By: Rachel Teter

West Virginia University Center for Alternative Fuels found nitrogen oxide emissions from two Volkswagen diesel engines during an on-road emission test.  WVU was contacted by the International Council of Clean Transportation to participate in the study. The study looked into off-cycle emissions performance and fuel economy from light-duty vehicles during normal driving conditions.

My group knew the media had been in and out of the center for months, so much so that the employees were unfazed when we tracked in more equipment. This story had been covered multiple times, but we decided that the story could afford another headline if we were using 360 video.

360 video has a way of capturing a place with more depth than a video . The story truly becomes what the viewer wants it to be, because they ultimately have control of what they see. We, as journalists, just give them the proper tools in order to dive deeper into the story. Shooting with the 360 rig was new and exciting, but definitely frustrating when we ran into  issues.

The first issue we ran into was the heart attack inducing fear that one of our cameras was not working.  One faulty camera and all your hard work would be for nothing. Camera 6 was the only camera whose light would not turn on while recording. Thankfully,  after getting home and uploading the files camera 6 was, in fact, alive and recording. However, the process of having to double check the camera every time we shot, and sometimes turning it off when we meant to turn it on, lead to multiple shots around the same time. That made it rather difficult on us during the editing process. My only advice to avoid this is to double check your camera’s before you get on site and make sure that everything is in order.

The rest of our problems came to us while were editing our video. The most important advice I can give to someone who wants to shoot 360 video is to shoot way longer than you would like, so that you can cut the footage later. It can be jolting for the viewer to change scenes every 10-20 seconds, as this is not a proper amount of time to be able to look around. Due to 360’s interactiveness, you need to make sure you viewer has at least 30-45 seconds to explore the space. We definitely learned that the hard way with a few of our shorter shots.

Another important thing I learned from this video, is that you should always be looking for movement in your shots. This is a type of media, where most of your shots should have a person or object moving within them. The video will guide the viewer through the space and is more visually compelling than a static shot. When I watch 360 video’s on my own, I am always drawn to the ones that have a lot of interaction or movement. It will make your video that much stronger. Planning your shots beforehand and doing research on what sort of movement will be in the space is the best way to avoid this.

I am excited to have more chances to learn about 360 video and how to perfect it. Every day I pick up the rig, I feel as if I have more to learn. It’s a slow process but it is absolutely a fun one.