Many of us still don’t quite have the budget or time to make certain camera moves.  Either we don’t have a helicopter to get a cool aerial shot, or we don’t have access to certain areas, or we just don’t have the proper equipment.  This is why I love stuff like Film Riot and Vimeo’s Video School.  They always have some great tips and tricks for those who don’t have a huge budget.  Recently, Vimeo showed how it’s possible to create a 360º rotation shot using Google Maps and Street View, courtesy of Candy Glass Productions, who used the CN Tower in Toronto as their frame of reference.  This is a really neat trick.

360-Degree Spin Around Shots w/ Google Maps Street View

First off, let’s take a look at the video tutorial:

Let’s review what we learned here:

1. Zeroing In On Your Location

  • Find your location in Google Maps
  • Screen capture it
  • Upload it to Photoshop

2. Marking Your Territory

  • Using Photoshop, draw a circle around your location (the bigger the building, the bigger the circle)
  • Check spots along the circle using Street View and see if you can clearly find your subject on those points.
  • Mark each good spot on the circle (you want roughly 36 locations).
  • Also, you don’t always have to be on the circle, and sometimes you don’t need a clear view of the building.

3. Taking Your Photos

  • When going to your locations, be careful to line up your photos the same way so that each one will match.  In this, Andrea Nesbitt of Candy Glass picked a certain point on the CN Tower and lined it up with one of the markers on the viewfinder.
  • Take two photos at each location.  When you take one, walk 20 feet to the side, and then take another.  Having these will “sell” the motion in the foreground later, because objects in the foreground won’t completely disappear after one frame during the illusion of motion later.
  • Mark off the locations in which you’ve shot.

4. Composite the Photos Together

  • Bring photos into Photoshop, and line the building up in the center.  The building needs to be lined up in the exact same spot in each photo.
  • Add motion blur to objects in the mid and foreground.  This will create the illusion of motion when the pictures are put together in order, as if you were in a constantly rotating vehicle actually shooting this with a video camera.

5. Place Photos in Editing Software

Put these bad boys in order, and suddenly, you’ve got a 360º shot of your subject.  Boom.

We’d like to thank Vimeo and Andrea Nesbitt, Kevin Parry, and Candy Glass Productions for showing us this cool trick!