MAKING IT MEANINGFUL
FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR VR EXPERIENCES MORE IMMERSIVE AND ENJOYABLE
1 Write a story
Strong storytelling is vital for meaningful VR. Even if your project is essentially a product demo, try to craft a narrative for the user journey. Tease viewers towards the action with visual or audio cues. If the piece is interactive, build a discovery phase into the story so that VR newbies can learn how to navigate.
2 Integrate to accumulate
Don’t think of a VR project as an isolated piece – develop a narrative so it echoes or expands on existing marketing campaigns or brand stories. The best VR gives the user access to something they would never normally see or feel, so think about aspects of the brand that are truly inspiring.
3 Make the viewer forget
A gripping story or lots of interaction can help viewers forget they are in virtual reality. One-on-one experiences tend to have the most impact – just make sure your subject isn’t too close to the camera. CGI can often be more ‘real’ feeling than live action as disbelief is already suspended – just avoid uncanny valley with a strong animation aesthetic, or by sticking soley to non-human characters.
4 Plan, test, fix
Storyboard every shot, examining all the possible outcomes. Choreograph scenes to avoid awkward stitching, for example, if you’re using several cameras, it’s important that characters don’t appear in two places. Spend time mending 360° environments in Nuke or Mistika to avoid painful experiences and work iteratively, testing all the time as you go.
5 Keep it simple
VR is generally 10 times more intense than other media, so slow and steady experiences are the most pleasurable to watch. Keep camera moves slow or static, and avoid pans, horizon pitch and vertical oscillation. Don’t overfill the 360° field – the viewer will feel frustrated that they’ve missed the action.