360 Storyboarding - how does that even...?

I was at Mozfest yesterday attending an interesting seminar given by the inimitable @tincho_for_ever on VR storytelling. We were given the task of storyboarding an idea when someone asked “How can you storyboard a 360 shot?”.

If you’re not familiar with storyboards, they are sketches of the scenes which indicate any key motion, audio queues etc, such as …

Starwars Storyboard

You can see where the frame has been drawn into the storyboard image where more information was required, but typically the frame is the frame of the camera, so what do you do when the frame is everything?

360 video is in essence a very wide screen frame wrapped around a sphere where you are at the center, which unwrapped comes out like …

Video Still

When you view the video on your phone or VR device you are seeing a 16:9 ‘window’ of the inside of the sphere, which you move around to see the rest.

This clip once stitched comes out at a resolution of 1920x960px which makes it a 2:1 ratio.

I made a storyboard template based on this 2:1 ratio that encompasss 360 degrees. Notice the 90 degree graduations on the bottom of the frame, these can help to position your storyboard features accurately in this 360 world.

The box in the middle is 16:9 and approximately the same as the visible window on YouTube.

360 template overlay

And here’s a screengrab of the clip on YouTube.

YouTube screenshot

You can see that the edging isn’t quite the same which is due to the fisheye effect that the 360 viewer on YouTube has but it’s still a handy guide to framing the action.

360 Storyboarding Template

Here’s the layout of the template on A4, you can fit three of them in. Click for the pdf.

360 template