Create VR Content
Are you interested in creating custom VR content for your marketing, advertising or training clients?
If you are, this page is for you.
At The Virtual Space we focus on manufacturing headsets and developing educational VR software. This means that although we do have the technical know-how to create custom VR content, generally we don’t sell this service.
There is a growing demand for custom VR content for marketing, advertising and training. VR as an industry is roughly doubling in size every year and looks set to continue this growth for at least another 5 years. There is an opportunity for content creators and agencies here.
Before you start with the creation of content for virtual reality, you need to know what is possible and practical.
From easy to difficult, VR content creation can be divided thus:
- 360° Panoramic tours
- 360° Video
- 3D game engine VR
This page is designed to give a broad overview so we will try not to get too bogged down in technicalities.
Two things must be considered. How to create the content and how to distribute the content to your audience.
If you want to use VR for marketing you need a way of showing it to your audience.
At this point, very few people own advanced VR hardware. This leaves two options, use the smartphones they already have or run an event where you supply VR systems to be shared among the guests.
Events and shared headsets are not practical due to Covid-19, so for marketing VR, phone based headsets are the only practical option right now.
Although it is possible to get 3D VR games developed for phone VR, it is not very practical. The time and cost involved are both extreme as this is custom software development at a high level of skill. Distribution to your audience is also tricky as it has to be done via the app stores, Google Play and the Apple App Store.
This leaves two practical options – 360° VR tours and VR video.
In order to create these types of content, you will need at minimum a 360° camera and a computer for working with the content you shoot. The cameras run from about ZAR3,000.00 upwards and any decent graphics capable computer should be enough to edit and prepare the content.
Free and paid versions of all needed software for working with this content are available.
Basically, you need a graphics editor like Photoshop (paid) or The GIMP (free) and if you’re working with video, you need a video editor like Adobe Premiere (paid) or Shotcut (free). You will also find 360° video plugins and extensions useful.
Distribution of this type of content is relatively easy.
- Panoramic VR tours can be published on kuula.co and viewed in a web browser on a phone. This can be opened directly from a link or QR code. No additional apps need be installed on the phone. This is the most accessible and easiest way to distribute custom smartphone VR content to your audience.
- 360° VR videos can be published on YouTube which supports VR and is available on most phones.
- VR videos can also be published on Vimeo which provides better quality and *no ads* but has to be installed on the phone by the user. This is an extra complication when planning your campaign.
Most phones have suitable web browsers and YouTube installed.
Not all phones are VR capable BUT even if the phone can’t run VR, the content can still be viewed in “magic window” mode. This means they can look around by swiping their finger across the screen instead of looking around inside a headset.
To be VR capable the phone must have a gyro sensor. All iPhones have these but not all Android phones do.
VR tours and videos are by nature 3 degrees of freedom. Users can look around but they can’t move around in the scene. They can move from scene to scene but this is not the same as moving around in the same scene.
This makes this type of content well suited to smartphone VR. Smartphone VR is a 3 degrees of freedom technology.
VR tours and videos are great for when you would like to give your audience a taste of an actual experience. Game reserves, hotels, real estate, factories, mines, outer space, underwater in fact anywhere that availability, distance or security restrictions make it difficult for people to physically go there.
The big advantage that VR has over other media such as video is the sense of presence. Every type of VR makes you feel that you are actually there in a way that video and other media can’t match. This makes it ideal for producing a memorable experience for your audience.
Some important terms:
- Monoscopic – presents the same view to both eyes. Easy to work with but less immersive than stereoscopic. Cameras are inexpensive. e.g. https://www.insta360.com/product/insta360-air
- Stereoscopic – presents a slightly different view to each eye creating a sense of 3D depth. Immersive but more complicated to work with. Cameras are expensive and the skills and software required are considerably more demanding than they are for monoscopic media. e.g. https://www.insta360.com/product/insta360-pro2/
- Degrees Of Freedom (DOF) – How your head and hand movements are tracked so the system knows what to show you. 3 degrees of freedom (3DOF) only tracks rotation. 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracks both rotation and movement in space. More details can be seen at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_freedom