The Art & Tech Lab offers a great variety of opportunities to students, staff and alumni of Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg to gain immersive experience, true to the motto “technical innovation meets artistic approach”. In addition to the curriculum, creative approaches are taken in order to make virtual reality (VR) and interactivity accessible for media production processes and integrate them in the planning of productions. With the support of education partner Samsung, low-threshold VR techniques (such as Gear 360 / Gear VR) and devices supporting productions (such as Samsung Flip / tablets) are also used in student and other projects.
In its first year, the talent development initiative is focused on current questions of group dynamic VR, machine learning, historical and spatial immersion as well as on technical process support for student projects. Following its prototype premiere at FMX 2018, the "Group Reactive Cinematic VR" of Animationsinstitut saw further development and received a nomination for the “Aurea Awards for AR and VR Excellence in Entertainment” in November 2019. For the first time, “Schubert Meets Animation” allowed for the comparison of different 360-degree video productions and the use of "artistML" for artist-controlled application of neural networks in real-time animation, with a first presentation of its further development at FMX 2019.
Alongside these rather technical approaches, the Art & Tech Lab deals with questions of content regarding spatial immersion and concepts for the processing of historical materials for XR media. Formats and projects produced in the context of the Art & Tech Lab were presented at FMX 2018 and 2019 and have been a part of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg events such as the Research Fair and the VR Experience Days. During the latter a format development workshop was held together with ARTE on the topic of “History and Spatial VR” which resulted in specific research and production projects for 2019.