Featured

ANIMATRIK BRINGS REAL-TIME PERFORMANCE CAPTURE FOR GAMES TO SIGGRAPH 2022

Animatrik Film Design is attending this years’ SIGGRAPH in stunning Vancouver and are inviting AAA and AA video game studios and publishers to discuss up-and-coming game projects where high fidelity performance capture and live real-time virtual production services is required to drive hyper-realistic digital characters for blockbuster games and movies. Animatrik is known for their state-of-the-art technologies and deep industry skillset for capturing at every location and challenging environments.

Animatrik showreel: https://vimeo.com/727495149

Meet at SIGGRAPH Vancouver

Book an exclusive one-to-one meeting:
Brett Ineson: info@Animatrik.com
or reach out to Instinctively Real, Siobhán Hofma: SHofma@Siggraph.org

Animatrik is a world leader in groundbreaking motion capture, pre-visualisation and virtual cinematography services. Headquartered in Vancouver, it is home to the largest independent motion capture sound stage in North America. Animatrik also operates a second location in Los Angeles, US.

Animatrik continues to raise the bar in performance capture and virtual production across AAA games, blockbuster movies, visual effects and virtual concerts. See their work in recent projects the likes of Aquaman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Gears of War 5, Avengers: Endgame, Ready Player One, Xmen: Dark Phoenix, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. 

Animatrik was founded by Brett Ineson, with the express purpose of providing the most up-to-date and efficient stage and location-based performance capture and virtual camera services. Animatrik’s team of technicians and visual effects artists come with incredible pedigree and experience, having worked on the entertainment industry’s biggest blockbusters and most innovative visual effects experiences.

Featured

INSTINCTIVELY REAL MEDIA JOINS ACM SIGGRAPH

Instinctively Real Media is now a member of ACM SIGGRAPH – For the past 15 years having been hands-on with numerous innovative projects and studios that push the boundaries of real-time technology solutions in creative ways, from live immersive and interactive entertainment, games, through to virtual YouTubing and hyper-realistic digital humans, this years’ SIGGRAPH is set to deliver another incredible line-up of movers and shakers.

SIGGRAPH 2022 in Vancouver is set to explode and explore pioneering technologies and research across the tech and creative industries from the 8th – 11th August. Instinctively Real Media is now proudly a member of the organisation.

Take a look at the full programme and listed are a few of IRM’s faves.

ELECTRONIC THEATRE
Electronic Theatre has been recognized as a qualifying festival by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It began as an annual showcase of advances in computer graphics, and now celebrates the rise of computer graphics as a medium for storytelling in animation, visual effects, games, scientific visualization, and more.

VR THEATRE
Experience the world of immersive storytelling and celebrate the evolution of VR with a showcase of short-form narratives in an in-person theatre setting.

IMMERSIVE THEATRE
Immersive technologies advance the ways we create, communicate, learn, and play. Experience awe-inspiring breakthroughs in VR, AR, and MR at SIGGRAPH.

GAMES
Innovation is the name of the game. Up your game development skills by exploring the latest in computer graphics, immersive, and real time, and hear from game industry creators and visionaries.

REALTIME LIVE!
Real-Time Live! invites you to share your cutting-edge, real-time technology demos. Whether you are demoing the latest in game technology, real-time scientific visualization, or an augmented reality app, there is no better opportunity to showcase your transformative technology than at Real-Time Live!

Which category are you a part of, which is your favorite, or do you have several?

Contact IRM to have a chat about your next cutting-edge project: shofma@siggraph.org

LIVE XR EVENT

LiViCi Concert Series: Carry Me Home, A Live and Virtual Journey into the Creative Mind of Singer-Songwriter, Didier Stowe

Live, immersive, interactive experience online — accessible worldwide!

Presented by Shocap Entertainment and The 7 Fingers

Through an exceptional combination of music, circus, dance, and theatrical performances, together with real-time motion capture, virtual reality and gaming technology, Carry Me Home, invites audiences around the world to an inspiring, meaningful, and uplifting event. A tribute to the mind’s incredible capacity to imagine, dream, and create — a truly unique human trait that connects us all.

