Venice Immersive Island - XR storytelling Heaven
Several different Tasks lead me in 2023 to Venice and its Immersive island:
I was hired to build bridges from the XR StoryLab KiU to potential artists. I spread the word that the LAB is searching for new projects in which they can team up with their team and find XR artists to, on one hand, join forces, but as well potentially apply together for future funds or join with their workforce and become something like a co-artistic producer.
The other reason was that I had been the Volumetric supervisor and Volumetric Recording artist of the Biennale Collage Project "Tales of the March" by Director "Stefano Casertano." They revisit the Story of the Death Marches at the end of the Second World War. The project was shot in 360 through the joined German XR Studio "Studio Deussen" (Tim Deussen). Still, after the 360 clips, the user ended up in a 6dof hall of memories with video clips of the witnesses/survivors of the Death Marches and my Volumetric Point Cloud Asset.
I also went for Venice as well as it is a heaven of modus advanced XR Storytelling Projects, and I wanted to see where Volumetric Video is placed in it. What are trends? What are the quality levels of the volumetric assets, and most importantly, are the assets used in the context of the XR Storytelling that it is reasonable value for the story that volumetric video has been used for the production?
I watched (like always) fantastic XR projects, and I would love to report about some of them:
First, the ones with Volumetric Video Assets:
- Songs of the Passerby - I watched it as a first or second project on my first day, and I thought I watched here, just the potential winner, or I hoped for the Dutch team that everyone would love the project as I did. -> And YES, they won :)
A dark, moody/dreamy circle walks through someone else's dream, in which I could reflect my fascination of observing through the use of live volumetric video, which moves the observer of the piece out of his own body.
- The Imaginary Friend - A high-class volumetric video asset as centrum of a told story about the loss of a child's mother and his imaginary friend, which is doomed by society to be something negative that holds back the process of getting over it.
Recoridng Volumetric Studio 4DR - 4DR Studios
- Aufwind - Another high-class volumetric production that uses a fantastic ensemble of actors filmed in the biggest and most known volumetric studio in Germany, Volucap Berlin.
I can say the entire production is visual on a very high level. They designed their story around a force feedback chair in which the user can even experience the Wunder of flying an airplane. I was impressed, but I gave one critical feedback. I would have personally loved to be not in the chair. I would have loved their focus to have that I could be free in those spaces where I watched and observed the marvelous cast acting out the story, but this is my approach to using volumetric video assets for storytelling in XR.
It is something without volumetric video, but I think it is a perfect example of museum multi-user XR storytelling.
- Gaudi, L'Atelier Du Divin - A production that visits the master architect in his studio and discovers and unveils his backstory approach and love for his work.
- Gargoyle Doyle - A perfect example of a focus on punchlines and storytelling used and edited in XR. The project comes with a lightness, and you can feel the background of a classic film, Director & Editor.
- Comfortless - A deep documentary project filmed in 360 with a well-designed use of mirrors in different locations.
- Emporer - A project which, personally, makes the best use of scaling the observer and the story. From my point of view, the promised freedom is not fully delivered, but the project comes, as mentioned, with other strong skills.
- Remember this place - It is an exciting project as it is the first project ever, which was the first part of the Biennale collage and then got lifted into the competition. It uses many different techniques to deliver its story and has an exquisite way of melting these different technics.
I could go on forever about the different projects and why they joined the ensemble of selected and exhibited projects.
I also witnessed some fantastic pitches for upcoming projects, which I recommended to the StoryLab KiU for future collaboration.
The next big thing was, of course, networking and meeting my longtime, not-seen XRCrowd member.
The island offered a perfect atmosphere for talks about XR storytelling again, and I met many new people with whom I have since tried to stay in contact.
Following some of my rough photogrammetry memory shots, I later tested transferring them into splats to see if photogrammetry's rough and fast run could deliver good splats.
Short add to the different splats:
I approached the creation under the rules that I usually used for creating quick rough photogrammetry with Polycam, and then I used the same dataset for creating the splats. I think I should have done more rounds on different hides and with more far away and more closeups in a continuous stream.
Unbelievable, but there is a real human body to the Rabbit Identity of Mangelbird in IRL, aka Michael Salmon.
Here is a Link to his function and joy during Venice.
Ethan Shaftel the brain behind Gargoyle Doyle and his Venice Immersive Island Booth.
In front of his Pixel Ripped booth, Doede Holtkamp always spreads positive energy.
Link to a linkedIn post: LINK