Gold Award for Welsh National Opera project for REWIND

Written by CAMERA Centre Coordinator

The REWIND virtual reality experience for Welsh National Opera “Magic Butterfly” has won the FMBE Gold Award for Creative Technology. The Team at CAMERA collaborated on technical production elements.

The judges noted “the accessible nature of their creative ideas applied in a way that were clearly achievable and replicable for others. Judges especially loved REWIND’s creative work, coupled to a simple tech set up and commented that the experience made opera accessible in one short immersive hit, something that other media has been trying and often failing to achieve through the years.”

To celebrate, REWIND have turned Magic Butterfly gold!  https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/956921440883834880

The project involved capturing body and face motion data from world renowned soprano, Karah Son, whilst she performed the much-loved aria, ‘Un Bel Di,’ from the opera, Madam Butterfly. The capture involved finding a solution to capturing the movement of the sleeves on the digital Madam Butterfly avatar’s kimono for use in real time pre-visualisation. As cloth simulations can be problematic in real time, CAMERA Head of Studio, Martin Parsons, found a novel solution involving attaching markered netting to Karah’s arms to simulate the movement of the fabric. The solution worked really well and provided an invaluable insight into how the fabric movement will look when fully rendered in the environment. The final WNO project will be an immersive, stylised and very beautiful virtual reality experience of the aria performed by Karah Son.

Greg Furber, VR Director, REWIND. said “CAMERA was the perfect team to partner with on the creation of the Madam Butterfly VR experience. Their assistance solving the performances unique challenges was invaluable and helped us make a captivating VR experience that allows us to bring a classic performance from the stage into the virtual world exploring a staging of Madam Butterfly that isn’t possible in any other medium.”