Immersive technology offers artists a new medium with which to engage audiences. Virtual, augmented and mixed reality applications span much further than games or film, offering audiences a new level of immersion, presence and agency.
However, our sector lacks the skills necessary to harness the power of this new technology without external help. In order to support the skills development of UK arts creators, TOMtech are launching a new training programme specifically designed for theatre makers to understand and navigate Unity3D – the powerful games engine most widely used to create digital immersive products.
Unity3D is the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, giving content creators the tools to create rich interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences. unity3d.com
WHO IS IT FOR?
The programme has been designed for theatre makers who are interested in learning how to create immersive work. Whilst a beginners programme, applicants will need to have good computer literacy skills, an ability to pick up complex packages (you might, for example, be able to use Photoshop or Premier). If you are unsure, please contact us before booking.
Attendees need to provide their own laptop/PC to work on (see Unity min. spec for developers here).
28 AUGUST | Introduction Day | The Old Market, Brighton
03-07 SEPTEMBER | Intensive week | 68 Middle Street, Brighton
04-07 OCTOBER | vrLAB – Showcase opportunity) | The Old Market, Brighton
TOMtech will assist with those needing accommodation – if suitable, we can arrange shared properties to reduce the costs of staying in Brighton. Please get in touch to find out more
The course costs £650+VAT per person and includes:
- All training
- Course resources & materials
- Tickets for VR theatre events at The Old Market
- Access to further support through our TheatreXR network
It does not include:
- Laptops / PC for individual use
- Accommodation (see above)
- Food (although we will host a few group dinners)
To secure your place, please contact: James Turnbull | firstname.lastname@example.org | 01273 201800
The TheatreXR residency focusses specifically on the use of immersive technologies within a live, interactive, event based setting. Our four experts have a diverse range of skills from transmedia storytelling, interaction design, VR / AR production and script writing for immersive technologies to artificial intelligence, photogrammetry, interactive 360 video and real time computer graphics.
During the residency participants will attend daily workshops and lectures and will develop their own residency project with mentoring from our experts. The overriding aim of the residency is to equip participants with the skills and knowledge required to be able to move forward with their own projects in the future.
The workshops included in the residency will include the following:
1. virtual reality production with Unity Games engine
Over 60% of interactive VR creators use Unity Games Engine, software which is free to use for most people and with in built support for the main VR headsets. The software allows you to create highly flexible, unique experiences whilst simultaneously allowing efficient production via the use of the asset store, a library of content which enables the creator to quickly produce highly polished work. Unity Games Engine is what transforms the emergence of immersive technologies into a truly ‘punk’ moment, because through the use of it anyone, anywhere in the world can create full virtual reality experiences without the need for a large budget or a big team.
2. augmented reality production for android and iOS
Vuforia is an augmented reality production platform which is built into unity games engine. Using a combination of Unity and Vuforia creators can develop sophisticated augmented reality apps for android and iOS smartphones.
3. scripting without code – an introduction to playmaker visual scripting tool
If you want to create interactive apps and content but don’t know (and don’t have time to learn) coding then your saviour is playmaker, a visual scripting tool which allows you to create scripts for unity games engine without any code whatsoever.
Through the use of photogrammetry the creator is able to produce photorealistic interactive VR experiences which allow your audiences to explore and get involved rather than just being a passive observer.
Lectures will include;
1. Audience Trends of the past ten years
What are audience trend figures telling us about the kinds of culture people want to consume in 2018 and beyond. This lecture analyses the findings of various sources of research conducted over the past ten years, helping us to understand why theatre audiences are in decline and why they represent such a narrow demographic. The aim of the lecture is to propose a way forward, for theatre artists to reach larger audiences and to deliver theatrical experiences a broader spectrum of the population.
2. Interaction design
Looking at the art of designing real time interactions for audiences in virtual and augmented reality.
3. Script Writing for Immersive technologies
How do you write a script for a non-linear experience in which the audience get to make key decisions in how the story unfolds. This lecture looks at the challenges are for writers for immersive technologies and what we can learn from narrative games.
4. Audience routing and touring models for immersive tech
Some of the biggest challenges for creators making live work for immersive technologies is the question of how you design work which is both efficient for touring and which delivers meaningful experiences for enough audience members that the financials to add up.
5. Immersive technologies explained
The development of immersive technologies is changing rapidly all of the time. This lecture compares mobile VR, tethered VR, 360 video and the different VR brands and headsets available with an eye on the pros and cons of each. We will look at mobile AR Vs headset AR and other peripheral devices which bring added functionality to immersive experiences so that when you come to make your own projects you will be able to make intelligent technology choices.
Developing Your Own Project
At the beginning of the residency you will be given a brief to create a prototype immersive technology based project during the period of the residency. Throughout the period of time we spend together you will be able to work on your project with mentoring and technical assistance from our experts.
TheatreXR is led by a team of professionals brought together to give a broad overview of the different aspects of digital creation, production and presentation:
Simon Wilkinson (UK)
Simon Wilkinson is the lead artist at CiRCA69, making large scale immersive works which combine virtual reality, video gaming, electronic music, AV, online and live performance mediums. His work has featured at Tate Modern and, since 2015, his immersive works have enjoyed a 25 nation world tour across six continents. Simon guest lectures in transmedia storytelling and immersive technologies at a large number of universities around the globe and is a regular speaker at digital culture, film and playful media festivals worldwide.
Daniel Sproll (DE)
Coming from a background in cognitive science, Daniel began exploring VR over 5 years ago as a researcher studying human navigation behaviour. In the wake of the latest VR renaissance Daniel has worked as a user experience researcher and designer, on a wide range of VR / AR projects. He was part of the team behind Oculus Mobile VR Jam Gold Winner Colosse and in 2015 co-founded realities.io with the goal of making amazing real world places explorable for everyone in VR. After spending half a year at the Boost VC accelerator in Silicon Valley, realities.io is now working out of Berlin.
Myra Appannah (UK)
Myra is a writer for live works incorporating immersive technologies. She is the creative lead and writer of ‘Somnai’, a large-scale, live immersive experience, which Time Out London described as “a dreamy immersive VR experience… it feels like we’re in an episode of Black Mirror”. It gained great reviews, including 5 stars from Culture Whisper who said “the real impact of the show comes from the interplay between virtual reality and a more traditionally theatrical use of space and performance.” She worked on ‘Ada Ada Ada’, a live, interactive VR performance about Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer. She has been commissioned and is currently writing a VR and AR immersive experience bringing the history of Southwark to life.
Darshika Karunahara (DK)
TheatreXR is supported by Arts Council England through National Lottery Project Grants.
This funding has enabled us to make the training more affordable for arts organisations.