360-degree video and photography are both made possible by specialty 360-degree cameras that capture the full view around one central focal point in three-dimensional space. YouTube and other video players have the capacity to translate this video information into a two-dimensional space to portray the visuals as you would in any other video, but with specialized controls that allow the user to change the focus of viewpoint at any time. As such, these panoramic videos introduce a layer of interactivity not usually available in conventional video formats, allowing viewers to explore the full 360-degree view around the camera's location in the environment.
360-degree cameras are typically equipped with multiple lenses positioned around one central focal point to capture the full image field surrounding that focal point. Other omnidirectional cameras use mirrors and other structures to direct light from the 3D space surrounding it into a single lens. Regardless of the methods used in any specific omnidirectional camera, the results are panoramic videos and photos that portray enveloping imagery that is often controlled interactively by the viewer through a digital media player. While panoramic photography was technically possible prior to the development of omnidirectional cameras, advanced techniques needed to be used to combine multiple conventional shots into one consistent image. 360-degree cameras are capable of producing panoramic photos much more efficiently, and the resulting images are much higher quality with significantly less need for corrections in post-production. Prior to the development of omnidirectional cameras, 360-degree interactive videos were not even a possibility.
360-degree photography represents a great advance in the field of panoramic photography that is sure to benefit a wide variety of marketing projects. 360-degree interactive videos represent a bold new way to get your audience to participate in their reception of video. By transforming the viewing experience from passive to active, 360-degree videos help make for a more dramatic impression that lingers longer in the memory, thus extending the impact of any marketing effort.
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