World for Story
For our next post in our series of user stories, we connected with Tommy Ipsen. He is the founder and director of World for Story, a company that is looking to change how we tell stories with augmented reality (AR). He shared with us how the suit has been a key component in creating their pilot as well as the creative possibilities that the future holds.
Great to meet with you, Tommy. Can you tell me about what World for Story is, and a little bit about your own background?
World for Story, which is supported by the Nordic Film Fund, uses motion capture and real-time puppeteering techniques to bring 3D characters to life. We want to use augmented reality to bring fiction into reality. Our major focus is on augmented reality platforms for mobile devices like: iOS, Android, Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon, and browser based open WebGL. To do this, we develop all of our own IPs as well as expanding our customers IPs. We are currently working on the pilot for our educational AR series. My background stems from the film industry and has transitioned into this other area of storytelling. I am the founder and augmented reality director for World for Story. Because of this I also have my hands in producing along with our producers, as well as writing. When working with new media and game technologies the roles can quickly become multidimensional meaning you get the chance to wear “many hats” through the entire creation process.
How are you using the Smartsuit Pro in your projects?
At the moment, we are developing our own interactive AR series. Imagine you are walking outside and you look up to see a giant spaceship. You notice it is flying right towards you and, before you know it, it has landed in your path. Then a little, alien girl walks out of this spaceship and begins to speak to you. This is the beginning of your adventure! Think of it as a story based, animated treasure hunt that can be in your backyard or your local park. We are using the Smartsuit Pro as one of our main tools for animating and developing our 3D characters. The suit is used to create all the character’s movements and the whole series is based around character driven animation. Rokoko’s Smartsuit Pro allows us to create engaging characters rapidly and work intuitively with motion capture as a creative tool in our development process.
How do you feel the suit has changed the way that you work with animation?
There are a lot of opportunities and possibilities that come with the suit. The strong integration with software and other hardware is a plus. The plug and play capabilities are really important when you’re producing like we are.
What do you think makes the suit stand out? Either your initial attraction or your first experience.
There are several competitors out there that I know of, who are in similar sensor based solutions. We really investigated these different motion capture techniques to find what fit best in the pipeline and the Smartsuit Pro provided that with the plug and play functionality. I also think Rokoko has done so well at creating such a cool suit (laughs). When people put your suit on they’re like, “Yeah! I’m a ninja!” They feel so cool. I also really like the look and feel of the software, and the details put into it. I appreciate how you combine the stand out features with thoughtful design.
What are you excited for in the future and how do you see our Smartsuit Pro fitting into those projects?
I am very excited about extended reality (XR), specifically for character driven XR. In particular, I am excited for the new platforms that are popping up via Snapchat, Amazon, and Facebook that are really just beginning. These platforms are going to allow for characters to be seen and shared easily - creating access and excitement to this interactive content, which I think is going to be a gamechanger. That’s why we need tools like the Smartsuit Pro. There are going to be so many opportunities for characters to be animated and animators will need that support and possibility to quickly create.
I think there is also a big opportunity to have developments in software for motion capture. Right now, it is primarily geared towards animators. As I see it, the point for motion capture is to be able to work more in real-time. People who come from the film industry or have experience using editing software would benefit from having access to similar tools to edit motion capture. Platforms are starting to move into this direction but I feel that software could still deliver more tools that are focused on this kind of work. Overall, I think this would create the opportunity for a lot the mocap editing processes to be enhanced.
We would like to thank Tommy and his team for sharing how our Smartsuit Pro helped them to bring their work to life. We look forward to all the future developments to their projects. You can follow their work by visiting: worldforstory.com
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