This is an explanation about how to use the Parallel Videos feature the best way, if you want to skip over to creating your parallel node, you can head to Use Parallel Videos.
The types of experiences the Parallel Channels feature can enrich is ever-growing:
- Simultaneous events/Different PoVs
- Camera angles
- Viewer controlled visual effects
- Simulate live-event camera switching – use footage from different cameras to allow your viewer to watch a sports event, a music concert, or even a conference from different angles simultaneously.
- Multiple realities – Let your viewer jump between parallel worlds live and distinguish each second in the two realities. It’s especially fun to wonder if those realities ever accidentally fit.
- Parted ways – A chance meeting, or event, might cause two (or more!) characters to stray from their course. Your viewer can continue following more than one of them to watch what happens next.
The Parallel Videos feature is great, and we can’t wait to see what you can create with it. Just keep in mind you don’t need to be afraid to leave out exciting moments from some of the channels – appeal to the viewer’s sense of missed opportunities and make sure they watch the video again to discover another different possibility.
Because each parallel node can contain between two and five different channels, it’s important to make the parallel node long enough to allow the viewer to register all the different channels.
When deciding on a length for the parallel node you should take into question:
- The time it takes the viewer to understand the switching buttons
- How different the channels are
- How long you expect the viewer to stay on each channel
- The amount of channels in your parallel node
In certain types of interactive video you might even want the parallel switching experience to continue throughout the whole video. If your tree contains just one parallel node, take extra care to preview your tree and see if your switching buttons and the possibility of other channels continue to engage the viewer as the video progresses.
The parallel node creates a different, new experience for your viewer. If before they explored the narrative by making simple this-or-that choices, now they are able to explore the difference between the available channels and see how they relate to each other. This live back-and-forth level of control creates a whole new set of interactive possibilities and a heightened level of engagement.
There are two types of interface interaction you can make:
- Channel Specific Buttons – Assign a button for each specific channel to allow the viewer to follow a person or situation. This becomes very valuable when the emotional connection to the character and its fate is what drives the viewer’s choices ; or
- Switch Channel Buttons – use the Previous Channel / Next Channel buttons to create an ever changing sense of discovery and curiosity. Use this option to cultivate a sense of curiosity and excitement in your viewers.
Because the parallel switching buttons often appear for a longer period time, to allow the viewer to switch between the different channel and get the most of the feature, it is important to make sure they appear as a cohesive part of the interactive video.
Design and place your buttons in the parallel node in a way that will appear to the viewer as clickable and not just static graphic images, while making sure they complement the video in all of the channels. Remember that the placement of the channel switching buttons is constant throughout the parallel node, so it’s crucial you take the elements’ location into consideration on each and every channel from beginning to end.