In Introducing Augmented Reality – Blending Real and Digital Worlds, I introduced the idea of augmented reality in which digital graphical objects are overlaid on video images of real world scenes, to give the appearance of digital objects inhabiting the real world. By overlaying the digital objects on top of ‘tracked’ real world objects, it is possible for a human puppeteer to enter the digital realm and both control and interact with digital animations. But now consider the case of digital characters entering the “real world” and joining human actors on a physical stage, rather than the actors having to move behind the video screen?
The effect is used to make a ghostly apparition appear and disappear from a scene – see if you can find out how the effect works…
A recent twist to the illusion allows digitally projected 3D animations to come to life on stage:
The same trick can be used to create a feeling of telepresence, for example in the case of large business presentations:
Recalling the theatrical origins of the technique, this New York Times “presentation’ describes a recent theatrical performance that uses the same effect: First Person Ghost Lighting
One company that is championing the ‘digital Pepper’s ghost” approach is the UK based Musion Systems Ltd (Musion Systems blog). The following video sequence shows how they create the illusion with their Musion Eyeliner system.
To what extent does this system represent something ‘new’ and to what extent is it just an extension of Victorian theatrical stagecraft?
For what sorts of game might this technique provide a compelling user interface? Are there any game genres where it is unlikely to be effective? Why?