Extended and virtual reality are paramount in finding new collaboration methods in production design. To improve both communication and production efficiency, a model for simulating artistic designs is developed through networking, shared experiences, and learning together.

The XR Stage project concentrates on solving quality and scheduling problems in the design and planning work of performing arts productions by introducing a new online, remote workspace. The scope of the project is to create a fully functional digital twin of the real stage, integrate it to lighting and technical stage operation systems, and create a toolset for sketching and trialing the set and scenes, pre-program lights and have a dry-run for the changes.

By enabling the simulation of artistic designs in a virtual world, the tool will enhance the efficiency of production work and improve communication between the various stakeholders such as directors, set designers, lighting designers and producers. For shared productions, any preliminary sketches can be simulated in their intended surroundings to streamline design and planning.

This enables the artistic teams to visualize the production already in the early phase, to reduce risk of misinterpretation. Instead of sending CAD images, simulation allows people to step into virtual reality and walk together on the stage. It also saves a lot of energy and time from travelling. The digital outcome of the work can be adopted to the technical engineering, which enables a smooth start for the engineering and manufacturing.

In addition to streamlining the production process, XR Stage is a key technical enabler for exploiting the opportunities that virtualization can bring to live performances. Capturing motions of the performers and presenting that data to the audience either as an enhancement to the live show, or as an independent entity through any channel (such as a Metaverse experience) open up vast new territories for creating totally new experiences to spectators.

Opera Beyond is developing the XR Stage Design Platform together with virtual and mixed reality tools producer Varjo and virtual reality studio Zoan.

Interested in learning more with these immersive champions?

Please contact Annastina Haapasaari, Project Manager of Opera Beyond (annastina.haapasaari@opera.fi).