Sharing Your 360-VR Experience from SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional


You may have seen this previous Tech Blog post on creating 360 images from SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional and wondered how to share this exciting, immersive content with others? Well look no further; this blog post will show you how to take a set of 360 images rendered from Visualize and easily share it through social media – include Virtual Reality (VR) playback on a $15 Google Cardboard!

The first step is to convert your 360 image (or images) into a video. You can use any video editor, but make sure that it can export up to the resolution of your 360 image (minimum 4K). I will be using Camtasia 9.1, though the process will be similar on any video editor.

Before you import your images into Camtasia make sure to set your document to the correct resolution. Right click on the preview window and select “project size”. Select “custom” from the drop down and enter the correct resolution of your 360 image, in this case 4096 x 2048.



Next you’ll need to import the images that you want in your video. This is as simple as clicking and dragging them into the timeline or your media bin. Arrange them in the order that you want and extend their duration – ten seconds per image is a good amount of time, but you can enter however long you wish.



In VR any kind of jarring change is amplified, so it is important to give your images a smooth transition. For this video, I’ve selected the “Fade” transition. I find that it is the smoothest when in VR, even more so than “Fade Through Black.”


When you’re happy with your video it’s time to export it. Select “Share” and export it as a “Local File.” If you aren’t using Camtasia you may be ready to upload your video to YouTube. However, only certain programs are capable of exporting for VR playback and Camtasia is not one of them.



Right now, all you have is a regular video. It needs some metadata added to it so that video viewers will recognize it as a 360 video for VR playback. This is fairly simple, just download this 360-spatial metadata injector (there are other programs that work, if you have a preference). Scroll to the bottom of the link and click “” for either Windows or Mac. Once it downloads, run it, open your video, and select the “My video is spherical (360)” option. Then click “Inject metadata” and save your video with a suffix to tell it apart from the non-360 video. With that, you now have a 360 video that is ready for VR playback.



[Please note: SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional allows you to create 360 videos without having to go back and inject the 360 spatial metadata. This extra metadata step is required since we exported the .MP4 from Camtasia.]

The most exciting part is getting to see the fruits of your labor. On Windows 10 you can open 360 videos using the ‘Movies and TV’ app, though if you want to share it you’ll need to send a large video file. Also, if it’s on a 2-D computer screen, what’s the point of making it in VR? The best thing to do with a 360-VR video is to upload it to YouTube so that it can be easily linked and viewed on any smartphone. Also, because of products like the $15 Google Cardboard, you can easily turn any smartphone into a VR device! You can view my 360-VR video this way by opening the video on your smartphone using the YouTube app. Best way is to email yourself the link. Once opened in the YouTube app, tap the “VR goggle” icon at the bottom of the player to split the eyes. If you don’t have a Google Cardboard you can still view 360 videos on your phone, it’s just not as immersive of an experience.

If you’re concerned about keeping your video private, you can set your video to “private” during upload, so that only approved people can view it, or “unlisted” so that only people with the exact link can view it.

Imagine being able to share immersive 360-VR content with anyone in your office using just a link! You could even send the YouTube link to your own clients to receive design approval or to potential customers interested in buying your products. Virtual Reality is more accessible than ever and with SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional you can unlock its full potential to improve your business.


Jonathan Delaney

Jonathan Delaney is a third year industrial design student from the University of Cincinnati currently working as an intern with the SOLIDWORKS Visualize team. He has used 3D visualization extensively throughout his education and is passionate about creating the best rendered images possible. Previously, he created promotional materials for Thyssenkrupp Bilstein and designed corrugated cardboard displays at Pratt Industries.