Technicolor's Gershin and Phoenix Describe How Next-Gen Immersive Experiences (VR, AR and Beyond) Drive New Demands for Audio Engagement
New Sound Lab at Technicolor Opens to Explore New Frontier in Audio Entertainment
"We are on the brink of experiencing and being entertained in entirely new ways," explains Gershin. "While it has similarities to film and television, it also has a lot in common with theatre. Instead of being way back in the audience or looking through the 'window', you now have the perspective of being on stage or in the space with the characters."
"Sound has always played a leading role in enabling experiences to be more immersive. Now the picture has caught up. You can put the goggles on and be transported to a whole new environment with picture and sound," he adds.
According to Viktor Phoenix, Sound Supervisor and Senior Technical Sound Designer at the Sound Lab, audio will have a key role in immersive VR. "Audio plays such a big role in creating presence. Audio is one of the critical factors for immersion, especially in VR. It enables us to create the feeling of being in a virtual environment."
However, because audio is so tightly integrated with the visual component of a VR or AR experience, it must be incorporated much earlier in the production process.
"We are finding it increasingly important to be involved early on every project, to understand the creative vision, and to be able to give our counsel and advise on how to use sound in ways that people had not thought of," says Phoenix.
This, says Gershin, will mean developing new workflows for all those involved in VR and AR. It also requires a new language of sound for engaging users in immersive environments.
"Audio becomes a navigational tool to help the audience explore their VR environments and the characters in it," says Gershin. "This means making decisions on how audio is approached technically and artistically ... and giving thought to what emotional and strategic role sound will play in the story. These concepts and artistic ideas need to be discussed and thought through early on in production and pre-production. We spend time with clients discussing the emotional beats, the pacing, and how to guide and navigate the audience through the experience."
You can read and hear more from Gershin and Phoenix on the future of audio in emerging immersive media experiences by visiting:
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