A 360° Look at 360° Video
Feb 8, 2017
There are a lot – and I mean a lot – of differing opinions about 360° video, especially when it comes to its place in marketing.
Recently, an article was published on Content Marketing Institute called “How Virtual Reality Could Change Content Marketing.” Interested in the topic, especially as Centerline starts to develop our own 360° and virtual offerings for clients, I gave it a read.
I am by no means an expert on this stuff – far from it. Because of my lack of expertise, I decided to consult a few Centerline experts for their take.
Jesse Stormer, immersive experience designer, is Centerline’s go-to guy when it comes to all things 360°/VR/AR. If you ever hear about something you think is cool and brand-new in the tech space, chances are Stormer knew about it months ago. As director of interactive here at Centerline, Dante Passera, has his finger on the pulse of all the up and coming interactive trends.
“We’re still in the ‘Wild West’ phase of immersive technology. There are no handbooks, but we’ve been working with this technology for a while now at Centerline – we have a baseline understanding of what works, what we can do, what we’re capable of,” said Stormer. “That being said, nobody has been working with this technology long enough to have cemented best practices yet; there’s still quite a bit of trial and error to be done, content to be created and analyzed – as an industry of creators – so that we can learn from what works and what doesn’t.”
I asked them to read CMI’s article, wanting to see what they agreed and disagreed with.
“They seem to think that the stitching process of the footage is massively time consuming, and I don’t agree with that,” said Stormer. “When compared to the standard post-production work that we do already with any sort of footage, it wouldn’t be that different.”
“Maybe they’re comparing bargain basement DIY video production to fully produced 360° video, in which case sure, maybe,” said Passera. “But any video production done to a level of quality – they would have time to consider and plan the shoot in advance, including the post-production work, and it wouldn’t be any different for a 360° video.”
Intrigued, I asked if there was anything else they took issue with.
“I think it’s important to reduce fear and the barrier to entry for clients when it comes to 360° video and virtual and augmented reality – it’s just different optics, it’s just video that gets distorted a little differently,” Stormer said. “Pricepoint is also a misconception – there’s this idea that to get a 360° video, you’re going to have to spend $200k. That’s not the case – there are tools and equipment out there that can get the job done within a reasonable budget.
“At this point in the progression of the medium, I think resolution and footage quality is one of the least of our concerns. 360° video breaks a lot of tried and true cinematography rules of thumb – a lot of things that used to work suddenly don’t work anymore. There’s a lot of experimentation going on in order to tell a story. For example, how do you make sure your viewer is facing the right direction when you want them to? Suddenly ‘leading the viewer’s eye’ is a substantially more daunting task – you want people to explore, but at the same time you don’t want them to miss important information.”
We’ve said it before – virtual reality is here to stay. While that might be scary for some, it’s also a time to embrace the new technology and all that it can do.
Interested in learning more about 360° video or virtual / augmented reality? Check out some of our previous blogs on the subject, and look forward to more, as we kick off an upcoming series embracing immersive technology.