Technicolor has been heavily invested in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for some time, having acquired VFX company The Mill then opening the Technicolor Experience Center in 2016. Now the company has announced launch of The Sound Lab at Technicolor aiming to raise the bar of audio in immersive storytelling.
The state-of-the-art sound facility is charged with developing and evolving new sound and audio techniques, melding the latest immersive technology with storytelling expertise to create quality soundscapes for 360-degree films, VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR) experiences, video games, theme parks, and other venues.
A team of award-winning audio designers and artists is led by Director of Sound Editorial Scott Gershin. “We are on the brink of experiencing and being entertained in entirely new ways,” explains Gershin in a statement. “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.”
Viktor Phoenix, Sound Supervisor and Senior Technical Sound Designer at the Sound Lab, added: “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. 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.”
One experience The Sound Lab at Technicolor has been working on is Water Buffalo, shown at the Sundance Film Festival last month. This was a collaboration with the Technicolor Experience Center and the Entertainment Technology Center at USC.
This week also saw Valve announce the Steam Audio beta, supporting multiple platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and it’s not restricted to any particular VR device or to Steam.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Technicolor, reporting back with the latest updates.