Periodic Reporting for period 2 - first.stage (Fast and easy previsualisation for creative industries)
Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-09-30
The novel approach to previs that first.stage takes will have a direct impact on Europe’s storytelling industries – from the film industry over tv /commercials to theatre and other stage productions. It will give key creative personnel – (art) directors, choreographers, and concept artists – more artistic hold over productions. Accessible previs tools will further have impact on related fields such as architecture or product design, down to effects in education programmes and off-market and laymen creative endeavours.
In order to develop the user interface based on natural interaction techniques, Uni HB visited the application partners and observed staff in their daily production process. Interviews on the use of current software and the possibilities of new interaction techniques were conducted.
For WP7 and WP8 the “project handbook” and ""Dissemination and communication strategy and plan"" was completed. The project website and social media were set up and are available to the public.
For the creative industries the use of previsualisation as a design tool is both an established and a brand new trend. Previs has long been established for high-end productions, which unfortunately are the ones in which a lot of money and the know-how of technical staff that come with it, are involved. For smaller productions, lower budget animation and theatre and performing arts shows in general, professional digital previs tools have not been an option. That does not mean that previsualisation has not been used, just that the tools employed have been far away, both in affordability and ease of use, from an ideal solution.
The first.stage project will change that in a substantial way, by providing not only tools that are affordable to smaller studios, filmmakers, theatres and other companies working in the medium of visual narrative art, but also by making these tools easy and intuitive to use. This will allow the users to experience previsualisation anew, and lets them create with the skills they already possess, in a medium that is close to the one the actual production will occur in. In addition to the
creative benefits this so obviously creates, it will also have a tremendous impact on the cost structure of a production. One of the focuses of the first.stage project is to integrate the previs as seamless as possible into the overall production, thus creating synergies and allowing co-located teams to work together to a degree that has previously not been attainable without considerable fiscal backlash. This, in turn, allows smaller production companies to be more cost-efficient and competitive, thus enriching the creative scene with more diverse productions possessing a high degree of sophistication.
It also bears mentioning that there are numerous types of performing visual arts that could profit from the developed tools. For example, using the tools of previs for actual art, it is possible to utilize the crude but malleable nature of the animation for a new kind of puppet theatre in which actors in motion suits act out the scenes. Then, their actions are converted in real time to the movements of virtual characters, allowing a much deeper interaction than previously achievable. This shows that the creative possibilities generated will expand what is possible in creating visual creative media by a huge margin.
In addition, the aforementioned entry into the consumer market itself, with motion capturing equipment, e.g. suits, gloves, etc., that is below the 1.000 € threshold and supported by intuitive software solutions with natural user interfaces, spells untold possibilities for future market potential. The community of creative people will be greatly enriched by new and enthusiastic laymen who will also have a new understanding of the creative process, and thus new respect and interest in the professional offerings provided by smaller and medium sized production companies.