How to: Make a Waymo Video

Based on my experience making about 70 of them

My Waymo filming setup:

Main camera:


Good to make sure you have at least 256GB of microSD space for long filming days, I heard the largest size card it can take is that. Probably have a spare card just in case

And a bunch of GoPro MAX batteries/a USB charger.

I know the predecessor to the MAX (the Fusion) could operate just off DC power (and Waymo vehicles have powered USB on either side of the seats) but not sure about the MAX, only got it right as I stopped the series. Most likely; worth testing.

First make sure it’s in video mode:

And 360 mode, probably 5.6K @ 30 depending on your needs

Since the auto-exposure is terrible and will focus on the inside of the car, manually turn it down with protune until everything is no longer washed out (unless you’re filming at night.)

So it can see all the way past the front seats.

Then when in the car, reach your hand under and mount it maybe 6ish inches up (and if the speedometer is visible, a few inches to the left as well) Make sure to get a good seal or it'll fall off.

Try to get the front lens of the camera vertically right between this screen and the mirror

Otherwise it'll look a little something like this:

(this was my first video with a 360 cam, look how the sky is blown out since I didn’t know about the exposure settings)

As for the screen cam, I used this thing

(If you're doing a screen cam, I'd recommend doing a few sync snaps that both cameras can see at the beginning of the ride. This will make editing vastly easier. (and also probably a snap at the end of the ride to make sure the cameras didn't drift out of sync))

You can experiment with your phone (or an old phone) and record at either 30 or 60 fps, whichever produces less flicker (I think 60? Don’t quite remember)

The GoPro will spit out a .360 file, probably a lot actually (if it’s a MAX) since it’ll split up the recording like once every 8 minutes or so (which is mildly annoying)

So I’d use the batch exporter in the GoPro Player software

Once imported, select all the videos in the queue (important!) and set these settings

Or if you don’t have video editing software, you can just set gopro player to keyframe mode and export the shots from there.

Once processed it’ll give you .mp4 raw 360 video, which you can play around with in VLC to make sure everything worked properly (click/drag/scroll).

At this stage what you have is probably good enough for just personal enjoyment, but if you want to go all the way for social media sharing it’s good to have Adobe Premiere and the GoPro FX Reframe plugin. (don’t just import the 360 video directly, set your sequence to 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 (or whatever resolution at whatever aspect ratio is appropriate for the medium, of course), import the 360, and apply the FX Reframe plugin to it from the effects panel and tweak the settings)

Then from there, if you know premiere you can pretty much just copy what I did in the later videos, or I’d be glad to edit for you (since it takes forever, probably for a flat $50 depending how much is shot)