Create Living VR Photos from 360 Video with PanoMoments
PanoMoments were borne out of the desire for a more memorable VR photo. While 360 photos are becoming easier to capture, sometimes you just want something a little more dynamic, and unless you’re willing to produce and edit a narrative story, 360 video can feel like a little too much when you simply looking to capture a quick moment.
That’s where PanoMoments fit in; they are a living VR photo that can be captured with existing consumer 360 video cameras. PanoMoments are inherently constrained by their association of time + space, but it's that constraint that makes them so consumable and reveals all sorts of creative possibilities.
“We see PanoMoments as a creative VR medium and have always been driven by the desire to see what the community’s imagination can bring to the format.” – Dustin Kerstein (CEO)
PanoMoments originally launched on Kickstarter in November 2016 as a new way to create immersive 360 content using a rotating camera system that bypassed the standard stitching process. The resulting content is neither photo nor video; it’s something new and unique, and truly does create a living photo experience that fits between 360 photos and 360 video. While viewers were excited about this new type of content, the required hardware to create PanoMoments was a bit of a hurdle.
That hurdle is now gone — Anyone with a 360 video camera can now easily create PanoMoments, giving content creators an entirely new creative medium to work with. You can use 360 footage you already have or capture new content specifically envisioned as a PanoMoment, and even directly upload from your smartphone (perfect for Ricoh Theta / Samsung Gear 360 users). The only requirements are that the footage is in the standard stitched equirectangular format and was captured from a static / non-moving camera location.
The focus for PanoMoments may be shifting towards 360 video conversions, but you can still upload captures from rotating camera rigs. This capture method offers some significant advantages: depth perception through motion parallax and higher quality captures. However, the new 360 video conversion path is a great way to get into creating PanoMoments.
There are currently two membership levels: a free membership with 20GB of storage, and a $10 per month Pro membership with 500GB of storage which comes with the ability to embed PanoMoments on your own personal website, and future features targeted at professional photographers. Custom licensing options are available for brands, agencies, and other commercial applications.
As part of the recent updates to the PanoMoments platform, the web viewer has received some significant upgrades and playback should be much smoother on most devices. For the highest performance playback, check out the native Android and iOS apps. In the next few months they’ll be expanding the 360 video conversion UX with timeline trimming support and advanced time shifting tools, as well as releasing an open standard for the PanoMoments format.
The PanoMoments platform is run by a small team based in NYC and was founded by Dustin Kerstein, Kuan Luo, and Aaron Henshaw. Their current focus is on building a creative content community and are looking to further expand through commercial partnerships and VC funding. If you’re interested in learning more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org