Innovative award for Wolfson College Research Associate

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

The Halo Award in Gold was given to Pitoti Prometheus a 17-minute 360° virtual reality, cultural heritage, documentary-drama that mixes non-optical camera images with animated prehistoric rock-art to recreate life in Iron Age Valcamonica and examine a key episode in the ancient Greek drama Prometheus.

Frederick Baker is a College Research Associate at Wolfson and developed this EU-funded project for the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge.

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

Pitoti Prometheus uses the 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 TU Graz.

The film is a Cambridge Digital Humanites /Digital Heritage research project and creates a 360° spherical image around the user. It focuses on the moment when Prometheus raises humankind from the rocks and so brings static figures to life.

The film was developed by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and was a Cambridge University production. Through the European Union FP7 consortium Baker and 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.