VR, 360 and immersive content is incredibly powerful, allowing the viewer to feel they have been transported to a new place, look around and feel immersed in the environment.
Immersive content can be watched in a number of ways; via virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard, on your mobile or tablet, using the accelerometer and gyro to pan around or moving the image around your desktop with a mouse.
Since Facebook and YouTube started supporting 360° videos, it means you can ensure your content reaches a wider audience from the thousands to the millions.
However the cost is higher when it comes to production due to the more complex needs of pre-production planning, production and post production.
Is the increased cost worth it? We believe it is if your communication works for the medium and requires immersive audience engagement. As always great creative that uses the medium best in the right place at the right time is the key to success.
Five thing you should know about VR
1. It’s a different form of storytelling. One of the most important things to consider with 360-degree video, or spherical video as YouTube refers to it, is that only real approach to this format is as an immersive experience rather than a typical video. Unlike traditional videos and cinema, the viewers have control over what they see. YouTube compares this to a choose-your-own adventure. As we are story tellers we think it’s not just about the VR experience but the narrative experience too.
In a nutshell, the viewer controls the recorded camera angle by tilting and panning on their i-pad, computer or mobile device via the video player. This can be an excellent tool for publishers that want to deliver a rich media experience: You could give your audience a fully interactive look at a trade show, develop educational content, have VR look at a new building, or an event, for example.
2. Like most new systems, there are some pitfalls. 360 video and VR produces some amazing footage, but because it’s a developing technology there are some production downsides. For marketers, the number one pitfall right now is the cost. This will change fast we think as technology develops but do expect to budget more than you would for video.
3. It’s helpful for marketers to understand the production process. VR production and post-production workflow is slower and more technically complex than film or video. To start, the multi-camera content needs to be “stitched” together in editing to create a seamless video or the world needs to be generate in using VR applications like Unity. We have been exploring using motion capture, CGI and some very exciting audio and haptic devices.
4. There’s a lot of opportunity for viewership. The popularity of VR and spherical video has steadily grown in part thanks to video giants like YouTube supporting 360-degree video uploads. Viewers can watch 360-video on YouTube via a computer or its iOS and Android apps. YouTube is even worked with spherical camera manufacturers to allow for seamless compatibly but there is way more to come with XR immersive experiences as the tech improves.
5. Once again, timing is everything. Just like live streaming, virtual reality technology has been around for some time now. However, timing means everything when it comes to technology. The emergence of apps like Periscope and Meerkat were great examples of that. With YouTube and Facebook investing in VR along with lab like the Venice Biennale College’s VR intiative, both publishers and viewers will have the opportunity to distribute and watch VR content that will get more game and narrative based. XR we think is the way ahead and the boundaries of game and user lived narrative will blur further.
Working with us.
Seefood’s process of making VR films and content differs in many ways from shooting traditional film content. As the industry has developed we have developed a new set of hardware, tools and techniques specifically for viewing VR content. This process has meant that as a VR production studio we are agile and adept at finding new solutions to complex scenarios.
Our VR techniques and processes allow us to make decisions on set and in post that are grounded to ensure efficient production.
We work closely with our clients to understand and adapt briefs to the immersive medium. We then develop a script and storyboard that illustrates this brief as one of the first steps towards visualising a stunning immersive experience. We have a AudioR projects in development and a very exciting XR project on the way. More news soon..