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TECHNIQUE: Three ways to add text to your 360 photo or video

Adding text to a 360 photo is a little more complicated than simply pasting the text on the photo or video – otherwise, the text will appear distorted.  Here are three ways to add text to a 360 photo or video.

The simplest way to add text is to use the free Ricoh Theta+ app.  Open the photo and select “360 Degree Image” (instead of cropped image).  There’s a text tool that will let you add text to the 360 photo.
You can use this method to add text to a video as well.  You’ll need to create a blank canvas with the same resolution as your target video.  Use a black background (or whatever key color you want to use for the background).  Then add the text using the Theta+ app.
The disadvantage of this method is that there’s very little control.  The text will be at around a 45 degree angle above the horizon, and there are only a few fonts to choose from.

If you have Photoshop, you can use the Flexify filter to add text to your 360 photo or video.
1. Open the photo in Photoshop.
2. If necessary, rotate the photo horizontally so that the middle of the photo is where the text will be.  To do this, use Filter… Other… Offset… and check the “Wrap around” checkbox.
3. Add a new layer and use the text tool to add the text.  Center the text by selecting all, click on the move tool, then on the toolbar, click on align horizontal centers and align vertical centers.
4.  Use Flexify to move the text to the desired position.  Select the text layer, then apply the Filter.  The popup will ask if you want to rasterize (click on OK).  In the Flexify dialogue box, adjust the latitude to your desired angle.  If the logo appears a little tilted, adjust longitude as needed.  When you’re satisfied, click OK.  Flexify will re-render the text.
5. Save the image.

Here is the end result:

For videos, you would do the same thing, except that you’ll have to save the text layer as a transparent PNG or GIF, then paste it to your video as an overlay.

You can also use the free panoramic editor Hugin.
1.  Using your preferred image editor (or even Paint), create a blank canvas with the same resolution as your target photo.  Note that the ratio will be 2:1.  Type the desired text in the middle.
2.  Launch Hugin, start a new project and add the text photo to the project.  For camera and lens data, specify Equirectangular as lens type, and 360 for HFOV.
3.  On the toolbar, click on the GL fast preview button.  This will launch a separate dialogue box.  In that Fast Preview dialogue box, click on the Move/Drag tab.  Drag the text to your desired position.  When you’re satisfied, click on Apply.
4. Now it’s time to render the image.  Close the fast preview dialogue box.  In the main screen, click on the Stitcher tab.  Save the project (File… Save).  Then for format, choose PNG or GIF (to preserve transparency).  Click on the Stitch button. It will ask you the file name and where you want to save the output.
5. Check the rendered output.  If there’s a spot in the middle (see below), you’ll need to remove it in your preferred image editor.

6. Use your preferred image editor to paste the text to your 360 photo, or your preferred video editor to paste the text to your 360 video.

New! How to move and animate titles and other objects anywhere on your 360 video or photo
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How to rotate a 360 logo

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Mic Ty


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