Newly developed 360˚ audio and video capture technology was used to record and reproduce an outdoor performance that took in Trinity College Dublin’s Front Square Friday, April 8th, in Virtual Reality. The newly developed video processing techniques, developed by researchers at the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology at Trinity, aim to deliver a truly transformative experience through VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.
With the emergence of affordable VR headsets, attention has turned to the creation of VR experiences that are immersive for the user. Using special types of microphones and cameras the team will record audio and video from all directions at the same time enabling a synchronised audio-visual representation that can trick the wearer into believing they are experiencing something firsthand.
Speaking about this development, Research Fellow at the ADAPT Centre, Dr Francois Pitie said: “The challenge is to capture three-dimensional audio to recreate the exact sound in a scenario and match it to the visuals. Although both 360˚ audio and video capture has been around for a while, the precise way in which this material is recorded, produced and delivered for VR applications has not been fully integrated. Our audio research group, led by Professor Frank Boland, has made key advances to take the movement of an individuals head into account, creating listener-specific variation. When paired with video, the illusion makes the impact of the VR experience much richer and more realistic.”
With the increase in 360˚ cameras and recorders available on the market and the move towards including spatial audio support on everyday devices such as smartphones, the 360˚ experience has become the key player in VR development. The research taking place at the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology at Trinity is pushing the state-of-the-art in this area and the Trinity event was a unique VR experience as it reproduced a fully synchronised audio-visual reproduction of the concert.
From Within, From Without is a multi-movement spatial music work by Trinity College Dublin composer and teaching fellow, Enda Bates. Traditional concert performances in which all of the musicians are located in front on stage are in many ways not very well suited to this new medium of VR, but From Within, From Without provides the perfect opportunity to maximise the potential of this new medium.
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