I have met with my film maker/scriptwriter friend and talked through what I have in mind. He is now on holiday and considering what to suggest in the way of a treatment, script and possibilities for presentation.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about alternatives to including holographic recordings of the actors. You may recall from earlier blogs that this is impossible with the HoloLens at present, as this capability is currently beyond developers, and still in the research labs for down scaling the hardware and technical requirements used by Microsoft to date. So the alternatives are:
- Use avatars with the faces of the actors superimposed. I have investigated this and it is possible for me to do (after learning the process), but I think that this will detract from the empathy I am trying to create in the exhibit.
- Film the actors stereoscopically with my Vuze 3D 360 degree camera being delivered next week. However, the HoloLens does not play stereoscopic film. I tried with Jonathan’s 360 degree film he exhibited recently, but it only showed two images rather than one merged stereoscopically. If I wanted to do this I would have to use another AR/MR device. I researched all the other AR/MR (not VR) headsets but none meet my basic requirements, which are listed below. Only the ODG smart glasses r-9 with a 50 degree field of view (FOV) met the criteria, but these are not yet released, and only become available to developers in late Q2/Q3, too late to consider for inclusion in the MA Show.
- Stereoscopic Video Play
- At least 30 degree FOV, which is that of the HoloLen This is regarded as too small. For comparison VR headsets have a much wider FOV. The HTC Vive for example is 110 degrees.
- Light weight by comparison with HoloLens.
- Can wear with glasses
- Untethered, except perhaps for a smartphone (preferably iPhone which I have) or equivalent.
- Film the actors conventionally in 2D, which is what I have decided to do.
So I will be in Alasdair’s studio at the bottom of his garden for two days next week. Mady will be joining us and hopefully Vic too (as currently she is the only one that can edit the film using Isadora software). We may have to use After Effects, which Matt (Camberwell Digital Media) can help us with. As well as filming for our Final MA Show we will also be filming for our Symposium 2 on 1 June. We set up the equipment in Alasdair’s studio the week before last, so we are set to go.
I have also been researching alternatives for presenting the actors in my MA Show. There are three approaches:
- Composite the actors (after editing the Green Screen recordings) in the Seagulls background video. I wonder whether I could use the ceiling projector in the MA Show studio space on the ground floor, or whether one of our course Short Throw projectors could be hung from that fitting?
- Project the actors against another surface on the set (in front, at the side, on the ceiling, or floor) to be seen alongside the seagulls background video. This would require a second (or third) video projector. I would use my Artograph projector for this.
- View the edited film in the HoloLens. See an example below downloaded from Videoblocks. I first tried a clip with a transparent background, which did not work as you could see this in white, but the one below with a black background worked well in the HoloLens, and was transparent. Figure that one out!
- So this is a possibility, although I worry about viewers wearing the heavier than I would like HoloLens for 5 minutes to view the film, and I think that a 30 degree FOV is not as immersive as I would like.
Another consideration is SOUND.
- HoloLens allows the use of spatial sound to improve this experience.
- Another alternative is to use Feonic devices to make the sound come out of the surfaces on which the video is showing. I have one of these devices so will try it out sometime soon.
- Alternatively, I could use my LG Soundbar system, which works using blue-tooth from my own Artograph projector. The benefit of this is that I have used this set up before and it works well without wires between the projector and the sound bar.
- I have to think how sound will work in the MA Show studio space regarding practically, sound quality, and aesthetics.
So more decisions to make.