Tickets for Carry Me Home

June 4, 2022 1pm & 6pm PDT

Live, immersive, interactive experience online — accessible worldwide

In-person audiences together with online and VR attendees will travel and engage through the labyrinth of the creative mind, featuring music and lyrics by Didier Stowe, with thrilling acts performed by acrobatic performers synchronised with their digital counterparts within evocative story-worlds.

Hosted and livestreamed to the world direct from the studio of acclaimed Animatrik Film Design in Burnaby, Vancouver. In-person audiences have the opportunity to access a number of VR headsets to experience rich virtual world immersion and interactions during the livestream. Online attendees have the choice to enjoy watching the video stream, or move around the virtual arena and watch from various Point Of View (POV) – even through the eyes of the circus performers throughout the #TogetherExperiences. The Interactive 3D experience is accessible from any web browser on any laptop or desktop computer, VR headsets and mobile devices.

DATE: Saturday, 4th June, 2022 with two showtimes.

SHOWTIMES
Vancouver in-person: 1:00pm and 6:00pm PDT
Onstage at Animatrik Film Design Studios, 4088 1st Avenue, Burnaby, B.C.

International livestreams – Standard Livestream, Interactive Web 3D Experience
Vancouver and San Francisco: 1:00pm and 6:00pm PDT 
Montréal: 4:00pm and 9:00pm EDT 
Paris: 10pm and June 5th 3am CET 
London: 9:00pm and June 5th 2:00am BST 
New Zealand: June 5th 8:00am and 1:00pm NZST

TICKET PRICES
In-person: CAN$25.00 per person
Interactive Web 3D Experience: CAN$15.00 per person
Standard Livestream: CAN$10.00 per person

More information on The 7 Fingers website.

Mojo Vision Unlocks Your Bionic AR Eyes

Credit: Digital Trends, Mojo AR

Wearing augmented reality enabled contact lenses means our future in AR is eyes-up, instead of heads down

I was intrigued (and excited) to be invited by Digital Intent to listen to their recent podcast interview hosted by Sean Johnson with Steve Sinclair, the Senior Vice President of Product at Mojo Vision, a company Instinctively Real Media has been following.

Listen to The Disruptors podcast here, Why Your Eyes Will Soon Have Superpowers, with Mojo Vision. Twitter @Digitent. Host, Sean Johnson, Twitter @intentionally.

Mojo Vision uniquely describes themselves as the Invisible Computing company, where over a period of years they’ve created a revolutionary contact lens platform, built-in is the worlds smallest micro display, allowing wearers to view augmented reality overlays anywhere and anytime the wearer decides to activate real world information and digital content throughout their day. Slip them on in the morning for all day usability, by night the lens’ can be charged and cleaned, refreshed for next day use.

As a first product, this isn’t a system that immerses you in over-elaborate AR graphics and VR worlds. This is a system that is in monochrome display which instantly enables you to pull up useful, practical information and content at any moment. Imagine as a firefighter showing oxygen levels of their tank, or a doctor who needs on-the-spot access to a patients vital signs while working with them, use as a virtual teleprompter during speeches and conferences, or B2B cases such as mission critical situations. Sinclair references the experiment where he wears the Mojo Lens whilst closing his eyes, and in another area a colleague flashes a deck of cards in front of a webcam. Amazingly Sinclair can read off each card because he can see them via the smart lens although his eyes remain closed–meaning you’ll actually be able to watch video content with your eyes shut.

Credit: TechCrunch

User interface and controls will include voice control to bring up visional information, simple gestures, context as to where and what you’re looking at–and primarily the worlds best eye tracking system built into the lens to create a first-ever user interface that controls navigation such as look and select, and point by way of ‘eye gestures’.

The company has opted to remain core to the vision without over complicating with extra added features or colour graphics in order to use the minimal amount of data, and finally come out of stealth to present their first version to the world with a robust, efficient and highly useful product that performs as intended. The product is currently going through testing before it’s fully ready to hit the consumer market.

