Paper Opera

Paper Opera: Augmented Reality

Paper Opera was devised as a proof of concept prototype in response to a project initiated by MMU and the Royal Opera House. The objective of the brief was to produce an App or digital service that would widen participation with the ROH audience as well as to expand on the existing demographic through the use of social media and interactive technologies. The original POC was developed for Android Devices, as at the time of development the iPad with the in built camera was yet to come to market.

The application/service would make use of the ROH archive of printed media as well as moving image and audio content. For the prototype, I developed a bespoke augmented reality tool (derived from open source software), which allowed for the tracking of multiple markers and 3D visualisation of a scene.

Principally, the App would be aimed at the younger audience and would take the form of a ‘Digital Toy’ or play theatre, were users could explore enhanced content embedded within the pages of event or show programs. The initial idea took influence from Victorian toy play theatres, where the elements such as The Stage, Scenery and Characters could be manipulated and arranged through interaction with specific coded markers. Through play, orientation and proximity of key objects within the scene, various types of enhanced media or activities related to the show could be unlocked.

For the prototype, simple 3D models were created to evaluate the technology and potential scope of the project.

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Client: Royal Opera House (ROH)
Concept: Che-Guevara John/Professor Steve Hawley (Manchester School of Art)
Programming & Development: Che-Guevara John