Creative use of technology is integral to our approach to storytelling, transforming spaces and transporting audiences to create memorable experiences. Our recent exploration of new tools to push forward from pre-rendered animations to generating motion graphics and VFX in real-time, allows a more responsive and collaborative approach, affords demonstrable efficiencies in workflow and expands services to achieve innovative solutions for clients.
We are expanding our offering by combining emerging technologies: AR, real-time 3D web (Web GL), photogrammetry and volumetric video (VV), finding new ways of communicating and connecting to audiences digitally. This drives efficiency in workflow and augments places and bodies in real-time, expanding performance production and changing the way people connect, engage and consume culture, heritage and performance.
Our first commission utilising these new services is an online interactive experience titled Intermission; we have captured 3D models of the publicly inaccessible interior spaces of Bristol Beacon using the photogrammetry technique, capturing thousands of photographs which results in a textured 3D model. Musicians are captured in VV and superimposed into the venue. The experience is like an interactive music video that also gives audiences remote access to the building in its state of change.
The tool demonstrates creativity and originality through combining and repurposing technologies in a unique way to push the boundaries of expanded performance. Photogrammetry is a technique used in architecture and games industries to create virtual spaces occupied by real world objects. VV is a new technology that has mostly been used for extremely short form content due to its complexity. Our prototype project has involved capturing 40 minutes of footage, therefore a huge leap in the way the technology is normally used, as well as working with the VV software developers to implement the functionality we require. The online experience is being developed using Notch, supporting a real-time workflow and allowing greater flexibility in the production process. Notch accommodates live-performance playback therefore the prototype could be iterated to explore live editing, FX and interaction across different platforms such as VR, online (WebGL) or in a public setting such as large-scale projection displays.
Cultural, heritage and tourism sectors have suffered during the pandemic and the acceleration of digital culture consumption demands innovative hybrid cultural offerings to keep venues relevant to their audiences. This service enables venues to expand their reach to digital (including international) audiences and extend their programme to delivering venue specific digital experiences; promoting a more accessible, clean and inclusive way to learn and connect with a venue. It solves the problem of passive digital engagement by using Web GL browser technology to give audiences interactive autonomy, without the burden of costly hardware or downloading applications.
The interplay of the technologies with human performers is key to creating the most expressive synergy possible. We’re extremely excited about the potential of developing a new platform which can integrate multiple layers of technology - both inputs and outputs - seamlessly into live performance. This has the potential to revolutionise our workflow, the services we can offer to commercial clients, and to enrich the creative performance sector in the UK and worldwide.
As a commissioned service by Bristol Beacon, it shows an appetite of venues, therefore we are seeking funding to iterate this tool. This is an exciting moment of growth for the company, as part of our strategy we have just hired a Business Development Manager this month to prepare a plan to roll out this service and connect with new partners.
This prototype began as a project with the venue to develop an online experience for remote audiences to ‘access’ the venue, during its refurbishment and the pandemic to enhance multi-generational audience engagement, through historical development of the building and the new digital experience. It is due to launch in September 2021.
This tool has the future potential to be used to expand the nature of performance through combining technologies in an innovative way to extend human narratives. Firstly, by expanding artistic performance capabilities by capturing, digitally manipulating and augmenting organic human movement. Secondly, in it’s real-time workflow efficiency, supporting directors and artists to interact for a more immediate and authentic collaboration. It has the potential to be utilised across public venues, deeply rooting their growing digital offering into their venues identity.
This award would be hugely beneficial to boosting our growth, enable us to shift from short term to longer lasting projects with deeper impact and legacy and give us the opportunity to be recognised as a leading UK CreaTech company on the world stage.