Project Leads: Brad Willcuts and Daniel Trego and Ryan Welsh
College/ Unit: Theatre
Students wrote, voice acted, physically acted, motion capture acted, filmed and edited their own short filmed scenes using Motion Capture, Facial Capture and Augmented Reality. Inherently a complicated project, the student took the lead and created their own scene where they would act as themselves and as their alter ego. The alter ego character was captured with the MC suits and facial capture gear and them moved into Augmented Reality applications on their phones and recorded for later editing. From inception to performance, the students were in complete charge of their creative projects all the while learning brand new acting applications with modern technology.
Team Bios: Brad and Ryan co-taught the New Media Laboratory class alongside Daniel Trego. Brad is Associate Professor of Musical Theatre and Choreography, Ryan is Assistant Professor of Media Acting and Daniel Trego is an Educational Media Design Specialist.
What are some of the successes?
- In our last iteration we focused primarily on dance and movement. We would go only into the work that would help bring dancers and their body shapes into focus and into augmented reality, teaching with the MC suits versus real life and more.
- We have implemented the facial capture tools and combined them with the MC suits. So we have total body capture capability. Our capstone project was very difficult but ultimately very successful as the students were able to 1. write their own scenes 2. record their audio for both or multiple roles in their scene 3. capture the motion for both their "real selves" and their "alter ego" 4. merge the two audio recordings with the MC files. 5. using Augmented Reality, film B-roll to make a scene with themselves 6. ultimately edit this video into a final project. We really tested the students and made them work quite hard on a brand new project and they did exceedingly well. This was a major success from our standpoint and with our work in Catalyst again, we now know how to streamline it and make it more accessible and manageable.
What are some of the challenges that you have experienced on this project?
Time management has been an issue since the MC suits take time to put on and take off. Also, some of the hardware from the computers needs some faster processing and more streamlined capability for handling these large files and immediate synchronization. We are looking into building better computers and finding ways to teach the students how to run the hardware and software themselves. This ultimately would be the dream scenario: to make these amazing and creative tools completely facilitated and rentable by the students and for the students.