Top 5 VR/360 Video Editing Software [Mac & Windows]

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

With the advent of new technologies, the user experience has been revolutionized. The tech giants across the globe are coming up with a new range of products every day to enhance the ultimate user experience. For example, 360-degree videos are applied to multiple industries to provide immersive UX.

360-degree Videos Are the Future of Video Modeling

Also known by the name of immersive videos or spherical videos, these videos provide a 360 view of the content. These videos are responsible for providing a 3D and multi-directional representation of the object from every point-of-view at the same time. The 360 shots are achieved through an omnidirectional camera or by using multiple cameras placed at different angles for covering the same object simultaneously.

360 video making includes capturing, stitching (in-camera or resort to software), and post-editing, such as adding titles, effects, color grading. And the topic we are going to discuss is 360 video editing software in the last stage. I know you are wondering what the best 360 video editing software is. Well, it depends much on your specific needs, entry-level, or professional? In this post, we have picked up both easy and advanced 360 degree video editors for you. Check them now.

VideoProc: Powerful 4K 360 Video Editing Software for Beginners

I know some big names come to your mind when talking about 360 degree videos and VR videos. And then you are deterred away by complicated editing methods and terminologies in these editors. Don't be upset. VideoProc makes it trickle down from professionals to newbies. After your 360 video has been stitched together, import it to VideoProc. Next, you'll see an intuitive and user-friendly editing interface, all you need to do is to drag and drop some knobs. More importantly, this lightweight software puts less pressure on your computer storage.

VideoProc
  • Compatible with 370+ video formats and codecs, Apple ProRes, CineForm, MP4, AVI, etc.
  • Full GPU accelerated to power up the processing speed of UHD 4K 360 videos.
  • High quality engine to render 360 content with the least quality loss.
  • SNS share format presets for YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
  • 360 video editing: lens correction, color grading, frame cropping, stabilization, etc.

Steps to Edit 360 Degree Videos with VideoProc

1. Import one stitched 360 video or multiple videos to VideoProc.

2. Select an appropriate output format.

3. Go to Toolbox > Fix fisheye to correct wide-angle distortion. If there are still annoying distorted edges, enable Crop to trim them off.

4. If the video was shot in low light, you can adjust its colors in the Effect option including brightness, contrast, hue, gamma, and saturation.

5. Activate hardware acceleration and high quality engine to export a high-quality 360 video in a fast manner.

Premiere Pro CC: Professional 360/VR Video Editing Software

The next name on our list of the best 360 video editing software comes from the house of Adobe which is trusted by most professionals for 360 video editing. Actually, Premiere cannot edit 360 degree immersive videos perfectly per se. It is the VR plug-ins that enrich its capabilities of 360 video editing, for example, the GoPro FX reframe plug-in. After adding it to Premiere, you can easily change perspectives, tilt, and pan & zoom like the camera was moving while shooting. And editing options can be further extended by associating with After Effects and Photoshop, like cleaning moving or stationary objects. Adobe Premiere Pro costs you $20.99 per month, but this plug-in is free of charge.

Note: 360 degree videos and VR videos are different even though they are used interchangeably in most cases. Some video editors work with either of them, but Premiere Pro CC achieves both.

Highlighted Features

1. VR Display

After adding the Toggle VR Video Display button to the toolbar below the program window, the preview mode becomes more realistic. So that you are enabled to see the final results of a 360 video on YouTube and Facebook. You can click and drag the monitor to see different angles and make adjustments accordingly.

2. Immersive Effects and Transitions

Common 2D video effects are not working with the 360/VR contents because of visible seams and distortions. All of the 360 effects have "VR" in the name. So by simply searching "VR" in the effects list, you can toggle all immersive effects in Premiere Pro (the same in After Effects), including VR blur, chroma leaks, tiny planet effects, Iris wipes transition, motion graphics, and logos, etc.

3. Multi-channel Ambisonics Audio

If you assemble full-sphere surround sounds along with 360 videos, you can definitely offer audiences a considerable degree of immersive experience. In Adobe Premiere Pro you can import multi-channel ambisonics audios, apply audio effects, and monitor audio tracks accurately.

Considerations When Using Premiere Pro

System Requirement: This professional software for 360 and VR content creation requires extremely high specs. If you want smooth and fast processing, check its official system requirements and upgrade your computer accordingly.

Creative Cloud Products Alignment: You need to buy a bundle of Adobe products to edit 360 degree videos. Create graphics and logos for your 360 videos with After Effects, remove the selfie stick or the tripod in your 360 footage with Photoshop masks, etc.

Final Cut Pro X: 360 Video Editing Software for Mac

The next 360/VR editing software is from the billion-dollar tech giant Apple, Final Cut Pro X. It provides an amazing editing experience for everyone. This Mac VR editor is quite famous among the users for its intelligent 360/VR video editing features: both quick and accurate reframing, keyframe animation, and 360 effects like a tiny planet, etc. Apart from all the features above, iPad SideCar and MacBook Touch Bar Support have made it a fun-to-use software for 360 video editing.

Highlighted Features

1. Immersive Editing with a VR Headset

To get a better preview of the final product, you can not only monitor the clips like in Premiere, but you are also allowed to connect a VR headset to your Mac. Just remember to set the output settings in the 360 viewer to VR Headset.

2. Auto Settings

When you drag your monoscopic or stereoscopic 360 video to its timeline, FCP flattens it to standard videos automatically for the better previewing experience. But once you initiate the 360 video onscreen controller in the viewer, you can drag to change the orientation freely. If you have no idea about settings for the final project, FCP automatically adjusts the properties for the YouTube VR channel, Facebook 360, and Vimeo 360.

