In this paper, we investigate three forms of virtual reality (VR) content production and consumption. Namely, pre-rendered 360 stereoscopic video, full real-time rendered 3D scenes, and the combination of a real-time rendered 3D environment with a pre-rendered video billboard used to present the central elements of the scene. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these content formats and describe the production of a piece of VR cinematic content for the three formats. The cinematic segment presented the interaction between two actors, which the VR user could watch from the virtual room next-door, separated from the action by a one-way mirror. To compare the three content formats, we carried out an experiment with 24 participants. In the experiment, we evaluated the quality of experience, including presence, simulation sickness and the participants’ assessment of content quality, for each of the three versions of the cinematic segment. We found that, in the context of our cinematic segment, combining video and 3D content produced the best experience. We discuss our results, including their limitations and the potential applications.
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