Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

CATS: the virtual theatre

The Computer Aided Theatrical Score (CATS) is a fully integrated tool to support performance preparation in the theatre. It allows theatre production staff to plan all aspects of a performance, visualize simulated models of the show and evaluate cost-effectively various options before financial commitment. CATS is designed to complement other information technology (IT) applications already used in theatre environments, such as computer aided design (CAD) and photo-realistic simulation systems. The system will appeal to theatre professionals, rather than IT specialists, and can be easily interfaced to other systems when required.

CATS has a modular and open system architecture based on ActiveX (OLE2) technology. By running on a PC platform the use of specialized, costly hardware is limited. Some specially-developed boards are used for real time 3-dimensional simulation and for supporting text-to-speech synthesis but these are compatible with personal computer (PC) architecture. A variety of different media are integrated into a single system: music, sound, speech, 3-dimensional graphics, animation and actors' body motion. A rich database of ready to use multimedia contents is also provided, suitable for setting up models of different types of performance and basic methods for describing the dynamic behaviour.

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