Virtual reality is a concept that was first invented way back in 1968. Since then, technology has evolved rapidly, and we now find ourselves in an era where even entire video games can be played on virtual reality. With the VR industry’s future looking bright, it’s no surprise that media companies and groups are all scrambling to take their place on the market.
But VR, while an exciting new form of media, is also incredibly difficult to produce, and since it isn’t the most accessible form of media in the world, it’s also incredibly niche. Even if VR may become the norm in a decade or so, it’s currently difficult for companies to take their shot at VR without some form of risk.
That’s where we come in – we’ve got some of the best tips and suggestions for you and your company to be able to produce stunning VR content that’s stunning and relevant.
1. Plan, Plan, and Plan
It goes without saying that planning is vital in just about any project. This is especially true for VR projects, as the process isn’t as streamlined as making a movie or producing a song. When engaging in a VR project, it’s first important to line up your goals and deadlines beforehand. In particular, you should begin to figure out what skill sets you need for the project. Not a lot of people are experts at VR, and if you’re going for something ambitious, you’ll need someone with even more experience than usual.
2. Understand the Appeal of VR
When working on a VR project, try to understand what makes it so different from conventional media. Just filming a movie and playing it in a VR headset won’t do much, and won’t make use of the capabilities of VR. What really attracts consumers to VR is the immersive, 3D experience that makes it feel like they’re in a separate reality altogether.
So if you’re making a VR demo for a certain product, for example, try incorporating elements that really solidify the idea that the viewer is in virtual reality. Have objects move around the viewer, and add visual effects that further immerse them into the world you created. Be creative the world is literally your playground, and you have the freedom to express and amaze the viewer.
3. Try Incorporating More Than Just Sight
While VR technology is primarily sight-based at the moment, there are other ways to immerse the viewer in your VR project. There are specialized controllers that allow viewers to “physically” interact with the virtual world, which you can make use of. For example, you can allow viewers to break down and disassemble an object so they can see its inner mechanisms and systems.
And it doesn’t stop there. Another way to further immerse the viewer is by making use of their other senses. The most common way to do this is through a stereo or surround sound – 3D sound can add even more perspective to where they are in the virtual world. A less common, but just as effective method is through making use of one’s sense of smell. If they’re running through a flowerbed, for example, you can use devices to emit a flowery fragrance at just the right time (or just manually do it yourself). This works especially well if they’re interacting with objects that are associated with strong scents, such as food.
4. Know What Type Of Content You Should Specialize In
Since VR is difficult to produce, to begin with, you should begin deciding what type of content you should specialize in. It’s not as simple as making different genres of film or music -producing different types of VR content requires different processes and different skill sets, and unless you have the resources and time to do so, it’ll prove to be incredibly challenging.
A common type of VR content is product demos – clients approach you with their product, and you create a VR experience with the product. It allows potential customers to interact with the product even in its conceptual phase. VR also allows viewers to witness the product “in action” in the virtual world.
Another type of content that’s on the rise right now is VR-based media. VR-based media isn’t a new concept – there are thousands, if not millions, of YouTube videos that can be watched with a virtual headset. Viewers can watch their favourite content creators and vloggers as if they were right beside them.
An alternative to VR videos would be VR-based video games, which have been incredibly popular these past few years. Plenty of people enjoy video games for its immersive factor, and with VR technology, gamers can finally experience playing in worlds they once saw on a screen. And with VR technology becoming cheaper by the year, it’s only a matter of time before VR gaming becomes commonplace.
5. Understand the Different Types of VR Platforms
Just as smartphones have different operating systems, so too does VR technology have different platforms. Knowing what platform to specialize in can make or break your success as a VR production group, so be sure to decide carefully.
If you want to go for accessibility, Oculus is a great start. Their products have been at the forefront of VR in the past decade, and are one of the most accessible ways for people to enjoy VR. If you want to specialize in full immersion, then the HTC Vive is a great choice, too. Alternatively, if you plan on creating VR content for gaming consoles, then you should consider PlayStation VR.
VR technology is still relatively new, but it’s already taking the world by storm. There’s no better time than ever to start producing VR content, and with these tips, your journey should be a little smoother.