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Dr Frederick Baker (Cambridge) and Marcel Karnapke (Weimar/Cambridge) have been awarded the Gold award for factual Virtual Reality filmmaking at the first ever European Virtual Reality Halo Awards in Amsterdam.

Pitoti Prometheus is a VR 360° film produced by the McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research at Cambridge. It mixes non-optical camera images with animated prehistoric rock-art to examine both life in Iron Age Valcamonica and an episode from the ancient Greek drama Prometheus.

The film is a Cambridge research project in the field of Digital Humanites and Digital Heritage. The 17 minute long film, which creates a 360 degree spherical image around the user, uses 3D scans of prehistoric rock art from Valcamonica and the performances of volumetrically scanned actors to dramatise an episode from the classical Greek tale of Prometheus using dialogue from the German poet Goethe and a scanner developed at the TU Graz. It focuses on the moment when Prometheus raises humankind from the rocks and so brings static figures to life.

This moment of animation echoes the work of the European Union funded '3D Pitoti' research consortium, who worked on the 3D scanning, analysis and visualisation of the Camunian rock art between 2013 and 2016 - www.3D-Pitoti.eu.

The film was developed by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and was a Cambridge University production. Through the European Union FP7 consortium, Frederick Baker and Marcel Karnapke were able to work particularly closely with the Bauhaus University in Weimar in Germany, using new volumetric camera techniques developed by Stefan Beck at the Virtual Reality Lab, as well as the Bauhaus Motion Capture Lab. The scanner used to capture the Pitoti rock art was developed by Professor Axel Pinz and his team at the TU Graz in 2015. The animations were created by Day for Night Hannover.

Pitoti Prometheus is regularly shown at the 8K Deep Space cinema at the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz, Austria.

The Halo Awards, recognising outstanding European works in AR/VR/MR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality), are awarded by an international jury in the categories: factual, cinematic, gaming, branded, future. 

Date awarded

08 November 2017

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