Exploring the impact of 360° movie cuts in users’ attention

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PubDate: May 2020

Teams: Universidad de Zaragoza

Writers: Carlos Marañes; Diego Gutierrez; Ana Serrano

PDF: Exploring the impact of 360° movie cuts in users’ attention


Virtual Reality (VR) has grown since the first devices for personal use became available on the market. However, the production of cinematographic content in this new medium is still in an early exploratory phase. The main reason is that cinematographic language in VR is still under development, and we still need to learn how to tell stories effectively. A key element in traditional film editing is the use of different cutting techniques, in order to transition seamlessly from one sequence to another. A fundamental aspect of these techniques is the placement and control over the camera. However, VR content creators do not have full control of the camera. Instead, users in VR can freely explore the 360° of the scene around them, which potentially leads to very different experiences. While this is desirable in certain applications such as VR games, it may hinder the experience in narrative VR. In this work, we perform a systematic analysis of users’ viewing behavior across cut boundaries while watching professionally edited, narrative 360° videos. We extend previous metrics for quantifying user behavior in order to support more complex and realistic footage, and we introduce two new metrics that allow us to measure users’ exploration in a variety of different complex scenarios. From this analysis, (i) we confirm that previous insights derived for simple content hold for professionally edited content, and (ii) we derive new insights that could potentially influence VR content creation, informing creators about the impact of different cuts in the audience’s behavior.