The common rules in film making do not apply in virtual reality. In VR, the viewer is at the center of the experience. So what is their role? Are they the proverbial ‘fly on the wall,’ or a character in the film?
Ashes to Ashes is a surreal tragicomedy in virtual reality. The 11-minute one-shot immerses the viewer in the story about a dysfunctional family burdened with the bizarre final wish of their deceased grandfather. Filmed from the perspective of the urn containing the ashes, viewers encounter the colourful family members, who each seem to live in a reality of their own creation.
The Royal Dutch Visio Centre of Expertise for Blind and Partially Sighted People asked us to team up with experts and students to design and develop the ‘Ideal Learning Book’, starting with mathematics.
Mathematics is an important subject: it equips students with general knowledge and teaches them to think analytically. But the subject has many challenges for blind students.
An app has been developed that renders graphs in both an auditory and tactile manner, making the teaching and learning of mathematics comprehensible and fun.
We have created a translation mechanism which turns graphs into musical 3D sounds. When a formula is entered, students can choose to hear the graph elements one at the time, in different combinations, or all together.
Now, the students can hear the shape of a graph, instead of using braille.
4 years ago we started experimenting with binaural recordings. We bought the best binaural microphone on the planet and recorded hours and hours of 3D audio material. Finally, we wrote our first audio only script called ‘In Your Head’. So, put your headphones on, close your eyes, and listen….
For this zoo we created an information concept based on audio that blends in with the park. Instead of creating large columns with an ‘i’ on top, we devised and delivered a concept for auditory information. We didn’t want to just ‘send information’ or educate, we wanted visitors to explore and investigate. By using motion sensors, we can prompt people with the sound of whispering voices asking all kinds of questions and discussing interesting facts about various animals.
We also designed modified helmets for kids that let them listen to a series of 3D audio experiences.
As sound designers and composers, we sketch, design and create immersive audio experiences for VR, museums and brands. To ensure the greatest experience of our audio concepts, we often use 3D audio.
3D audio is audio that has been recorded and produced in a special way, replicating exactly how we, as humans, hear sound. Playback is easy; just use your headphones, any type will do. Only now, instead of standard (left-right) stereo, the sound can also come from the front or the back. Even from above or below. Now stories really come alive.
Suddenly you’re in an Amsterdam tram, when a strange old man on the seat behind you starts to whisper odd instructions in your ear…
In the fall of 2015 the Dutch VR Days were organized for the first time. Four days of the latest VR trends, hardware, inspiring keynotes, content creation and a huge amount of demos to experience. The final day was devoted to an experiment: “How do we tell a story in VR, when we don’t have a frame, but we create a world?”. One cast, one set, three directors: a theatre director, a film director and a VR director. They all recorded their take on the same script, live, in front of the audience. At the end of the day the recorded scenes were shown and the makers went on stage to share their experience and answer all questions from the audience.
We provided all audio equipment, audio knowledge and people to make the day a succes.