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Cinematic narration in VR - rethinking film conventions for 360 degrees

: Gödde, Michael; Gabler, Frank; Siegmund, Dirk; Braun, Andreas


Chen, Jessie Y.C. (Ed.):
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality. 10th International Conference, VAMR 2018. Pt.2: Applications in health, cultural heritage, and industry : Held as part of HCI International 2018, Las Vegas, NV, USA, July 15-20, 2018; Proceedings
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2018 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10910)
ISBN: 978-3-319-91583-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-91584-5 (Online)
International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VAMR) <10, 2018, Las Vegas/Nev.>
International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI International) <20, 2018, Las Vegas/Nev.>
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Guiding Theme: Smart City; Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI); Virtual reality (VR); storytelling

The rapid development of VR technology in the past three years allowed artists, filmmakers and other media producers to create great experiences in this new medium. But filmmakers are, however, facing big challenges, when it comes to cinematic narration in VR. The old, established rules of filmmaking do not apply for VR films and important techniques of cinematography and editing must be completely rethought. Possibly, a new filmic language will be found. But even though filmmakers eagerly experiment with the new medium already, there exist relatively few scientific studies about the differences between classical filmmaking and filmmaking in 360 and VR. We therefore present this study on cinematic narration in VR. In this we give a comprehensive overview of techniques and concepts that are applied in current VR films and games. We place previous research on narration, film, games and human perception into the context of VR experiences and we deduce consequences for cinematic narration in VR. We base our assumptions on a conducted empirical test with 50 participants and on an additional online survey. In the empirical study, we selected 360-degree videos and showed them to a test-group, while the viewer’s behavior and attention was observed and documented. As a result of this paper, we present guidelines which suggest methods of guiding the viewers’ attention as well as approaches to cinematography, staging and editing in VR.