Chameleon at VR World Congress
From 11-13 April 2017 the CAMERA team attended VR World Congress 2017 to take part in the expo and to demo our collaborative project with Marshmallow Laser Feast, Chameleon; a 360º exploration of the people of Mexico City examining the relationship between virtual reality, sight and touch in one of the world’s most populous cities.
Chameleon is a mixed reality exploration of the people of Mexico City. VR portraiture that examines the way inhabitants of one of the most populous cities in the world adapt & adjust to their environment using different coping mechanisms. Within a virtual gallery audiences see four individuals who use art, history, knowledge, nature, work and play to weave their identities. Chameleon presents these identities as a multidimensional reality that spectators access through virtual reality, spatialised audio, 3D printing & video.
As part of the ongoing British Council AltCity series, Marshmallow Laser Feast, supported by MUTEK.MX, Vans, Centro, 3rd Eye and Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos, travelled to Mexico City to collaborate with twelve local artists – photographers, programmers, architects, visual artists, sound designers, fashion designers and writers – to create Chameleon. Working together for 2 weeks they designed, captured & created the virtual gallery and physical installation. The work initially presented at MUTEK.MX 2016.
Research, design and a series of cutting edge 3D imaging techniques (Lidar, structured to light scanning & photogrammetry) helped create multi-layered 3D portraits coupled with soundscapes, textures and video that together, form the overall experience.
CAMERA worked with Marshmallow Laser Feast on facial capture as part of the project. MLF contacted CAMERA regarding the processing of Artec data scans generated in Mexico into facial models which could be animated inside a virtual environment, and experienced via a Vive headset. The project was a great success and will be recreated at the University of Bath as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations to be held on 06 May 2017.
VR World Congress
The CAMERA team very much enjoyed attending the conference. Our PhD Researcher, Jacob Hadnett-Hunter explained that “a lot of the talks were very good and inspirational, a lot of flashy tech demos and clips of up coming VR experiences. However, the talk I surprisingly found myself most impressed with was Tom Nelson‘s from the Royal Opera House. They’re using VR for live 360 streaming of performance etc, but more interestingly they’re using VR for testing prop placement and lighting. I like this, it’s easy to just think about VR as an entertaining experience and not think about its potential as a tool.”
We’re looking forward to attending again next year!