Live Action VR
Board Choice! This project has been selected by a panel of experts as exemplary of the Creativity + Innovation Day goals.
Center for Human-Computer Interaction
Wallace Lages, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, School of Visual Arts Virginia Tech
Tianyu Ge, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, School of Visual Arts
Jessica Robinson, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, School of Visual Arts
Justin Perkinson, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Cinema School of Performing Arts, Creativity + Innovation, Center for Human-Computer Interaction
WHAT HAPPENS HERE?
Live Action VR is a research project designed to understand the potential of immersive experiences that combine techniques from cinema and virtual reality. Instead of using computer generated characters, Live Action VR uses real actors inside a synthetic virtual environment.
WHAT WAS THE PROCESS?
Our work started by crafting an open-ended narrative, which leverages how actors create emotional connection with an audience. To make the transition between reality and VR more seamless, we created a detailed digital version of one of the ICAT’s studios, based on photos and measurements from the real location. We then developed a custom software, which takes a stereoscopic input from a camera rig, removes the background, and merges the resulting images with 3D models of the environment. The result is 3D livestream of the actor inside a virtual environment. The final step was to develop appropriate controls to support the narrative progression, for example, to turn off the lights at critical moments of the story.