Virtual Reality (VR) can transport you inside a luxurious car for an instant test drive, allow you to visit your dream vacation destination, help you learn how to perform a surgery, or even take a private tour of the universe, all from the comfort of home.
Today we’ll explore how VR videos can be used for businesses to amaze and delight your customers. On our adventures we’ll review:
- How Does VR Video Uniquely Trick Our Brain?
- How Does VR Video Work?
- What Types of VR Videos Can I Make For My Business?
- How Do I Make 360-degree VR Videos?
- How Do I Choose The Right 360° Camera For My VR Project?
- How Can I Plan For Successful 360° Video Shoots?
- What Are Important Tips When Filming in 360° VR Videos?
- What Are The Most Important Components of an Excellent VR Video?
- What Is The Future of VR?
The Ultimate Guide to VR Videos
While virtual reality has long been associated with the gaming industry, today VR is shaping many other industries, including healthcare, tourism, education, retail, entertainment – you name it!
Because of its fast adoption of this technology across a wide range of applications, the virtual reality users are always looking for new experiences.
Let’s get started!
How Does VR Video Uniquely Trick Our Brain?
To understand how effective VR content works, let’s first understand how our brain interprets the world around us.
Take a moment, stop, and think about our senses that allow us to experience our surroundings: hearing, vision, ear, touch, and taste. To respond to the world, our brain fetches information from sensory organs. Our brain interprets this information so that we can understand what is in the world. The brain’s interpretation in this process is called perception.
While we learn in school we have five traditional senses, we actually have many more! Experts believe there are well over 30. For example, you can hear your pet barking and feel her fur against your skin, but you also feel your balance against the ground, the heat of the sun, and the movement of your hands in space. We come to experience these sensations because of perception. The interplay of sensation (using hearing, touching, and movement) and perception (brain’s interpretation of the information) are what create the experience of reality.
Many mediums use different senses to delight. But VR is special, because it uses more of these senses together, to provide a greater level of immersion and interactivity.
Music uses 1 sense.
Film uses 2 senses.
(sound & visuals)
VR uses 6+ senses.
(360 visuals, 360 sound, interaction, head movement, body position, arm movement, and vibration)
More senses create an opportunity for a more memorable (and emotional) experiences!
How Does VR Video Work?
Virtual Reality uses specialized lenses which are placed between the eyes and a small, mobile-sized screen. The visuals can be rendered using a mobile phone or an HDMI cable connected to a PC. The latest VR headsets (Oculus Go and Oculus Quest) are standalone, with the computing power built directly into the device, like a cell phone.
Certain technical prerequisites for creating truly immersive VR videos, the following are:
- Video Frame Rate: The number of images the video captures per second.
- Display Refresh Rate: The speed of the display can render these images.
- Field of View: The width the content can support eye and head movement.
- Stereoscopy: The display of the video data in both eyes.
- Interaction: The ability to make relevant, meaningful choices within the experience.
It is important to flag that inexpensive VR options often break the rules above, leading to big problems. Google Cardboard or plastic cell phone VR headsets can’t provide as immersive as an experience, but will also likely leave uses feeling ill. Some users may experience latency if their phone or software isn’t optimized. The response rate of the screen should be less than 20 milliseconds to trick the human brain, and any inconsistency between the frame rate and refresh rate can cause cybersickness.
Luckily, modern consumer VR has largely solved these issues through advancements in hardware and software! We recommend buying dedicated VR hardware, like the Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, or Oculus Quest. These are the gold standards which balance affordable cost with amazing features, and are perfect for businesses.
What Types of VR Videos Can I Make For My Business?
Two major categories of VR content are:
- 360-degree VR Videos: Real-world captures of people, places, or things.
- Computer Graphics Content: 3D CGI creations, made just for VR.
Most businesses use VR videos because they can more clearly help showcase their products or services. Have an amazing product? Show it off. Hoping to show off your HQ? Capture it for all to see. Want to tell your story? Visit where it started. The possibilities are endless.
Here are the 6 most effective ways we’ve seen businesses use VR Video!
Telling your brand story can be a challenge. One way to turn this from a lecture and into an awe-inspiring experience is by transporting your viewers on shared journey. Let them meet your customers or walk the same halls as your founders.
Help a customer better understand your process, the technical details, and actual effort involved in a service. This is especially helping for competitive industries where people feel that “all vendors are alike”. Showcase what makes your brand and process unique.
Complex ideas can be tough for consumers to understand. If they don’t understand, they can’t value it. Educational VR content helps inform a consumer so they can speak knowledgeably on a subject. Merging computer graphics content and 360 video allows us to better explain how detailed technical concepts apply to our daily lives.
Sometimes the goal is to amaze and delight your audience. An inspirational vr video can be loosely tied to your product, but entertains above the crowd to stand out. In this example, our team filmed the first 360 dance battle!
Many organizations have a challenge showcasing complex products and services. A virtual tour of a manufacturing facility or company headquarters can help showcase the amazing attention to detail required within your company.
Influencers can’t be ignored in today’s marketing. Having influencers use a product and educate consumers on products in a VR video allowed for a more personal, friendly experience. Using interactivity, a user could also select their preferred influencer, their specific details, and the experience would adapt to best meet their preferences.
I’m Sold. How Do I Make 360-degree VR Videos?
We’re not going to lie: if you’re a business you’re likely better off hiring an experienced 360 video production agency.
They have the background experience to script, shoot, and edit with speed. While it sounds easy on paper, it really isn’t. If you’re looking to brainstorm further, our creative team would love to learn more.
But if you’re looking to do this on your own, buckle up!
