Upload virtual reality videos

Virtual reality (VR) videos are a new kind of video that make you feel like you’re actually there. Using the same tricks that humans use to see the world, VR video gives you a sense of depth as you look around in every direction. Near things look near, far things look far.

To get the full effect of VR videos, we recommend watching on a Daydream View (on a supported phone), Google Cardboard, or a PlayStation VR. If you’re using one of these devices, make sure you have the most recent version of the YouTube app.

If you don’t have a VR viewer, you can still watch this content on your mobile device or desktop in Chrome, Opera, or Firefox. It will appear as a 360 video without 3D.

Step 1: Create a video
VR video comes in two forms: live action, captured using cameras (e.g. using the Jump platform) and computer generated (CG) content, that can be created using our guide (download PDF - in English).
Step 2: Prepare for upload

Before you upload, we recommend that you export your content in over-under equirectangular format with a 1:1 aspect ratio at a resolution of 5120x5120 or higher, up to 8192x8192. Maintain square pixels (i.e.,1:1 pixel/scale aspect ratio). There should be no letter/pillarboxing and all pixels should be used. The resulting image should appear horizontally stretched.

Tip: If your video exhibits significant compression artifacts, try re-encoding at a higher bitrate (e.g. 150Mbps) before you upload to YouTube.

Your video file needs to include specific metadata. This allows YouTube to recognize it as a VR video and enable the right playback modes. Follow these instructions to add the necessary metadata into a new file for you.

Create a 360-enabled file with an app

  1. Download the latest 360 Video Metadata app.
  2. Unzip the file, then open the 360 Video Metadata app. If you're on an Apple computer, you may need to right-click the app and click Open.
  3. Select the video file.
  4. Select both checkboxes and click Save.
  5. Enter a name for the file that will be created.
  6. Save the file. A new file will be created automatically in the same location as the original file.
  7. Upload the new file to YouTube.
  8. Wait for the video to process. This may take up to an hour during which the video may render incorrectly.

Recommended specifications for VR video on YouTube

The recommended Jump specs for 3D-360 over-under on YouTube:

  • Resolution: 5120 x 5120 and up to 8192 x 8192 (if under 5K, use the maximum possible resolution)
  • Frame rate: 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94
  • Format: MP4, MOV
  • Codec: H.264, ProRes, DNxHR
  • H.264 Bitrate: 150 - 360Mbps
  • Audio: AAC (for spatial, visit YouTube spatial audio requirements) 
  • Moov Atom: Write at start of file
Learn how to use Spatial Audio, 360 video, and virtual reality video so your viewers can experience your video's sound in all directions, just like real life.
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