November 4, 2020 – Vancouver-based AMPD Ventures Inc. has announced that it has partnered with Shocap Entertainment Ltd. to conduct a number of joint projects and R&D initiatives focused on innovation in virtual production technologies and high-performance computing infrastructure for live performance.
Shocap, another Vancouver-based company, produces live cross-reality entertainment by harnessing real-time visual effects technology and on-stage human performance in order to create shared experiences for in-venue audiences and online participants simultaneously.
With funding through the Epic Games MegaGrant program and support from the Canada Media Fund and Creative BC, Shocap’s first project, LiViCi, for live and virtual contemporary circus, is a real-time blended reality theatrical and virtual online performance in partnership with Montreal’s Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers of the Hand) Arts Collective.
LiViCi aims to advance Shocap’s mission to create new and exciting shared experiences that combine the visual expressivity of computer animation and visual effects with the emotional immediacy of live performance. Shocap utilizes a range of professional real-time virtual production tools, such as Unreal Engine, Optitrack, Ncam and Pixotope, alongside internally developed proprietary systems to generate 3D animations and believable CG avatars in real-time.
The company also recently announced that it is employing its advanced technology to bring Vancouver’s historic Palomar Supper Club back to life in extended reality (XR), with a live-streamed show featuring Jill Barber and her Phantom Jazz Band on November 20th, 2020 in collaboration with Live Nation Canada.
AMPD stated that its own technological expertise across animation, visual effects, and online game development and distribution means that it is ideally positioned to help Shocap in a number of areas, from designing and refining its in-studio tech pipeline, through to the challenges of distributing Shocap’s blended reality performances to thousands of users around the world.
“AMPD has been working with digital creators for nearly twenty years to help them design, plan, and budget the technical components of their complex digital media projects,” said Anthony Brown, CEO of AMPD. “Shocap is innovating in an exceptionally exciting way, and we are pleased to support them where we can through our recently announced AMPD Lab initiative and beyond. A hands-on approach to problem solving is totally aligned with our project-based approach to innovation, and we expect the outcomes of this partnership to have broad application as we explore the fringes of the metaverse with both entertainment and enterprise applications.”
“AMPD’s involvement will contribute in a meaningful way to Shocap as we explore the technology and infrastructure components of our roadmap,” said Athomas Goldberg, Executive Director at Shocap Entertainment. “Our platform fuses real-time virtual production and VFX, along with the interactive components of online games. AMPD’s dedication to eliminating latency with their high-performance- compute-at-the-edge approach, along with their understanding of the multiple technologies we’re combining represents a huge advantage for us,” added Athomas.
One of the first direct outcomes of the partnership is a joint initiative at the leading edge in virtual production, and in expanding XR for arts and entertainment. Working with researchers at Simon Fraser University in big data, visual computing and machine learning, the umbrella project includes exploring predictive motion capture technology in low-latency, high-performance computing pipelines and distribution networks. The debut project is supported by provincial and federal programs within British Columbia, Canada.
AMPD added that the two companies expect to continue to explore initiatives to the mutual benefit of both, as well as the broader digital media industry and creative ecosystem. For more information on AMPD, please click here. To find out more about Shocap, please click here.
Image / video credit: AMPD / Shocap / YouTube