Taking & Editing 360° Videos Using the Insta360 ONE X2

This article will not explain all of the ways to take and edit 360° videos using the Insta360 ONE X2. Rather, it will just explain my preferred method.

Decide How to Hold the Camera

There are different ways to hold the camera.

Insta360 Selfie Stick with Built in Tripod

With this selfie stick, you can hold the camera away from you to take selfie videos or put the tripod on a flat surface.

STUNTMAN Pack Mount – Backpack Shoulder Strap Mount

This mount straps onto a backpack strap. It comes with a 1/4″ screw connector to connect the Insta360 One X2 to it. It is very secure and well made.

STUNTMAN 360 – Shoulder & Waist Mount

This mount can be used to hold the Insta360 One X2 by your shoulder, at the center of your chest or by your waist. It comes with a 1/4″ screw connector to connect the Insta360 One X2 to it. It’s also very secure. Note that if you hole the camera by your waist and you film while walking, your hands may get in the video. Therefore, you may way to keep your hands in your pocket while walking and filming.

If you are just walking around, e.g. sightseeing, and want to take videos here and there, I think carrying the selfie stick attached to the camera with a lens protector in your pants pocket would work since you could easily just take it out at a moment’s notice for quick shots. If you’re wearing jeans, the sticking it in your pants pocket with the camera down is not ideal but beats having to carrying and putting it in a backpack.

If you are wearing cargo pants like the Columbia trek pants pictured below, then putting the camera in one of the lower pockets works but it could easily be pickpocketed. The good thing about this particular pocket is it’s on the side.

Enable Quick Capture

This mode lets you push the shutter button to do two things at once

  • Turn on the camera and start recording
  • Turn off the camera and stop recording

While traveling, this can be really handy since you won’t have to waste time clicking two different buttons and waiting in between.

Enable Standard Video Mode

This mode is for regular video shooting. Other modes are HDR, Timelapse, Timeshift and Bullet Time. HDR is only good for when you are filming on a tripod and not moving.

Disable Prompt Sound

By default, when you turn on and off the camera or start and stop recording, you will hear an annoying beep. Disable this “Prompt Sound”. To know whether the camera is on, off, or recording, just look at the light status.

  • Light off = camera off
  • Light solid blue = camera on
  • Light slowly flashing red = video shooting

Press The Shutter Button to Start Filming

While you are out and about traveling and you want to start filming, just press the shutter button once. Since Quick Capture will be enabled, you won’t need to turn the camera on first.

Press The Shutter Button to Stop Filming

When you are done filming, just press the shutter button once again. Since Quick Capture will be enabled, you won’t need to turn the camera off as it will turn off automatically (and save battery).

Install the Insta360 Studio Desktop App

https://www.insta360.com/download/insta360-onex2

Transfer Videos to Your Computer

Connect a USB cable between the camera and your computer. On Windows, it auto detects the camera as an external drive. You can then copy and paste the .insv files. Note that each video contains 3 .insv files. For example, below there are actually only 2 videos.

Import the .insv Files into Insta360 Studio

In the left pane, you will see thumbnails for all uploaded videos. .insv files are unstitched 360 degree files that can only be opened in the Insta360 Studio or mobile app.

Reframe the 360 Degree Video

In the right panel, you will have many options. Enable FlowState Stabilization so that the video is jerky. If you want the video view to always face one direction (front), then enable Direction Lock.

At the top, you’ll see two icons. One for edit mode and one for view mode. Ensure edit mode is on. In the video preview window, you’ll see an option to change the video aspect ratio. The most common is 16:9, e.g. for TVs and YouTube.

To reframe the 360 video, you’ll need to first add keyframes at each timestamp where you want to change the angle and lens of the video. Drag the white vertical playback bar to the very beginning of the timeline and click the + icon.

This will add a yellow circle at that timestamp indicating that a keyframe is there. Also, the + icon turns into an x icon for if you want to delete that keyframe. Clicking on the keyframe shows a window where you can choose the lens type, e.g. fisheye, etc. Choose “Natural View”. Then, drag the video preview in any direction you want so that the video beginning at that keyframe will point in that direction.

Drag the playback bar to another timestamp and repeat the steps above. You will see a yellow line connecting the two keyframes.

Clicking on the yellow line will allow you to choose a transition between the two keyframes. “Smooth Dissolve” is a good transition. If you choose “None”, for example, and the camera angle is facing the sky at keyframe 1 and facing the ground in keyframe 2, then at the beginning of keyframe 2, the video will jump from facing the sky to facing the ground.

Click the lightning icon to enable Timeshift.

Then drag in the timeline where you want the timeshift to occur and choose a speed from slowing down at 1/4 x speed to speeding up to 64 x speed.

When you are done adding keyframes, setting camera angles, and adding timeshifts, click the yellow Export button on the right of the timeline.

This will give you the many options. Choose “Reframed Video” and H.265. Then, click the Start Export button.

If the video is too dark, you can’t tweak its color settings in Insta360 Studio. You can, however, do so in a video editing program like Corel VideoStudio Pro / Ultimate. In VideoStudio Pro, double-click on a video clip in the timeline. In the Correction tab, slide the Gamma slider to the right to lighten the video. This may throw the white balance off. To fix the white balance, check its checkbox, click “Pick Color” and click on a pixel in the video that should be pure white, e.g. a white napkin.