Immersive Storytelling – Which Came First: The Technology or the Creative?

Immersive Directory’s Blog Series featuring written contributions from creatives, drivers, builders, experts and makers of the Spatial Computing industry.

There I was in a cinema 10 years ago captivated, pupils fully dilated, and hit squarely between the retina, chasing technicolour humanoids and hybrid creatures through a fantasy world across the big screen. The movie? James Cameron’s, Avatar. My emotional and visual senses were in overdrive following complex characters and multi-layered storytelling. I was immersed in these elements, but what also had me jumping in my seat was an insight to the future of technological advancements for instinctive human interactions with technology itself. That magic moment in the movie was seeing data captured and transferred with the quick and casual swipe of a finger from the translucent curved monitor directly on to the movie character’s tablet. Bam! Right there, I knew I needed to be a part of this future.

Since then, over the last nine years I’ve been fortunate to work with top industry creative and technical individuals and development teams, sharing our company successes and celebrating theirs. These studios and companies develop mind blowing real-time virtual reality projects and experiences, where authentic motion for 3D animated avatars is needed to deliver a highly convincing and believable player and audience experience.

They reside across a broad spectrum of sectors in motion capture, game development, training and simulation, virtual YouTubing, R&D for next-gen realism in facial animation, live broadcast, film and TV, VFX, real-time production, pre-vis, post- production, advertising, live performances, LBVR, holograms, education, social VR, VR collaboration and more. The real-time technologies that support and drive their projects and systems are both cutting-edge and innovative–when they pack the punch with memorable immersive storytelling, then they’ve delivered the full picture to their audience.

“Human interactions within XR needs to become second nature where our instinct overrides considered actions, which means when all our senses are fired then the more tangible and emotionally connected we are to that experience”.

For instance, retail, advertising, marketing, design and architecture are entering an exciting and dynamic time with the use of VR and AR as a toolkit to bring customers and users deeper into the decision-making process, as our emotions dictate behaviours before, during and after to act or make a purchase. You may not always decide to make an on the spot decision, however if you leave with a memorable experience then you’re more likely to return. I’m finding the concept of QR codes or images another exciting use for AR in these sectors, to instantly interact with dynamic animations from a smart device–maybe one day you’ll even have a haptic experience and feel the sensations of the weight and shape of the actual object and animation. I’d like to see eSports adopt VR and AR gaming, as an audience member I’d be excited to play an active role inside the gamers’ world!

What’s hitting that high note and has me again jumping in my seat is volumetric capture, the art and science of recording human performances where viewers can interact with these holograms, taking immersive storytelling for XR to ever higher realms.

Revisiting the question, which came first – the technology or the creative? This may sound reminiscent of the chicken or the egg conundrum, but what’s evident is that both is needed to successfully execute immersive storytelling across all mediums, which resonates with our emotional intelligence and leaves us feeling fulfilled.

Siobhán Hofma has been in the media industry for over 20 years. She joined IKINEMA in 2011, and as a key member she helped disrupt and educate the 3D animation industries with the company’s cutting-edge real-time animation technologies, taking the company brand and solutions from start-up to global leader specialists in hyper-realistic character motion.

About Blog Writer: Siobhán Hofma

Head of PR and Communications, IKINEMA

www.ikinema.com

Article originally featured in Immersive Directory’s Blog Series

Published by Siobhan Hofma

Bringing over 20 years of media industry expertise and sheer tenacity. I have extensive experience ranging from PR and communications, sales and marketing, creative direction, brand development, product management, storytelling and copywriting, digital content creation, design for print and online, advertising, events, client and partner portfolio growth and business development. I spearheaded the Marketing, Comms and Creative operations for IKINEMA during a 10 year tenure. With sound analytical and communication skills I was an integral team member to IKINEMA's success driving the company from start-up to industry leader. As a natural problem solver with critical and lateral thinking, I contributed innovative real-time technology ideas which were harnessed for the company's future advancement and usability of its real-time procedural animation and inverse kinematic IP and products. Industry verticals and specialities: Interactive virtual characters, 3D animation, real-time procedural animation, inverse kinematics, Game development, Motion Capture, Immersive Experiences, Virtual YouTubing, Location Based VR, XR, VFX, Film, TV Broadcast, Pre-vis and Post Production, Real-time Virtual Production, Enterprise, Training and Simulation, Academia and more.

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