiment to see whether you get better results with the app or Insta360 Studio.

I also want to emphasize that optical flow stitching is amazing but it’s not magic.  Sometimes it doesn’t work, or works only partially.  For best results, avoid having the subject or any important compositional element along the stitch line.  Note also that the closer an object is to the camera, the harder it will be to stitch smoothly, so you should do your best to avoid having anything cross the stitch line close to the camera.

If you’d like to buy the Insta360 ONE, it is currently on sale on Gearbest or Amazon.  For more information about Insta360 ONE, please join the Facebook Insta360 Community.  If you’d like to get emails of 360 camera tutorials, news, and reviews, be sure to subscribe for  free to 360 Rumors.  Thank you very much!

About the author

Mic Ty

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  • Mic, Is i possible to stitch insta360 One footage with Mistika and do clean ups? can’t import the stitched .insv files into Mistika to clean up and i can’t figure out from the card how to get the dual lens unstitched shots to try and import into Mistika to let Mistika stitch? what can you tell me… thanks man!