Today 360 camera marker Insta360 announced a new extension for Adobe Premiere Pro CC which will bring complete 360 post-production workflow into the video editing program. For filmmakers shooting with the Insta360 Pro camera, the company promises faster editing and better quality thanks to the plugin.
Premiere Pro is one of the most popular pieces of professional video editing software, and while Adobe has actually been fairly proactive in bringing 360 video editing tools to the application, filmmakers shooting in 360 have had to rely on external software to do the initial ‘stitching’—taking the various camera views from a 360 camera and fusing them together into one cohesive piece of 360 footage.
Thanks to a new extension soon to be released from Insta360, the company says that the complete editing workflow, from initial import of raw camera views to final 360 output, can now be handled inside of Premiere Pro. The extension is said to work specifically with footage from the Insta360 Pro camera—the company’s $3,500 360 3D camera—which Adobe calls “industry-leading.”
The extension, which is free and will be released this quarter, says Insta360, will offer ‘no-stitch’ editing, which saves time by eliminating the need to stitch all of the raw footage (given that much of it will get trimmed out in the editing process anyway). Instead, the imported footage sees a simplified quick-stitching pass which creates a “proxy video,” a lower quality version of the raw footage that can be more quickly and easily manipulated in Premiere. After all the cutting, editing, and application of effects is complete, the raw footage gets a high quality stitch and is rendered to a final output precisely based on the edits made to the proxy video.
Not only does this approach stand to save editors time in the post-production process, Insta360 says, but it also reduces the number of video processing passes. Whereas an external stitching tool would take an pass to turn the raw footage into stitched 360 footage and then a final output would be rendered from that footage after editing, the Insta360 Premiere extension does it all in a single pass, which means higher quality output thanks to less re-processing of the footage.
It isn’t clear if the Insta360 Premiere Pro extension will work with any footage other than what’s shot with the Insta360 Pro; we’ve reached out to the company for clarification.
Update (4/23/18): A spokesperson for Insta360 said that the extension only works with footage from the Insta360 Pro because it uses a proprietary stitching algorithm that’s tailored to the camera.