I’ve often been asked how I create 360 screenshots. It’s incredibly simple as the software is mostly automated. And once you edit the exif information you can even get Facebook to recognise it as 360 and be viewable by panning and tilting your mobile.


STEP BY STEPICE Logo

1) Download and install Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE). It’s free!

2) Take enough screenshots to cover 360° *

3) Open ICE and select ‘New Panorama From Images.’New Panorama

4) Select all of the screenshots from point 2 and click ‘Open.’

5) [1 IMPORT] tab: Click ‘Next.’

6) [2 STITCH] tab: Check for stitching imperfections. * Choose Spherical projection and click ‘Next.’

7) [3 CROP] tab: Nothing required. Click ‘Next.’

8) [4 EXPORT] tab: A file format of JPEG or PNG will work. Set image file quality to 100 and click ‘Export to disk…

9) Edit the composite image’s Exif XMP tag to include ‘ProjectionType=”equirectangular” *

10) Upload to Facebook. It should automatically recognise it as a 360° image.

If it hasn’t worked check the top tips below. Enjoy!

Chris


Facebook Image Requirements

“These use “equirectangular” projection. 360 Photos must fulfill the following requirements for Facebook to process them properly:

  • The photo must have a 2:1 aspect ratio
  • The Exif XMP tag, “ProjectionType=equirectangular”
  • They are below the maximum resolution and file size (listed below)

Photos should be less than 30,000 pixels in any dimension, and less than 135,000,000 pixels in total size. File sizes could be as big as 45 MB (JPEG) or 60 MB (PNG). We recommend using JPEG for 360 photos and keeping the file size less than 20-30 MB.


* TOP TIPS

Use a wide angle view in Prepar3D. This will reduce the number of screenshots required and is the best option for there being enough detail on each shot for automatic stitching. This is one of the reasons for imperfections in the final composite. Ensure they overlap sufficiently. Better to take too many than risk a gap!

A narrower field of view when taking screenshots will improve quality but risks not having enough detail for auto stitching. It’ll also take forever!

Don’t move the position of your camera while collecting screenshots. Only pan and tilt. You don’t need to be too precise, just make sure you overlap with enough detail at the edges.

If you don’t own software with the ability to edit Exif tags you can use a website called the eXifer. It’s free and doesn’t require registration.