The Filmakademie Receives Innovation Grants for Extended Reality Lab and Technology Development

Two projects will be realized within the EU funded program Horizon Europe


Press Release: Ludwigsburg, 30.09.2022




The Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg's research and development department receives grants of 1.4 million euros, partnering in two new projects dedicated to innovation in Extended Reality (XR) with unique opportunities for funded third party projects. Projects EMIL and MAX-R will be supported by Horizon Europe, an EU key funding program for research and innovation.


Prof. Volker Helzle, Head of Research & Development at the Filmakademie's Animationsinstitut, is excited about the upcoming projects: "We are thrilled to be part of two key consortia leading to new solutions in Extended Reality including funded third party projects. Europe has excellent talent and EMIL and MAX-R will allow us to foster it accordingly."


XR, the umbrella term for virtual, augmented and mixed reality, is set to become a key factor in transforming conventional media production in the future: New formats in news, entertainment, storytelling, gaming and user interaction will change the way we experience the world. The Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg will thus join forces with top partners from different fields of expertise to develop new ways to apply extended reality to media production. The EU's funding program Horizon Europe will financially support two projects that the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg will work on in the years to come:


EMIL (European Media and Immersion Lab) will establish a physical and virtual laboratory infrastructure, promoting innovative XR content, services and applications. EMIL will set out two open calls for proposals to be funded in a range of 250.000 - 500.000 EUR, with a total budget for third party projects of 5.6 million EUR. Selected projects will receive lab access and expert advice. The project will bring together Aalto University (Finland), University of Bath (United Kingdom), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain) and the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany), combining a wide range of scientific, technological, creative and business skills. Additionally, each of the four partners will create an XR Lighthouse project focusing on their respective core competences in the fields of Narrative Storytelling in XR, Smart Garments, Embodied Interaction and Digital Health.


MAX-R (Mixed Augmented and eXtended Reality media pipeline) aims at democratizing the creation of XR content. The project will focus on research and advances in virtual production technologies by creating tools that are more flexible, while still meeting the ever-advancing industry standards of movie and episodic content production. “Virtual Production as a flavor of XR has gained wide application during the last years. This trend emerges due to streaming plattforms having an unprecedented appetite for animated and VFX content. MAX-R is set out to produce tools and workflows to meet this demand, while extending the horizon of current XR applications and services,” Prof. Volker Helzle explains. Participating partners in the project are the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Brainstorm Multimedia, Foundry, Disguise, Improbable, BBC, CREW, University of Hasselt, ARRI, Film Light, and the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. The cluster of eleven project partners will develop a complete pipeline of tools for creating maximum-quality XR content – all based on open APIs, open file and data transfer.


Students at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg and its Animationsinstitut will actively participate in both projects, giving them the chance to shape the future of media production in the field of XR, says Prof. Volker Helzle: “Students will be exposed to early versions of new developments in a practical production environment. They will get access to custom hard and software to streamline their XR productions and workflows while maintaining industry standard quality levels. Moreover, students of the specialization Technical Directing can choose to contribute actively to the projects by aligning their own research activity accordingly.”


Disclaimer: Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Horizon Europe. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.