The recent publication of Dr Jennifer O’Meara and Dr Kata Szita’s paper in the interdisciplinary academic journal PRESENCE: Virtual and Augmented Reality signals a huge success for the HUMAN+ programme at Trinity College Dublin. It is the result of collaboration between a HUMAN+ fellow and mentor team, which combines research from the disciplines of film studies, psychology and computer science.
In “AR Cinema: Visual Storytelling and Embodied Experiences with Augmented Reality Filters and Backgrounds” O’Meara and Szita explore augmented reality (AR) as a tool for immersive cinematic experiences and narrative strategies. Employing the lenses of film analysis and cognition, the paper discusses the performance and embodied aspects of screen-based augmented reality, demonstrating how it can be used as an apparatus for cinematic composition and storytelling.
Focusing on the concept of mise-en-scéne presented through examples from the early days of cinema such as the use of special effects and rear projection backgrounds in the work of George Méliès and Alfred Hitchcock, and from the modern era with glitching bodies in Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, the paper demonstrates how augmented reality can employ similar techniques and strategies to cinema. Filters, backgrounds and body postures made by the user in augmented reality can play a similar role in manipulating digital surroundings or recorded environments.
PRESENCE is the longest-established academic journal devoted to research into teleoperation and virtual environments, and has a research audience comprised of computer scientists, high-tech artists and media professionals, psychologists and mechanical and electrical engineers. Dr Szita is also lending her expertise as co-editor on the journal’s current special issue on Immersive Visual Storytelling. This special issue, alongside O’Meara and Szita’s article, is another milestone in the HUMAN+ programme’s output.
Click here to access “AR Cinema: Visual Storytelling and Embodied Experiences with Augmented Reality Filters and Backgrounds”