360 Degree Experiences

360º video allows the viewer to momentarily enter another space in the real world. At its simplest, it is akin to standing in a spot the creator chose and watching a scene unfold in all directions. The author can direct the viewer’s experience by adding additional guidance like text prompts, cuts to new scenes, voiceover narration, audio queues and more. At its most sophisticated, a 360º video could employ question prompts and a logic tree to trigger a series of differing videos, mimicking a choose your own adventure story.


Level of Guidance

The Level of Guidance indicates how much the creator has imbued the video with a sense of at what the viewer should be looking.

A Level 1 video would mean that the camera has been left in place while life happens around it, allowing you, as the viewer, to simply observe. In the example provided (Click Here to View), we are in the middle of the basilica while the band plays and remain there the entire time. No supporting material is include in terms of graphics, animations, narrations, sound effects, etc.

A Level 2 video might incorporate subtle visual, textual or audible hints or simple transitions. In the example provided (Click Here to View), the authors take us to multiple locations and also uses on screen text to emphasize the narration.

A Level 3 video would rely on a handful of hints and transitions. In the example provided (Click Here to View), the narration very clearly guides the viewer and transitions from scene to scene supports this guidance.

A Level 4 video would employ multiple hints and dialogue. In the example provided (Click Here to View), the authors leverage collages, map imagery and other visual enhancements as well as audio field recordings in addition to narration to guide the experience.

A Level 5 video would rely on all of the above as well as a narrative arc that pushes the viewer forward. In the example provided (Click Here to View), the authors leverages fading out the surrounding context to force the viewer to focus on specific aspects of a scene throughout.

Another way of looking at this would be how much production went into the video if you are considering making one of your own like it.

Creation Process

If you are interested in creating 360 degree content of your own, this is what you would need to make it possible.

  1. access to a location or event to be documented in 360º video
  2. 360º video camera, monopod or tripod and additional gear, as needed
  3. editing software (Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut)
  4. cardboard or standalone headset for viewing during editing
  5. an account on a 360º friendly publishing platform (YouTube, Kaltura)


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