Interactive Storytelling for 360° Cinematic VR
Mirjam Vosmeer and Monique van Reijen
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
After Facebook paid 2 billion dollar to take over the company Oculus VR in March 2014, the head-mounted display named Oculus Rift became world famous practically overnight. By the end of 2017, there is hardly a technology festival, ICT conference or communication symposium left in the world that does not offer a range of demo sessions on the wonders of virtual reality. However, while the technology races ahead and VR companies are being overflown with requests to create ‘immersive’ VR experiences for all kinds of commercial or serious purposes, the real knowledge on how to produce VR content is developing at a somewhat slower pace. Especially the kind of VR experience that is referred to as cinematic VR or surround video, in which the VR world is not computer-generated but filmed in a real life environment, poses all kinds of intriguing questions that VR developers all over the world are just starting to unravel. Not only does the production of a movie like that involve problems with for instance set dressing, lighting and directing of the actors, also scriptwriters, editors and sound designers are facing new challenges that are inherent to the medium.
An interesting new tool that cinematic VR offers is user interaction, allowing the viewer to interact with the movie by looking in a certain direction, triggering a so-called hot-spot. When further exploring the possibilities this technological affordance may imply for the field of interactive storytelling, it is important to constantly keep track of the ways in which the interaction, the narrative and the user experience affect each other.
In this half day workshop, that is closely connected to the Multimedia Storytelling theme of the main conference, we will first present a short overview of our previous studies into content creation and storytelling for 360°, and explain the challenges and possibilities that we came across. Next, we will discuss the attendants’ own earlier experiences with 360°, video content, and invite them to reflect on the narrative aspects that they have encountered there. We will talk about the new type of engagement between the viewer, the movie, the story and the characters within that story. In the third part of the workshop, attendants will be asked to think of possible settings in which a 360° narrative could be placed, taking into account the production boundaries that were discussed earlier. We will discuss the settings, think of story concepts that might be written for these particular settings, practice with and analyze other concepts. In the last exercise, we will ask the workshop participants to come up with alternative scenes that would have fit in one of our previous interactive VR projects. By discussing these solutions afterwards, we will point out and discuss a range of possibilities and challenges that are typical for interactive cinematic VR.
Note that in this workshop the focus will be on developing and analyzing concepts and narratives, rather than on dealing with technical issues that are typical for cinematic VR.
CALL FOR WORKSHOP PAPERS
Please send in a short description of your own experiences with VR, either as a user or producer.
Deadline for submission of workshop papers: Juli 19, 2017
Deadline of acceptance notification of workshop papers: August 10, 2017
Camera-ready submission of accepted workshop papers: August 20, 2017
1. Vosmeer, M. and Schouten, B. Interactive Cinema: Engagement and Interaction. In: Mitchell, A., Fernandez-Vara, C., Thue, D. (eds.) ICIDS 2014. LNCS, vol. 8832, pp 140-147. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)
2. Vosmeer, M., Roth, C. and Schouten, B. Interaction in Surround Video: The Effect of Auditory Feedback on Enjoyment. In: Schoenau-Fog, H., Bruni, L.E., Louchart, S., Baceviciute, S. (eds.) ICIDS 2015. LNCS, vol. 9445, pp 202-210. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)
3. Vosmeer, M. and Schouten, B. Project Orpheus. A Research Study into 360°Cinematic VR. Presented at TVX'17, June 14-16, Hilversum, Netherlands. (2017)