3. Dynamic Concealing Patch

Unlike Premiere Pro in which you need the assistance of After Effects or Photoshop to remove unwanted objects, Final Cut Pro X features the 360 Patch effect. You can hide your camera or tripod by replacing it with an area near the object. Moreover, it adjusts the concealing effect according to the light changes dynamically.

Considerations When Using Final Cut Pro X

Storage: Undoubtedly, Final Cut Pro X supports ProRes compression format quite well since they are both developed by Apple. But less compress indicates larger file size, especially for 4K, 5.7K, and 8K 360 degree videos. 8GB of RAM, 1GB of VRAM, and 3.8GB of available disk space are just the minimum requirements for your Mac OS.

Pinnacle Studio Ultimate: Feature-packed 360 Video Editor

Pinnacle is designed as a cross-platform video editor for Windows, iOS, and Android. Its desktop version of Pinnacle Studio Ultimate features creative 360 video editing functions: 360 titles and transitions, 360 video freeze frame, fisheye fix, color enhancing, motion tracking, etc. On top of that, it comes with unlimited tracks for spherical videos. Compared with expensive pro-level editors, Pinnacle sells at a consumer-friendly price. And if you are not sure whether to pay for it, try its 30-day free trial first.

Highlighted Features

1. Multiple 360 Video Conversion Options

Pinnacle Studio has gathered all 360 video types into one settings option which you can find by right-clicking on the timeline. Once you get to the 360 video conversion option, you can choose equirectangular to spherical panorama, single fisheye to equirectangular, double fisheye to equirectangular, or easily flatten it to a standard 2D video.

2. 3 Different Ways to Edit 360 Degree Videos

In this software you are allowed to edit movable 360 videos in which you can pan around by dragging the mouse, edit 360 videos as standard videos, or as tiny planet effects. Also, you can apply 3 ways to one video to reframe a 360 video.

3. Monitor Both Raw Footage and Editing Video

In Premiere Pro you can see either the 360 video or the equirectangular video. But Pinnacle lets you monitor both of them. The source window displays the raw footage along with the preview monitor so that you can compare and change the field of view accurately.

Considerations When Using Pinnacle Studio Ultimate

Cross-platform Products: Although it is a cross-platform editor, its mobile version is not competent to edit 360 videos. And it also has different plans for desktop, Pinnacle Studio, Pinnacle Studio Plus, and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. Only the ultimate plan features 360 editing tools.

360 Video Stabilization: You can find the stabilization button from the menu, but this is not available for 360 videos. If you plan to buy Pinnacle Studio Ultimate to edit 360 videos, you'd better prepare another software for 360 video stabilization.

VSDC: Best Free 360 Video Editing Software

Those professional 360 video editors are a big cost for average users. If you are on a budget, VSDC is a great free video editor capable of 360 video editing. Even though you should not expect grand features like keyframe animation, motion graphics, or seamless transitions, simple 360 to 2D video conversion can be completed easily in it. Then you can edit the video like a standard 2D video, cutting, merging, filtering, etc.

Highlighted Features

1. 360 to 2D Effects

Different tools render 360 degree videos in a slightly different way. VSDC turns 360 videos into editing-friendly materials by flattening them to a 120-degree panorama angle. Thus it makes complicated 360 video editing a simple work even for beginners.

2. 360 Texts and Images

VSDC does convert 360 videos to 2D for easier editing, but the added texts are not as plain as 2D. You can still add 360-degree titles and images that tilt along with the footage as long as you cancel the 360 to 2D effects.

3. Embed 360 Video Info into the File

Sometimes you watch fake 360 videos that cannot change POV by viewers. That's because the 360 metadata are not contained in the video file. Before exporting videos from VSDC, check the "Embed 360 video information into file" box, then you'll get a file that enables the 360 playback on YouTube, Facebook, and other 360 video players.

Considerations When Using VSDC Free Video Editor

360 Video Reframe: With tools above, you can overcaputure a 360 video by dragging the frame to pan and zoom. But in VSDC, there's no such intuitive operation. You have to go to effect settings and adjust the viewing angle, focal length, and X/Y angles to a specific value.

Compressed Format: ProRes is the most recommended format for 360 videos for its less compression. However, we did not find it on the supported video formats and codecs page of the VSDC official site. So you will get a quality-loss final product.

FAQs

1. Can I edit 360 videos in iMovie?

Unfortunately, there is a lack of a dedicated 360-degree feature in iMovie. To better deal with the 360 footage, you can resort to our pick of 5 best 360 video editors above, for novices and pros alike.

2. What is the best 360 video editing app for iPhone and Android?

Most 360 cameras have their own editing apps for mobile phones, e.g. Insta360 One R. These apps are compatible with videos transferred from cameras very well, and stitch, edit and share videos to social media in one-stop. Other popular apps like VeeR Editor and Theta also top at lists for 360 editors. But desktop software always outperforms in professional and accurate 360 video editing.

3. How to upload 360 videos to YouTube?

Uploading 360 videos on YouTube is no rocket science. Once the video is prepared, ensure that it is formatted as per the universal equirectangular standards and has a pixel aspect ratio of 1:1 (square pixels). Now, coming to the resolution specifications of the final video, it is advised to have an aspect ratio of 16:9. The final image should seem to be horizontally stretched and encoded at a higher bitrate. Note: Don't forget to upload the file-specified metadata. There are plenty of apps available for that. Once the 360 video file is metadata enabled, you can upload it to YouTube.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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