Lazuli Sky: AR Dance App with Volumetric Capture (WIP)

We’d like to share a sneak preview of an application that we have been working on with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Will Tuckett and Copper Candle.

During the summer of 2020 we were set the challenge of creating a new ballet in the most uncertain of times: Would we be able to rehearse in time for the propsed show? Would theatres be allowed to open? Would the public be allowed to watch live? Would illness scupper all of our plans?

Among several scenarios that we had to plan for, one was the (almost) worst case scenario that no show could take place even if some rehearsals were possible. For this option, we worked to create an AR teaser with a short excerpt from the full ballet choreography that audiences could view at home in a nascent form of tabletop theatre.

Dancers were captured volumentrically using an array of depth cameras and various layers of softwere processing. Using volcapp instead of mocap has th advantage of course that details like costumes, hair and muscles and of course all body movements can be faithfully and compellingly rendered in 3D.

We had a very limited budget and timeline and were attempting to create something that was pushing beyond the capabilities of existing technology on many fronts but we hope that this work in progress will provide us with a calling card to obtain partners and funding to perfect the workflow and technology so that one day audiences will be able to experience a beautifully realised, full length piece of dance or performance, delivered to their homes in three vuirtial dimensions.

You can see the reults for yourself by downloading the app here:

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/lazuli-sky/id1535858441

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.CopperCandle.BRB_LazuliSky

and by scanning one of the following images:

The full ballet is availabe on iPlayer as part of BBC’s Dancing Nation for a limited time here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0952ztm/dancing-nation-2-part-two-akram-khan-and-natalia-osipova-far-from-the-norm-and-boy-blue

If you would like us to bring our learning and expertise to your project, get in touch here !

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