Importantly, the technology eliminates overload as the lens’ actually remain in off mode where the tech fades away–until you choose to ‘switch on’ to access the knowledge and content you require as and when. We all know of the ongoing development and iterations for AR glasses such as Google Glass and by other various firms, however, Mojo Vision sees the future as hands-free, eyes-up and undistracted which their truly smart Mojo Lens technology enables.

To create the ultimate display in providing information when you want to see it was one of the problem solves undertaken by original founder, Dr. Michael Deering. He understood that matching the high resolution of the human eye, and stripping away unnecessary pixels that the eye couldn’t actually see, and placing it closer to the eye minimised the amount of pixels needed and significantly reduced computation and power requirements. To put into perspective, the lens resolution is 14000 pixels per inch (closely matched to human eye resolution) in comparison to 500-600 pixels per inch available in smart phones and devices. An AR contact lens made the most logical sense and also offered the natural social connections that we humans are accustomed to, opposed to donning eye hardware to activate an AR experience. Together with co-founders Drew Perkins and Mike Wiemer they pulled in their team of experts to produce what is now considered the new wave in Invisible Computing.

The company stems from research and development to correct eyesight and improve low vision conditions to restore independence and mobility to those affected, through outward facing image sensors using AR overlays and contrast enhancements to see objects, and highlight things they wouldn’t normally be able to see. On the other end of the spectrum for those who have unimpaired vision, there are ‘super-power’ capabilities such as seeing in the dark or reading in low light conditions–the use cases are fairly well endless. However, the team believe in simplicity opposed to overcomplicating, and take the holistic approach to usage and the heavy responsibilities that comes with developing a product that is first and foremost a medical device, is by no means taken lightly.

I’ve given an overview on the discussion within the podcast, so I highly recommend listening to the in-depth product and feature explanations including the company’s origins and vision to learn more about this incredible technology that is already setting the pace and pioneering our future in AR and vision technology.

How motion capture and virtual production ninjas, Onpoint Studios brings 3D animated characters to life with next-gen services

Left to right: Marian Woller, Virtual Production Supervisor; Niklas Bothe, Head of Motion Capture; Ziyaad Patel; Kevin Clare Facial Specialist and 3D Animator.

Berlin based OnPoint Studios approached Instinctively Real Media to provide industry expertise and deliver strategic communications within verticals of games, visual effects and the immersive industries. Established Motion Capture and Virtual Production specialists, the company boasts an ambitious team with honed skills gained in body and facial capture, video game production, 3D animation, commercial and TV, visual effects and entertainment.

The trio are an innovative full-service studio where customers rely on their expertise to transform creative vision into the next reality. So much so, that their portfolio gleams with notable clients and productions the likes of creative music videos In Your Eyes ft. Alida by acclaimed Musician, DJ and Producer Robin Schulz showcased by Epic Games, and another soon to be released. The popular Diamonds music video by Swiss rapper, Monet192. Multiple in-house projects for partner NEXR and Staramba including the highly successful FC Bayern Munich Virtual Reality experience. Immersive VR security training for Pixaera, and début of their innovative Remote Motion Capture streaming pipeline in collaboration with computer games studio Another Coffee promoting their multi-player online game UMI, plus many more.

Headquartered in Berlin, their 7.9 metre capture volume is kitted with 36 Optitrack Prime 13 cameras, using industry professional technologies Unreal Engine, Unity, Autodesk Maya and MotionBuilder, iPhone and GoPro with Faceware to capture intricate facial expressions.

The adage ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ is especially true as OnPoint Studios have sights firmly set on becoming the address in Germany and Europe for Motion Capture and Virtual Production; the team aim to be Germany’s Research Centre for Innovation where they already host MoCap Hang-Out, their popular R&D open-house event showcasing latest projects and cutting-edge techniques in motion capture, virtual reality and 3D scanning at their facilities. Without question this team’s technical prowess and creative ingenuity flows in abundance, mixed with passion and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver every animation project style.
www.Onpoint-Studios.com

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