Effective Use of Immersive 360-degree Video for Storytelling

Kris Tong | Richard Li | Rob Lindeman

2018 – 2020

The use of 360-degree video for storytelling has been increasing over the past few years. However, key challenges, such as how to guide viewer attention without limiting free exploration, and reduce the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) issue, have also emerged.

In this project, we propose Action Units (AU) as a new method of viewer attention guidance, in the form of a set of directorial cues used by 360-degree video content creators when telling immersive stories. The AU aims to address the narrative paradox and FOMO issues, and also remove the requirement of post-processing work usually posed by other attention-guidance techniques. The AU makes use of the social cues from the storyteller as guidance cues, including head, arm, and eye movements during the narrative, instead of artificial add-ons.


We are also conducting field studies with Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs) and user study with students and other participants to compare the effects of AU with other commonly-used guidance techniques, to access its effects on engagement, enjoyment, memory, viewer behavior for searching and attention, and cybersickness.