Towards hMoMA Research – Portable Volumetric Video Capture and Display Accomplished

Project Status – April 6 2020

I am delighted to report the completion of the contract I made with PlayLab.Z to update their fixed studio volumetric capture and display rig at Ravensbourne University London to a portable multi camera system using the latest immersive technology. This is a project I specified and funded.

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Early testing GenieMo and GenieMo Flow at Ravensbourne University featuring myself with James Edward Marks and Prof David Crawford walking on the moon. Two Azure Kinect Rig.

At my request, in order to gain contract completion sign off, PlayLab.Z successfully set up and demonstrated the system at a UAL Digital Maker Collective (DMC) event at UAL Camberwell College of Arts on on 12 February 2020.

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UAL Digital Maker Collective demonstration of Portable Volumetric Video Capture Rig. 4 Azure Kinect System. I am second on the left.

A user manual with a Github link was provided shortly after.

PlayLabZ GenieMo Manual Alpha

PlayLab.Z was then invited to participate in UAL DMC Tate Exchange 2020, Tate Modern during week commencing 2 March 2020 and the system was formally launched as GenieMo (capture) and GenieMo Flow (display) at Jisc DigiFest Birmingham 2020 on 9/10 March 2020.

My wife Suzy Aitchison at UAL DMC 2020 Tate Exchange, Tate Modern. Two Azure Kinect camera system with Looking Glass Factory Display.

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PlayLab.Z team with Holotronica at Jisk DigiFest 2020. Myself with thumbs up and Lee Robinson on end saluting

The launch at Jisc DigiFest 2020 was co-produced with Holotronica. GenieMo deployed two Microsoft Azure Kinect cameras (although at UAL it was demonstrated with four), Intel NUC Microcomputers, and a high performance external graphics processor (NVIDIA GTX 2080). GenieMo Flow was demonstrated showing captures in real-time with Microsoft HoloLens 1, a Looking Glass Factory volumetric display screen, and on a giant Holotronica transparent screen in the exhibition auditorium.

I am the Genie in the lamp! Holotronica display at Jisc DigiFest 2020. Volumetric capture with two Azure Kinects

I participated in all the above events and at the time of writing this post I am now at home in self-isolation during the Covid 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Observations

What has been achieved and demonstrated is a massive achievement, especially in the timescale and with limited resources. It provides considerably less expensive tools for students to experiment and learn about volumetric film-making and to make associated media art in their educational settings.

PlayLab.Z are now extending their involvement independently beyond education establishments using their software (and currently mostly my hardware -on loan) to promote multi dimensional art for social good.

However, in relation to my own research, more progress needs to be made before the technology meets the exacting installation ease and fidelity requirements of a museum or art institution. This is what I will report on next as I have an extensive collection of the latest research papers and information on emerging technology, which as far as possible I am acquiring and deploying in my practice based research. This is what I am targeting but as a portable system without a green screen and 4-8 cameras. All Kinds of Limbo was recorded at Dimension Studio Wimbledon using the Microsoft licenced Volumetric Capture System.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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