Samsung Gear 360 2017 Part 2: Stitching
When you have recorded your first video, the Samsung Gear 360 original and 2017 edition will create one video that resembles two circles resemble looking through binoculars, As we discussed in part 1 of our review. One circle is the front camera and the other is the back camera's viewpoint. This is normal. The next step is to take these two vantage points and stitch them together into an actual 360° video. Since the Gear doesn't do on-the-fly stitching yet you'll need to use software. We're going to talk about several options - Gear App on your phone, Gear 360/Action Director desktop app, Muvee 360 Mac desktop app, and AutoPano Video/Giga.

Watch our video so you can see the differences of how each stitch

Download the AutoPano template Luxurious Animals created for the Samsung Gear 360 2017 camera.

Gear App on Phone
Gear 360 app

Go to your Gear app's gallery to view your recordings and hit the save/download icon and this will stitch your video together directly into your Phone’s photo/video library. Note: this will take awhile for even short 30 second clips. Could be about 5 minutes before the video is ready. Keep in mind, this really will drain your Gear 360° 2017 camera battery if you try to save the recording to your phone but it is the best way if you don't have a laptop/desktop handy. You’ll find over time you will trust the results and do your stitching on your desktop where you have more processing power. On the latest Samsung phones, it can stitch at 4096x2048 but on the iPhone it will give you a warning that it will stitch your 4k file a little smaller - 3840x1920. You will need to use your desktop to stitch at a higher resolution.

Gear 360 Icon
Samsung Action Director / Gear 360 desktop app
The Samsung sanctioned stitching software is called Action Director on the PC and the very new Gear 360 on the Mac. We found that the stitching is really well done. Seam lines are almost invisible, however there is an odd “breathing” issue on the rendered video stitch line even with stationary tripod shots. So the video looks like it is slightly warping over time even though should be no change happening. Why, Samsung?

We have written to Samsung as we have been able to recreate this issue on multiple Mac computers and with different files.

Samsung Gear 360 desktop interface
Samsung Gear 360 desktop interface

Samsung-sanctioned software
It is free
Easy to use

Requires rendering before you can pan around the scene in 360
Odd “breathing” issue around the stitch line
Default save folder is very deep within several sub-folders

Download Action Director app for PC (free)

Download Gear 360 for Mac (free)

If you are actual getting serious about stitching, pull your microSD card out the Samsung Gear 360 2017 edition and put into a card reader that is attached to your computer. All the videos you have recorded are saved on there.

Muvee 360 for Mac
Muvee 360 Video Stitcher for Mac (free to try)
The Muvee 360 Video Stitcher is really easy to use as it allows you to instantly see your results as it on-the-fly stitches for viewing. Even Samsung's own Gear 360 app doesn't let you do this. If you like what you see, then you can export your stitched together video as an h264 in the home version or the ProRes codec if you buy the full version of the software. This software was originally designed for the original Gear 360 and we found there were some dark bands around the stitch and tripling of imagery. It still does a great job but it isn't perfect. We have written Muvee about the issues we have encountered and they acknowledged that they are aware that they need to update for the new lenses and resolution size of the Gear 360 2017 edition.

Muvee 360 desktop interface
Muvee 360 desktop interface

Home version for $49.99
Pro version with ProRes export $199.00


Love that you can Instantly watch and move around your 360 video scene
Can save as Prores when you buy the Pro version of the software (but we wouldn't bother until there is an update)

Hasn’t specifically been updated for Gear 360 2017 edition
There are black lines and doubling of imagery along the stitch line
No batch process

Autopano Video and Giga Icons
AutoPano Video and Giga
Kolor | AutoPano is the ultimate for stitching 360° video content together owned by GoPro. Since there are so many options, it requires a lot of time to learn the best methods to achieve near invisible stitching. Though you really need to have both AutoPano Video and Giga in order to really stitch any footage together well. It is a shame that they couldn’t have made one product that does everything. Since, AutoPano Video is designed to take in multiple files and the Gear 360 only has one file, you must always duplicate your file on your computer for this program to stitch. Append to your file name “_front” and the other “_back” to make it easier to remember how you are using each video for stitching.

Autopano Giga desktop interface
Autopano Giga desktop interface

Buy the AutoPano Video and Giga Bundle
currently €699.84 or about $780 US dollars

A great 360° videographer named Alex Pearce created some templates for original Samsung 360 that work up to the 3840 size. He has a pretty smart solution since AutoPano is not really designed to handle single video stitching from the GoPro. We followed his tutorial and created our own AutoPano template.

Download the AutoPano template Luxurious Animals created for the Samsung Gear 360 2017 camera.

Watch how to create your own AutoPano template

Industry leading stitching software
Ability to fine tune stitching, exposure differences
Superior results and multiple export options
Can batch process files
Fast rendering

Difficult learning curve to use both AutoPano Video and Giga
Must make a duplicate of your video to stitch

Final Thoughts
The Gear 360 desktop app is free and very close to great but our perfectionist side doesn't like the strange "breathing" issue on footage. The Muvee 360 for Mac is really easy to use for review but it too suffers from a stitching issue - dark bands and triple imagery along the stitch line. Though, sometimes you don't notice it on certain shots so it might be worth buying. Hopefully both these programs will be updated to fix their issues. AutoPano Video and Giga are really difficult to use and expensive but the results can be stunning. Plus AutoPano is useful for all sorts of other 360° video camera where Muvee and Gear 360 are really only for Samsung cameras. So we recommend your getting comfortable with the cheaper software and only pulling the trigger if you think you are going to start a career in 360° video recording.

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