Reorienting a 360 video in DaVinci Resolve

Reorienting a 360 video in DaVinci Resolve

When first playing a 360 video in VR, the audience is provided with an initial orientation. This viewpoint and direction in the video is useful for engaging the viewer in the story, and it can be determined in the post processing phase of the project.

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Categories:Create & Build
Tags:360 VideoPost ProductionSoftware ToolsVideo Editing
Skill Level:

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Updated 11/15/2022


When starting a 360 video in VR, the audience is provided with an initial viewpoint. Typically this viewpoint would be a natural forward facing orientation in the video. This orientation should be a very intentional choice intended to engage viewers in the story immediately. During the process of capturing 360 video the camera may not have been positioned with the ideal orientation. Additionally, after viewing the 360 video during the editing process, it may be useful to modify that entry point orientation for the purposes of the story. This is an easy post processing step.

It is also important to consider and manage the view orientation of different clips in a sequence, so when cutting from one clip to another the audience won’t feel they have to keep turning around to find the key action. Going further, if there are clips of a scene shot from different vantage points, remember to adjust the view orientation of each clip so that they fit with the mental map the audience will build up of the virtual space they’re seeing.

The default direction of a 360 video clip, the direction someone sees before they start looking around, is referred to as its native orientation. Changing this is known as reorienting, and it can be for reasons as simple as wanting to place a different part of the scene in the native orientation – done by changing the pan value of a clip in 360 space. (This is not the same as changing the view orientation in the 360 viewer; that simulates someone turning their head rather than altering the footage itself.)


Reorienting a clip is a relatively simple process. First go to the Edit page and make sure the playhead is over the clip that is to be reoriented. Then show the Fusion page and, in the Nodes pane, right-click the ‘MediaIn1’ node or the connector between the in and out nodes. From this popup contextual menu choose Add Tool > VR > PanoMap (it’s Insert Tool > VR > PanoMap if a node rather than a connector is right-clicked), then look in the Inspector pane on the right to see the PanoMap node controls. Expand the Rotation section and adjust the Y values as required to move the central point of interest into the middle of the 360 scene. The Y (pan) control is all you should need for this; the X and Z controls affect how the footage is leveled rather than which area is in the center of the scene.

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If there are multiple clips to reorient, select each one in turn in the Edit page and perform the PanoMap node Y value adjustment as required. Do this with every clip that doesn’t have the center of interest in the logical position, or if the clips are from different locations and need to be set to the same effective compass heading to work with the end user’s expectations.

Animated reorienting

It is extremely rare to need to animate the orientation over time as the effect would be very uncomfortable for those viewing the footage immersively in a headset. (See ‘To move or not to move’ for a related discussion about moving scenes.) However, if you do come up with a rare justification for doing this it’s a relatively simple process; position the timeline playhead at the right moment and use the Keyframe icon next to the Y control in the Rotation panel. Repeat as required at different points in time. The keyframe points are marked in the timeline as short white vertical lines. These can’t be dragged to new positions, but the left and right icons surrounding the keyframe icon in the Rotation panel in the Inspector jump from keyframe to keyframe, and clicking the Keyframe button on an existing keyframe will remove it.

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Reorienting all parameters

As well as using the Y controls to slide a scene’s native orientation around, the X and Z controls can be used to correct leveling issues that would otherwise disorient the audience. This doesn’t mean leveling cameras isn’t important any more, but it can rescue shots that aren’t straight and where a camera’s gyro data is missing or ineffective. For more details about this see Leveling a 360 video in DaVinci Resolve.