TOMtech LABS are designed to accelerate technical learning for theatre professionals. Each year, we bring together theatre makers and technologists in order to help sculpt the future of live performance. These projects are not designed as production commissions – rather moments of exploration, time to consider the creative implications of new technology and to help you forge new partnerships with professionals from other industries.
In 2016, we worked with artistic directors to develop narrative structures for immersive environments in 360LAB and explored how VR tech can be used on stage as shared experience in ProjectLAB. For reports & video on previous #TOMtech LABS, click the LABS tab on the menu bar.
How can you use real-time motion capture technology to re-imagine what’s possible on stage? Working in partnership
with New Theatre Royal Portsmouth and The School of Creative Technologies at Portsmouth University, we are offering theatre
companies some funded time to explore the tech and, hopefully, start to imagine what can be possible. Our ambition is to
allow creative teams time to play and think big about what this technology can facilitate.
This is a space to explore emerging technology without the stress of production cycles – consider it more early stage R&D or proof of concept. What might this character need to be able to do? How could we animate non-humanoid characters or emotions on stage? How can we creatively explore the relationship between a live actor and one performing through avatar?
WHO CAN APPLY:
Small to mid-scale theatre companies or collectives (an existing organisation or a new group made up of professional artists). Groups should have experience touring; this opportunity is primarily aimed at established theatre companies Those excited by the technology, and its possibilities for the stageYour team needs to available for the whole consultation period & residency week, in Portsmouth. (Mon 4 Sept consultancy & planning, 11-15 Sept residency)No previous experience of motion capture required. You will work alongside the team at Portsmouth University to realise your ideas.
WHAT’S ON OFFER:
We are inviting two theatre companies to take part side by side. While one team is in the Motion Capture suite, the other will work at New Theatre Royal.
Lead-in development advice and consultation (Mon 04 Sept)A dedicated developer (to prepare digital assets and realise your work in Unity/Unreal games engine)A week’s residency at the motion capture suite (Portsmouth University) (Mon 11- Fri 15 Sep), fully supported with technologists and digital artistsA further rehearsal – and desk space – at New Theatre Royal£1,000+VAT (per company) contribution towards your expenses
11 August | Deadline for applications
18 August | Selected companies notified
04 September | Consultation day (at Portsmouth University)
11 – 15 September | Residency week (at Portsmouth University and New Theatre Royal Portsmouth)
26 September | Attendance at StoryHack conference (The Old Market, Brighton) ** opportunity to share your learning **
Email email@example.com (header: MoCapLAB Application) with no more than two sides of A4 detailing your company history, why you are interested in the opportunity and what you aim to achieve or explore.
2. Ar/VR LAB
What does Virtual and Augmented Reality offer for storytellers? We are excited by the possibilities immersive tech can bring to theatre maker’s tool box. Pioneering companies like CiRCA69, curious directive and AΦE are the forerunners -creating immersive, digital shared experiences for this new medium. Interested to learn more? Join our two-day workshop to learn the basics.
A two day workshop aimed to get participants making virtual reality and augmented reality content using Unity games engine led by Simon Wilkinson [CiRCA69], described by Cineuropa Magazine as ‘one of the most notable names in Europe to be dealing with VR’ Unity is the preferred software tool used by many VR / AR creators, it comes in a free version and enables creators to produce interactive immersive content for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and many other VR and AR platforms.
Day one of the workshop will be an introduction to making 3D worlds in Unity for virtual reality. Users should come with Unity installed on their own laptops but will have access to a variety of VR headsets including Oculus, Vive and Gear VR. Day two will focus on using Unity to create augmented reality apps for mobile platforms. The workshop is for up to 15 people.
The intention of the workshop is to get participants quickly through the steepest slopes of the Unity learning curve, to be up and running making content by the end of each day with a clear understanding of how to move forward and continue developing your skills in your own time. Participants need to bring their own laptop, with Unity downloaded and registered (free)
WHEN & WHERE:
Wed 13 Sept & Thurs 14 Sept // 1000-1700
The Old Market // 11a Upper Market St, Hove BN3 1AS
COST: £150 Full price
£75 (Individual artist, non-NPO companies, charities & freelancers)
We have five funded places available to support those to attend who cannot afford the fee – These places will be focused to ensure we have equal representation from all parts of our community, with particular mind to ensure gender balance as well as the other protected characteristics.
To apply for this bursary, email firstname.lastname@example.org a brief explanation as to why you qualify. Deadline for bursary places: 11 August, 5pm.
If you have work to showcase in VR / AR we are currently programming our annual showcase event (21-24 Sept). There is no cost to showcase your work and we welcome creators from the arts, gaming, broadcast, film, medical and other sectors.
Please get in touch with us for more information.
StoryHack is our annual conference bringing together artists, technologists, funders and support organisations to discuss and showcase technical innovation in the creative industries. If you have a story to share, an industry / cross industry challenge to propose then please get in touch with us. StoryHack takes place on 26 Sept. For more information see HERE.
#TOMtech is supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts; Portsmouth New Theatre Royal; Portsmouth University; Digital Catapult Centre Brighton; Brighton Digital Festival; CiRCA69; Make [Real] and Yes/No Productions.