360 Camera Techniques

TECHNIQUE: Edit and automatically backup your 360 photos with Google Photos

If you have a 360 camera, Google Photos has several features that can help improve your 360 photo workflow, such as backing up your 360 photos automatically and allowing you to make reversible changes to them while preserving the 360 metadata.  And it’s free!

Google is a strong believer in 360 and VR, and they’ve added 360 support to many of their products such as YouTube.  Google Photos is one of their products that supports 360 photos and it has 7 features that make it useful for a 360 photo workflow.  Check out this video:

Here is a larger version of the video.

Here are some more info on Google Photo’s features:
1.  Backup and synchronize your photos automatically.  When you sign up for Google Photos and install the app on your desktop (PC or Mac) and on your smart devices, Google will automatically backup your photos to the cloud.  Besides backing up your photos, this is helpful for keeping your files synchronized between your desktop and your smartphone.  Google Photos can also help you save space on your smartphone by deleting photos that have already been backed up.

Google will upload your photos for free, although there will be some compression.  If you want to backup the original files, you can specify that, but uploaded files will count against your Google Drive storage limit.

2.  Automatically find 360 photos (desktop and Android only).  You can search for 360 photos automatically by simply typing “360 photos.”  This brings up all your 360 photos automatically.  This feature doesn’t work on the iOS version (yet).

3.  Image recognition and face recognition.  If you’re familiar with Google Photos, you already know that it has both image recognition and face recognition. This feature works for 360 photos as well, even though 360 photos in standard equirectangular format are warped.

4.  Tagging and finding photos.  If you add a description to a photo, it will help you find it later among the hundreds of photos that you’ve taken.

5.  View photos in 360 (desktop and Android only).  You can view and browse 360 photos and they will be automatically shown in 360 format instead of the warped equirectangular view.  At this time, there’s strangely no support for Cardboard view yet although I believe you can get a VR view on the Daydream version of the Google Photos app.

6. Nondestructive editing without losing 360 metadata (desktop).  The desktop version of Google Photos works remarkably well for 360 photos.  First, its edits are nondestructive and are completely reversible.

Second, when you edit a 360 photo in Google Photos, the 360 metadata will be preserved.  Normally, when you use an image editor to make changes to a 360 photo, the 360 metadata usually gets stripped, and the photo will be displayed as an equirectangular image rather than a 360 photo.  With Google Photos, photos will continue to be recognized as 360 even after editing.

7.  Copy edits and apply them to other photos (desktop).  The edits that you make on any photo can be copied and applied to another photo.  Besides being a convenient timesaver, this feature can help you achieve a consistent ‘look’ for your photos (e.g. similar contrast, saturation, etc.).

Update:  here are more tips about Google Photos from Data2000!

– “Couple of things i can add to this since i have used it for years now
1. Upload a equirectangular photo with out metadata and Google Photos will create the Rotating Pano for you. its from the old #AutoAwesome days of Google Photos.  Since i used to run the original Auto Awesome community.  Autobackup needs to be enabled for this to happen
#2  You can view or download all your backed up photos by typing #autobackup
in the search bar in Google Photos ”
– Google Photos is a subset of the mobile app Snapseed, rebranded for desktop.   Snapseed (Android, iOS) also allows you to edit Photos that are 360 format and preserves the metadata between edits then allows you to backup to Google Photos
–  if you are interested in all the features of Google Photos just type AutoAwsome in a google search Google Photos was a rebranded of this.  See here.

Thank you very much Data2000!

If you found this tutorial helpful, please hit the like or +1 button, and please share it with your friends who are interested in 360 photos.  (BTW I don’t know if you noticed, but this video is also part of a new YouTube channel I created specifically for 360 Rumors.  Please subscribe if you haven’t yet 😀 )Thank you very much!

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Mic Ty


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