We love VR and we are not alone. There are many and many more examples of great 360o videos and VR apps that shows the possibilities of VR. And keep in mind that we are only at the dawn of VR as a medium big names are embracing VR to the fullest. Like YouTube who has it’s own 360º spotlight section or look at a selection of 360º video’s on my playlists. And also Vimeo is stepping into 360º
VR is called the ultimate empathy machine to step in someone’s footsteps and undergo an other person’s point of view.
I’ve been immersed since 2014 and here are 5+1 tips to make your VR experiences more engaging.
1 VR is a spatial medium so please treat it this way
We believe VR is more than just playing 360º content. What’s the use of putting someone in an environment and tell them where to go? Always be aware that people can look around from the camera point of view. Make sure to place the camera in the middle of the scene or on person perspective.
Especially with sports events, a 360º video from the sideline doesn’t make sense.
So put a 360º camera on a helmet of a referee or player, on stage or in the middle of the action. Or use multiple cameras and create a 360º 3D experience.
On our Vr platform it’s easy to add interaction and people can wander around, discover new insights and stimulate their curiosity (without killing the cat).
We have some great examples on our VR platform VRapp.co:
- Visit a Breughel painting (you don’t need video to create a great experience)
- Get a tour through the Dutch Greenhouses
- Step into nature
- Look around Hilton Hotel Schiphol
- Or look at many more examples here.
Our POIs come in 4 flavours o you can create different storylines, based on the behaviour and choices of the visitor. Just choose the POI you want in our editor.
As people can navigate in VR, it’s important to tell where people are going, when activating a hyperlink. In this way people won’t get lost. Avoid placing POIs in close proximity to each other. POIs work best if they are sufficiently far apart from each other. If multiple hotspots are placed near each other, the user could accidentally click on the wrong button. Also remember to add a link, so people can step back.
Also remember to add a link back from the destination, so people can step back.
2 Change perspective is like becoming an ant or giant
Always remember that your visitors are looking at the world from the camera’s perspective. So if you put the camera on the ground or in a small compartment, your visitors will virtually shrink and can look inside a washing machine.
Or you can become a giant instantly.
Or take a, balloon or drone and let people fly above a scenery. It’s great to get a bird’s eye perspective.
So you need a camera that fits your need.
- Compact camera’s like the Ricoh Theta S, Gear 360 or Nikon Keymission are great for mounting on helmets or live streaming.
- The Insta360 Pro, Panono or Z cam S1 combine compact size with high resolution footage.
- And GoPro 360 rigs or the Nokia Ozo let you shoot the highest quality images if you are a pro.
3 Use Images or animated Gif for closeups and details
VR is great to show a room or environment. Be sure to use a tripod to get the best stable position. If you want to highlight certain areas or parts, you can add images or GIFs to accentuate those. VRapp.co allows you to place images with a max size of 360x180px. You can even add an animated GIF to give some instructions. And in this way, your 2D content can be useful in VR.
Use these example code to add images to a POI. Make sure you add <empty> to the Title, so your image is displayed at the fullest. <img style=”max-height:none” src=”https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/publicvrappco/content/public/photos/poi_images/loo-buiten.jpg” width=100%>
You can even use the Link type POI to add the Go button.
Giphy is a great service to turn (short) video’s into GIF’s. Use the embed code (responsive off) and size 360×180 px to add an animated GIF. Example code: <iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/P6JYYMJ6gfWRW” width=”480″ height=”270″ frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe>
4 Add sound
Instead of just using a background sound, you can place audio fragments on designated places to guide your audience. The holy grail of using sound in VR is spatial sound. In this case, the user is surrounded by virtual loudspeakers, which play a sound according to the point of view.
Source: Google Spatial Audio
You can add a background sound with <audio autoplay=”true” src=”http://vrmaster.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/590331main_ringtone_smallStep-1.mp3″ type=”audio/mp3″></audio> (add loop if you like). As autoplay is disabled on mobile browsers, we have added a play button, so people can control the sound effects in a VR bubble. Using this option, adding instructions and extra information is very easy.
5 Embed web content
Embedding web content to an environment enhances the experience. Imagine you can look at a virtual screen and look at a presentation, poll or weather report. Our hotspots allow HTML code so you simply copy and paste an iframe code into the description and the source will show in the POIs. Be sure to use the maximum dimension of 360x180px to get the best result.
We have tested the following services:
- Google presentation. Make sure the presentation is embedded with autoplay on. Go to File – Publish on the web – Embed and select autoplay.
- Google spreadsheets. The content in the iFrame doesn’t scale, so keep in mind that the original diagram has a 360x180px size.
- Weather report e.g. https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/widgets?ID=IEINDHOV68
- Clock via Zeitverschiebung.com with tweaked embed code <div><iframe src=”https://www.zeitverschiebung.net/clock-widget-iframe-v2?language=en&timezone=Europe%2FAmsterdam” width=”100%” height=”150″ seamless=””></iframe> <small style=”color: gray;”> </small></div>
5+1 Show video as a virtual screen
Video is a great way to engage with your audience and in many cases normal framed video’s work well. So we found out a way to embed videos in VR. BUT as all mobile browsers don’t allow autoplay, this feature works only on a desktop for now.
Youtube and other video platforms provide iframe code so you can alter this to make it VR perfect:
- On Youtube simple add ?autoplay=1 and change the size of the embed code. <iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JW5meKfy3fY?autoplay=1″ width=”360″ height=”200″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>. As YouTube doesn’t allow a smaller size then 200px, us this instead of 180.
- Same with vimeo: <iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/211630694?autoplay=1&title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”360″ height=”203″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
- Or create your self-hosted video player with <video autoplay loop> <source src=”http://vrmaster.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/test.mp4″ > </video>
So now it’s up to you to tell your interactive stories and we will help you to create and publish them. With our POI editor you can add Points of Interests (POIs) aka hotspots wherever you want. You can publish your immersive stories instantly on the web with our publication platform and editor VRapp.co.
You can get your VRee account on VRapp.co