Insta360 Studio has grown up and become a real video editor

Mar 29, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Insta360 Studio has grown up and become a real video editor

Mar 29, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Insta360 Studio

Insta360 has released the latest version of Insta360 Studio. It introduces editing features that people have wanted for a very long time. For a start, you can now place multiple clips on your timeline. You’re also able to add background music.

While it doesn’t include all the features of the Insta360 mobile app, you are able to add overlays to your video. And because we can add multiple clips to the timeline – we can even mix flat and 360 footage! – we now also get transitions.

YouTube video

Insta360 Studio – Finally, an actual editor!

This has to be one of the biggest features that people have been begging for. Since the first version of Insta360 Studio was released, people wanted to be able to edit their clips together inside the app. Well, now, we can!

Up until now, we had to process our clips one at a time and then export them all out to individual video files. Fortunately, we could batch export, but we still had to deal with a lot of different clips. Then we’d have to bring them into Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, edit as normal, and render out the final edit.

If we were editing 360 footage, we also have to inject the 360 metadata back into the final video. Otherwise, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms wouldn’t recognise it as a 360-degree video, and it would just show the flat, distorted, unwrapped image.

Not only this, but you can also edit multiple projects simultaneously and easily flick between them while working.

Insta360 Studio

Mix Flat Footage with 360-degree video

The new editing system isn’t quite as advanced as Resolve or Premiere Pro. But it’s an extremely good start. You’re able to drag multiple clips down onto your timeline, trim them, re-order them and get your edit looking just right, all within Insta360 Studio.

While most of Insta360 Studio’s users will be using 360-degree footage, you are able to mix 360 and flat footage in the same project. Most people who shoot with 360-degree cameras still often render out a flat video file at the end of it. They simply shoot 360 to be able to reframe in post.

So, if you’re shooting an Insta360 X3 (buy here) and an Insta360 Ace Pro (buy here), you can mix and match the footage on the same timeline. This makes it easy to do things like match cuts – where the end of one clip is visually similar to the beginning of the next.

The desktop editing process just got massively easier for Insta360 users.

Insta360 Studio

Add Transitions, Overlays and Background Music

As we’re now able to add multiple clips onto the timeline, we also get transitions. Sure, most of the time, you’ll probably just be doing a straight cut, but transitions allow you to get creative. And if you’re combining the transitions with some tricky 360-degree reframing, that could make for some very cool results.

The new Insta360 Studio also adds text overlays in various styles. Why leave TikTok to create boring subtitles when you can do it yourself with some control over how it actually looks?

Of course, another big one that people have been asking for – even for single long takes. This time, it’s background music. Now that we can edit multiple clips together, we can set them to music. Insta360 has made a library available, or you can choose your own if you have another preferred music source.

Thoughts

I have to admit, I’m quite looking forward to having a good play with this update. Insta360’s cameras are great, but for somebody who edits on the desktop, the workflow is a pain. I described the basic process up above, but this will make it much easier.

Now, hypothetically, we’ll be able to do everything within a single app. This means no more individual file tweaking and rendering. No more trips back and forth between Resolve and Insta360 Studio. No more multiple renders because clips don’t quite match.

While I think Insta360 Studio still has a way to go before it’s held in similar esteem to DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro, it’s getting there. Slowly but surely.

Price and Availability

The new Insta360 Studio software is available to download for free from the Insta360 website. You do need to be a user of Insta360 cameras to download it, however. This is confirmed on the Insta360 website either using your email address or your device’s serial number.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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