The work of the Performance Augmentation Lab was recognised by the University with the Research Excellence Award for the academic year 2018/19. Fridolin Wild and John Twycross were awarded by the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships, Prof Dr Linda King, in the category Interdisciplinary/Collaborative/Pump-prime. The award comes with a grant of £10,000, which the lab will use to build a ‘holodeck’, a capturing studio for volumetric video to research more efficient and effective ways for holographic projection.

This will help to advance our capacity for creating and simulating digital twins of real life characters and their action sequences for training, media, and entertainment purposes. Gaps in current research have been identified in the areas of body and face scanning (the process of converting a human actor and their expressions into a virtual model ready for animation). While there is a significant body of work completed by video game and Hollywood film producers there is a significant lack of disseminated knowledge by commercial companies. This project aims to address this gap in knowledge. Through experimentation and practice based production we will refine and disseminate a robust workflow that will enable photo-real full body capture with movement and facial expression digitisation and reproduction. We seek to collaborate with industry on this.