For creating 360-degree VR videos, you need a spherical camera with 360-degree lens and tripods. You can also use a drone. For post-production work, you’d need special editing software to combine all the footage in one high-quality video. You can deliver your final product through an app or even through an existing channel, like YouTube.
How Do I Choose The Right 360° Camera For My VR Project?
You’ve countless options when you step into the market to buy a 360° Camera. Thus, picking the right camera can be a bit tricky for the first-time 360° creator.
Do you need a prosumer or a professional level camera? The answer depends on your VR project. For a high-end, big project, you certainly need a professional camera. You can visit tech news sites to find real specifications of 360° cameras.
Should you invest in multi-camera, higher-end cameras? These cameras capture stereoscopic VR videos and images, with higher than 4K resolution, providing an improved audio/video experience.
Other camera equipment you need:
Get a monopod or tripod! You need it for stabilization and achieve the preferred angle.
Get additional mics as per your needs for capturing spatial audio.
You need extra SD cards to ensure that you never run out of the storage space while filming.
Always carry camera charging equipment to keep your cameras running all the time.
How Can I Plan For Successful 360° Video Shoots?
Since the nature of 360-degree videos is quite different, preparation before shooting is highly impactful. Otherwise, you may face many issues.
Making storytelling decisions in advance of your shoot will decide what environments make most sense for your piece. For example, having a person in scene to guide your user can help the experience, or you may choose to use a narrator instead.
Spend plenty of time location scouting. Consider the location from all different angles.
Also, consider the depth of the scene you want to capture and ambient noise quality of surroundings.
What Are Important Tips When Filming in 360° VR Videos?
To manage the stress involved and ensuring the success of your project, we suggest the following:
Unlike standard fixed-frame videos, which limit your view to wherever the camera points, 360-degree videos offer a full 360º x 180º panoramic view of surroundings. You can look up, down and all around, and explore the surroundings from any desired perspective. Aim for environments that take advantage of all views, not just the forward position.
Lighting can be a special challenge in 360 videos, because you can’t easily hide the lighting behind the camera. This often leads to shoots taking place in well-lit places to get around the challenges.
Adapt to Angles
Don’t be afraid to experiment; use bold angles and multiple entry points. Remember that your target viewers have different levels of familiarity with VR.
Acceleration of camera movement is a footage shooting technique that can add in the excitement to any VR video. Again, avoid overdoing the acceleration time and speed limit. Do it carefully!
If you have multiple videos, provide clear instructions, hints, and choices for navigation. Your VR videos should look great on every device, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, headset, or a smartphone. But menus can be a challenge to get working smoothly, so pay extra attention to a clear user interface.
Just imagine – you spent a lot of time and put your best effort to capture incredible shoots? Now, what if you reach home only to realize you’ve missed an important shoot. To avoid this from happening, shoot more than you require. Later, edit down to the material you want in your video.
Label SD Cards
For organization purpose, label each of your SD cards properly. We bet you will thank yourself and us for this later.
Don’t Forget Coverage
Many novice 360 videographers overlook film coverage. They think the camera captures the full 360-degree landscape, which means they don’t need extra filming.
But experts recommend that you should re-shoot scenes with new camera placement. Do multiple takes, if possible. It helps with capturing audio and depth.
Do Additional 2D Standard Photography
You’ll capture some additional 2D media on a phone or a standard camera. You can use these videos or images to augment your VR experience with interactive hotspots. You may also use this content in the app icon and splash image/video.
Organizing Your 360° VR Videos
You might want to adjust the video length and remove unnecessary footage. Make all required edits to ensure that the final content is truly immersive and engaging.
When you export files from your camera, give an informational name to each file so that these are easily recognizable later.
What Are The Most Important Components of an Excellent VR Video?
Now that we’ve covered the technical requirements, what’s the difference between a good and great VR video? A great VR video must have the following key components:
Delight exists at the core of VR content. Incorporate surprise into your content when possible.
An ideal example would be: create a scene where you are walking in a large semi-dark warehouse when the light switch is turned on. The simple act of turning on a light switch something all of experience each day, and doesn’t require magical special effects, yet can provide a delightful moment of revelation as they take in their surroundings.
Give your viewers an exhilarating experience!
Meaningful interactions give the user the feeling they aren’t stuck in a video. They can, and should, have ways to influence their journey.
Interactions can be small, like what product they’d like to learn about. Or they can be quite large, like an interactive story with branching paths. The key is to make these interactions matter, so the user feels like they’re in control.
Let your viewers come close to the objects, people, or scenery in your VR videos. Engage their senses by mentioning the wind or the smell. Use audio to make the visuals richer. Play up the multiple senses available and the viewer will fill in the gaps to build something more powerful than a 2D video.
These mind games are fun. Experts recommend using stereoscopic technology, though you can achieve the same effect with monoscopic technology as well.
What Is The Future of VR?
The technology presents excellent opportunities for brands and videographers to create breathtaking VR content. The majority of top players in every industry, including automotive, healthcare, retail, tourism, are leveraging this exciting technology and reaping its benefits. As we shared in our 2019 360 Video Trends report, the technology is ready for smart, proactive brands to bring their passion to the table to amaze and delight customers in fresh ways.
So, we can say the future of VR is truly bright!
Curious About Using VR and AR Technology In Your Business?
Many firms might wonder about the value of augmented reality or virtual reality for their audience. AR and VR aren’t a good fit for every business. Yet, we remember when this same conversation happened about mobile apps and responsive websites. Technology changes quickly, and those who aren’t constantly adapting to new market conditions can quickly lose ground.
Revolutionize your sales and marketing with world-class VR customer engagement experiences. Schedule a brainstorming session with our virtual reality and augmented reality experts to craft a plan to out innovate the competition.