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TECHNIQUE: How to Turn Your Photos Into 360° Photo Collages

Insta360 Pro live streaming demo and tutorial
Insta360 Pro live streaming demo and tutorial

A 360-degree photo can be used not only to capture a scene in 360 degrees, but also to present conventional photos as an immersive 360-degree photosphere.  Here is a sample, where I used photos of our daughter growing up:

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

It’s actually very easy.  Here’s how to do it.

1.  Create a canvas that has a ratio of 2:1 (the width is exactly twice the height).  It can be a blank canvas or you can fill it with a pattern*.  Alternatively, you can open an existing 360-degree photo in equirectangular JPEG format.

*Note that if you use a pattern or other non-360 image, it will converge and be distorted at the top and bottom of the photosphere.

Here is the sample photo I used as my canvas:

2.  Use any photo editor (e.g. Photoshop) to paste your photos onto the canvas but stay within the middle 1/3 or middle 1/5th band.  If you paste it farther above or below that, the photo will look too distorted.

3.  Upload or open the resulting photo in a 360-degree viewer or app.  That’s all!

Getting fancy:
Suppose you want to create a complete photosphere, with photos even at the top and at the bottom.  That’s possible too with the help of software such as Pano2VR, which I’ll post about next time.