Convert 3D 360 Video To 180 — Premiere, VR180 Creator & Oculus Media Studio Tutorial

Today, we are going to learn how to convert any 3D 360 VR video into VR180 video, quick and easy. So you can redistribute all your high-resolution Top and Bottom 3D 360 video into the new popular standard VR180 across Oculus Quest and other VR headsets. Do you want more views, with double the resolution, without creating new content or spending any money? Let’s do this:

With the popularity of VR180, it is a good idea to convert your old VR360 video into this new format. Most of your 6K to 8K 3D 360 video can be in 5.7K in VR180 — which means the image quality is double and giving you a new chance to redistribute your content in the brand new Oculus TV ecosystem. I can not say from Oculu’s perspective because I don’t work for them. But we can see the pattern here, both recent Oculus TV original series — the Tested and the SlowMo guys are in VR180. So, if you want your content discovered by Oculus and the millions of Oculus Go and Oculus Quest users. It is good idea to so do so.

Tested VR180 series on Oculus TV
The SlowMo Guys on Oculus TV

Luckily, it is very easy to convert your top and bottom VR360 video into VR180, thank to Google and Adobe.

Method 1: Use Google VR180 Creator Tool

Lots of the content owners are not video editors. You might not even have Adobe Premiere or understand anything about post-production. Instead of hiring someone to do it for you, you can use Google VR180 Creator Tool. It is FREE (thank you Google), and it is very easy.
If you have not already, head over to this URL and download the official VR180 Creator Tool. Install the software. Open it up and select Convert for editing. Now drop in your 360 video:

Google VR180 Creator Tool

As you see here, I have an 8K 3D 360 video shot on the Insta360 Titan. If I release it as 3D 360, which I did already, Oculus Quest only allows me to have at most 3840x3840 in resolution. But if I convert it into VR180, I can have a 6K VR video — which with a big sensor camera like this, the image quality is def amazing. This free tool supports ProRes and DNxHR as well, so if you have the master copy in the highest resolution and highest uncompressed quality, use that version.

3D 360 to VR180 Google VR180 Creator Tool

As you see right here, VR180 Creator automatically covert your Top and Bottom into Side by Side. All the default settings are great. Just make sure you are Left and Right, 180 video, in 6K, and use H.264 as this is for Oculus TV and YouTube VR. Pick high quality. Turn off stabilization as this video is already stabilized professionally in Mocha Pro. Hit Convert.

After it is finished, you can simply go to Oculus Media Studio, Go to your library, from here you can upload and publish your media.

Method 2 for professional: Use Adobe Premiere.

What if you want to reframe your center and pick which 180 you want to keep for each cut? Then the best way is to do it professionally is with Adobe Premiere. Davinci Resolve user, don’t worry, we will have dedicated series to cover all these.
First, go ahead and drag the 3D 360 video file here to create a new sequence. Go to Sequence — Sequence Settings. Change the Frame Size to 5760 by 2880. Under VR Properties — make sure the Layout change to Stereoscopic side by side and the Horizontal Captured View to 180 degree. Keep the rest the same. Please take a moment and make sure your sequence setting is exactly like mine.

Now go to effects and drop in the VR Projection under Video Effects / immersive video. Immediately, your Top and Bottom VR360 video will turn into VR180 side by side video. You can turn on toggle VR display to validate that. At this point, feel free to put on your Oculus Quest using Link following this tutorial to check the stereo disparity to make sure everything looks right.

If you want to change the direction of any moment, make a cut like right here in front of the church. Now the VR Projection effect only affects this particular cut. You can move the pan right here to the direction you want. Now the center of this cut is facing our talent, which is more desirable for the story. Remember, you are removing 180 degrees of your frame; your original 360 storytelling needs to be reposition to make sure the keys of your story are all in the 180 frames. So I will go over each cut and reframe it using the Pan to make sure the story flows.

After you finish the reframing, go ahead and click file, export, media, and let’s do in H.265. This is one of the advantages of using Premiere instead of the free Google VR180 Creator Tool. You can use H.265 to have a better compression ratio to achieve better quality inside Oculus Quest. The target bitrate I pick 60 here and VR Video is check and Frame layout should be Stereoscopic — Side by Side in 180 and 180. Check use Maximum Render Quality and go ahead and export.

Now the same file can be upload onto Oculus Media Studio. Now you get yourself a VR180 video in the highest quality.

You can also turn your mono 360 videos using the exact same workflow. Look at here it is a mono 360 video captured by the latest Teche 360Anywhere — the review is coming next. I again, apply the VR Projection effect like so. It immediately turns the mono 360 video into a VR180 side by side format. But, you will not have actual 3D. Turn on your toggle vr display you see there is no stereo disparity. But the output format is correct and Oculus will read it as a VR180 video. Just without the VR, the 3D part. It will work just as any other VR180 video on Oculus. As almost 50% of the population can not really see 3D — so your content still works. I am not suggesting you should do that. But you can mix in monoscopic video with stereoscopic video using this technique — and it is a great trick to save production money and to have more interesting shots in your narrative. Will I choose a cut of a 3D video in a borning studio or a mono cut of paris. I will choose paris. Who care about 3D, it is Paris — production value.

Method 3: FFMPEG

Here is the command line I use to convert my 3D 360 into VR180:

ffmpeg -i “your-master.mov” -c:v libx265 -preset fast -crf 17 -filter_complex “crop=iw/2:ih:iw/4:0, scale=2880x5760, stereo3d=abl:sbs2l” -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a aac -b:a 192k -movflags faststart “your-output_180_3D.mp4”

I provide the full command line in this video description so you can easily copy and paste there.

Okay, I hope this helps you to gain new audiences and more distribution channels. We have a lot more VR filmmaking tips and tricks to share, and you don’t want to miss that. And I will see you in the next tutorial.

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