Virtual reality in combination with 360° videos will change filmmaking in the coming years. For the production of moving images, new opportunities and challenges arise in format development, production and storytelling. The research group Media Creation of the Institute for Creative\Media/Technologies at St. Pölten UAS researched and developed technology for this new world of the film.
Experience, interaction and irritation
With the combination of VR-glasses and a 360° video, viewers become part of a virtual world and can themselves decide from what perspective they view a video. In the course of several projects researchers and students at St. Pölten UAS test and develop the new technology.
Enhanced by a multisensory experience, this technology awakens intense emotion and empathy in users and stimulates a direct sensory experience. "Interaction in VR-space can reduce the quality of experience: by interrupting the course of action, generating disturbing delays or just by irritating. The motivation to take part in following a story is often blocked: for example, by the learning process required by sensory control. At these interfaces relevant questions are raised", said Rosa von Suess, Head of the research group Media Creation of the Institute for Creative\ Media /Technologies at St. Pölten UAS.
Play between reality, fiction and virtual world
To test this new world of moving images, the research group Media Creation together with students developed a so-called Alternate Reality Game (ARG) designed for children: a game that is played simultaneously in several media, in social media and in reality.
The core of the game is a detective task for the players. They search for clues in small groups, which are distributed on numerous platforms and media (online and offline). Thereby, the children encounter figures from a children's book in the digital world, who "transmedially" come to life. In addition to traditional media and analogue found items: social media, online-videos, 3D- virtual-reality and 360° videos for mobile devices come into use.
Real and virtual space
For the production of the 360° video, students of the bachelor programme Media Technology under the guidance of the research group Media Creation, constructed a specially built real walk-in room of cardboard: which in the game, combining a virtual-reality headset (a head-mounted display) or a smartphone with a suitable mount is experienced as a virtual 360° room.
The game was developed as part of the research project TraeX, (Transmedia Extensions). Central to the project is the gender-sensitive development of media formats for children. Thereby, the specific potential of transmedia extensions for this purpose should be sounded out and made usable in practice in the form of a manual for gender-sensitive format development.
Virtual-Reality-App for businesses
Practical applications for businesses also result from the new technology. In order to present the product to the company, TriLite Technologies GmbH (TriLite Technologies Ltd.): the research group Media Creation developed an interactive application for virtual-reality glasses. TriLite develops screens that can generate a three-dimensional image without 3D-glasses.
Since a two-dimensional presentation of the product with videos or print documents can only with difficulty convey the effect of display screens, the research group Media Creation looked for a means of three-dimensional representation and created a computer-generated visualization of New York's Times Square in a virtual 360° space.
Research group Media Creation
The research group conducts interdisciplinary research on audiovisual application-oriented media environments and examines various aspects of the production processes of a variety of media such as, film, television, internet and mobile.
Research project TraeX: Transmedia Extensions
The project is financed by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology in the framework of the programme FEMtech FTI projects. The project TraeX is led by Andreas Gebesmair, Institute for Media Economics and Rosa Suess, Institute for Creative\Media/Technologies at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. Project partners are: the Institut für Jugendliteratur, (Institute for Children's Literature); Jungbrunnen Verlag, (Fountain of Youth Publisher); Markus Wiemker, Game Design & Game Studies; the Department of Communication of the University of Vienna and the children's book author Rosemarie Eichinger.