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INSCAPE - Interactive Storytelling for Creative People

INSCAPE aimed at enabling ordinary people to use and master the latest Information Society Technologies for interactively conceiving, authoring, and experiencing interactive stories whatever their form, be it training simulators, animation, theatre, movie, puppet show, video-games, interactive manuals, etc.

Impact

The development of advanced tools for interactive storytelling is of paramount importance for the growing market in interactive programs and events, virtual environments, autonomous characters and applications based on narrative structures. The market for stories, from Web-based applications to advanced immersive environments and simulators is growing quickly. Interactive stories for education, training, infotainment, marketing or entertainment, expand the reach of computer-based systems beyond the already "saturated" 40% of the population who already use computers.

The development of advanced tools for interactive storytelling is of paramount importance for the growing market in interactive programs and events, virtual environments, autonomous characters and applications based on narrative structures. The market for stories, from Web-based applications to advanced immersive environments and simulators is growing quickly. Interactive stories for education, training, infotainment, marketing or entertainment, expand the reach of computer-based systems beyond the already "saturated" 40% of the population who already use computers.

Main innovation

INSCAPE worked on generating and developing the knowledge in the emerging domain of Interactive Storytelling by researching, implementing, demonstrating and disseminating a complete suite of innovative concepts, tools and working methods tightly integrated in a homogeneous web-based framework and offering a full chain to people with no particular computer skills, from content acquisition and creation, organising, processing, sharing, and using all the way to experiencing, from creators to "viewers".

INSCAPE also tried to address issues such as the acquisition, the creation, the management and the sharing of interactive stories or their real-time multi-sensorial rendering combined with natural agent behaviours and multimodal interfaces. It worked on providing innovative natural interfaces and devices for intuitively creating or living interactive stories within multi-dimensional virtual, augmented and mixed realities.

From a technical point of view, INSCAPE tackled issues such as:

  • The ontology of stories or the specification of the story concept in either linear or non-linear forms,
  • The formal modelling of narrative skills, structures and patterns and their creation methodologies,
  • The formal modelling of behaviours, emotions and contextual feedback,
  • The creation of the story elements (objects, decors, etc.) or their acquisition from reality,
  • The creation of virtual actors including both the morphological and physical aspects,
  • The direction of virtual actors in real time,
  • The inclusion of lifelike elements in the story. The creation of "realistic" behaviours and emotions,
  • The population of stories with autonomous actors and the management of their interactions,
  • The creation and management of non-linear and interactive scenarios,
  • The simulation and optimisation of production (lighting, actors direction, etc.) and shooting,
  • The creation of real-time special effects (explosion, fire, snow, rain, etc.) within a story,
  • The use of innovative natural interfaces (multimodal interface, force feedback systems, immersive displays, 3D sound, augmented reality) for creating, telling and experiencing interactive stories,
  • The new concepts for interactive storytelling addressing multiple "viewers",
Results

The first period spanning on Sept 2004 to August 2005 had three overall objectives related to the first iteration of the INSCAPE development cycle (Alpha release).

  • For the End-User Group, the work consisted in collecting, consolidating and analysing requirements for the first release of INSCAPE platform and defining the validation and demonstration scenarios;
  • For the Foundational Research Group, the aim was to produce state of the art and research reports to have the consortium aware of research and technological possibilities and current market assessment in terms of Interactive Storytelling;
  • For the Technical Group, the work planned was to specify software functions meeting user requirements, to define the architecture of both INSCAPE Software Development Kit (tools for building an INSCAPE component) and application and to develop the Framework.

The main results delivered during this period are:

  • The State of the art and research reports on Interactive Storytelling that have been used to stimulate and rank end-user requirements for the Alpha release and to further educate the consortium.
  • The End-user requirements eligible for the Alpha release which is due in May 2006, validation and demonstration scenarios on edutainment based on Mozart childhood and on Astronaut training based on an extra-vehicular activity around the International Space Station.
  • The Architecture, design, tools and hardware devices for the technology providers to develop INSCAPE Alpha application: Software Developer Kit and framework.
  • The organisation of the INSCAPE Open Community with 115 members from 30 countries. INSCAPE Open Community Invitation ( PDF , 338KB)
  • The co-organisation of the third International Conference on Virtual Storytelling.
  • 12 scientific papers published and presented at international conferences
  • The INSCAPE Website and other dissemination material (graphic charter, logo, flyer).
More details
Administrative Details
  • INSCAPE (IST-2004-004150) is an Integrated Project of the European Union's 6th Framework Programme Thematic Priority 2 (Information Society Technologies). It was submitted under the strategic objective "2.3.2.7 Cross-media content for leisure and entertainment".
  • INSCAPE started on 1 st September 2004 and finished on 31 st August 2008.
  • The total project budget is 12.9 million €.
List of Participants

14 partners from 8 European countries were involved in INSCAPE.

Coordination: CS Systèmes d'Information, France
End-User Group
  • Alterface, Belgium
  • ENSICA, France
  • zVisuel, Switzerland
  • Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Foundational Research Group
  • Centre for user-oriented IT Design, Sweden
  • Zentrum für Graphische Datenverarbeitung, Germany
  • Mixed Reality Laboratory, Nottingham University, United Kingdom
  • Research Unit of Communication and Art, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Germany
Technical group
  • CS Systèmes d'Information, France
  • Immersion SA, France
  • Digital Video SPA, Italy
  • Realviz, France
Contact Persons
Project management: Jérôme Duchon
Email: (email removed)
Tel: +33 561 176 536
Technical management: Philippe Pinto
Email: (email removed)
Tel: +33 561 176 534
Scientific Direction: Dr Olivier Balet
Email: (email removed)
Tel: +33 561 176 528
Events in connection with INSCAPE

They are more than 50 INSCAPE dissemination events, planned or that took place. Among them:

The exhaustive list is available on the website under News/Public events section in the INSCAPE website .