Future is now! 360-degree and VR videos
Standard filmmaking terms and techniques such as angle, lighting, establishing shot, subject focus, and rack focus need a major update when we are talking about 360-degree videos. In fact, many of these terms and techniques need to be questioned and reformulated or they are at risk of becoming outdated.
360-degree videos are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time. During playback on a flat display, the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama. 360-degree videos can also be played on cylindric or spheric displays or projectors.
There are two types of 360-degree videos – monoscopic and stereoscopic.
Monoscopic videos are 2D renderings of real 360 degree shots. That means you can see surroundings, but still, there is no feeling of the 3D world (for example, Google’s Street View).
Stereoscopic videos, however, can be watched in VR headset and here you fully experience the 3D world with all of its characteristics.
There are 3 technical layers that must fit perfectly when it comes to creating a 360-degree video:
Panoramic view and movement are important as a foundation point, but it’s the motion that can create exciting and engaging material, giving life and progress to the story.
As 360-degree videos, VR/AR technologies are one of the most popular things these days. There are many great apps that allow you to watch 360-degree videos with your VR headset. LittlStar, Within, Vimeo, Fulldive VR are just some of them.
VR is the best way to watch 360-degree videos. This kind of technology is still developing, so it requires quite expensive equipment. Fortunately, there are ways to affordably access it using Google Cardboard or VR mobile adapters.
Virtual Reality (VR) is technology that is creating the environment where the users are placed inside the experience. VR changes the traditional screen viewing and moves the scenes directly in front of the user. Here we can feel the surroundings and interact with the 3D world. To achieve the best results, as many senses as possible – such as touch, smell, hearing or vision – should be simulated.
360-degrees video and VR reality are terms often mentioned together, so people usually mix them or even think that they are one and the same thing.
I will mention some differences between these two terms:
Virtual reality videos are the videos where users could become the part of the virtual world and are used mostly for video games. When we are talking about the 360-degree videos, on the other hand, we can see that they are recorded with special cameras which have the same depth as the human eye; so, one of the basic differences is – perception.
VR gets the inspiration from video games where users can use the virtual environment as they like. However, in 360-degree videos users can only see what the video makers want to show.
Timeline and story
A filmmaker cannot control the timeline of the 360-degree video as in the recording of a real environment. Still, if he chooses to make an interactive film, then a viewer could choose his own story. In the case of VR, a user always creates his own story and its timeline. In the VR videos, users are experiencing the story that is happening to them while in 360-degree videos viewer has an experience of the story which is happening around them.
There is no other way to experience VR if you do not have the virtual reality headsets which can be connected to the PC or mobile devices. For the 360-degree videos you do not need any kind of special equipment, you just need an appropriate application.
In 360-degree videos, we have actions in the environment with real characters, while the virtual reality is using the digital environment.
Essentially, 360-degree video and VR will continue to evolve and improve every day a bit.
The equipment becomes cheaper and appeal of these videos will be used in all industry as soon as the higher number of users can afford this kind of experience.