Quick 360° Video Tip: Sharpening Footage
Even though many 360° video cameras can record at 4k, it really doesn't have the same level of sharpness as traditional video at 4k. Why? Because 360° video has to stretch in all directions to spherically envelop your audience where as traditional 4k is simply in a rectangle.

So sharpening does help to give the appearance of a crisper image. However, not all sharpening plugins are the same. Plus, very few are auto-aware that the content is for 360° output and thus there will be faint lines at the left/right and top/bottom wrap around points.

SK Sharpen Plugin in After Effects
SK Sharpen Plugin in After Effects

Here is a plugin that blew us away and it somehow works perfectly for 360° videos and regular videos. We honestly thought that the built in After Effects and Premiere sharpen plugins were good until we tried this kit. RE:Vision Effects makes a bundle of smooth and sharpen plugins for Adobe After Effects and Premiere. Once you use it, select SK Sharpen from your Effects menu. Change your "% Sharp Amount" to around "400" and your "Sharp Radius to somewhere around "8.00". If you want a little more sharpness punch, remember stronger contrast does make us believe something is sharper. Change "Contrast Mode" from "Off" to "Global" and finally you can change your Contrast % amount. Now all these settings might be too strong but it is a good starting point. The smoothing and sharpening plugins for After Effects or Premiere are only $120 dollars.

Check out SmoothKit which includes SK Sharpen
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