The ongoing pandemic has changed a lot of things; some in a rather negative way but we are survivors, and we are known for our unsurpassed adaptability. Though initially it seemed like a short-lived fad, we are now realizing the fact that the change is not only constant but mandatory. And not only for the way of errands and daily hygiene but also the ways we work. Now that we need to keep our physical distance and adapt to working remotely, the event industry is taking the necessary steps to keep up to date. This is where Extended Reality, or xR for short, comes in. But what is xR? xR is the combination of AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), IoT (Internet of Things), and MR (mixed reality). Clients all over the world are seeking ways to integrate this exciting, yet seemingly puzzling new “thing” into their works, workplaces, brand experiences, and of course, their events. One of those visionary establishments who wanted such integration quite soon in Turkey is TISK, Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions.
TISK commenced Joint Dialogue Forum (OPF) “physically” in 2019 in Antalya, Turkey, unaware of what the upcoming year would bring. And in 2020, the best way to execute such important forum, also known as the Turkish Davos, was xR, as the current circumstanced demanded. And such a big event required big solution partners, where the combined power of ArtNPars The Designers’ Agency and Crop Experience Agency, both based in Istanbul, stepped up.
The concept of OPF was set as “Together Possible”, which underlines the notion that it takes togetherness to unravel endless possibilities in business, but more precisely, for the future of work. The Future of Work tackles the many challenges that need to be prepared for.
Setting out from such encompassing and bright idea, ArtNPars designed the entire main stage of the event, titled “Together Possible Stage.” Inspired by the logo and the brand identity of OPF, the designers at ArtNPars created a futuristic yet organic and sensible setting where the local and international speakers, including Mr. Özgür Burak Akkol, the chairman of MESS, Turkish Employers’ Association of Metal Industries, and Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, the current minister of Family, Labor and Social Services of Turkey, shared their opinions and insights on various topics. But how did ArtNPars do it?
Unreal Engine and Real-Time Processing
OPF event required extensive know-how on several topics that might be unknown to many people due to their novelty. First of all, the stage is entirely virtual and designed in real-time. The real-time designed stage, now integrated to work in unreal engine, is combined with the reality care data run on reality engine in computer. Then the green box studio is “keyed.” By keying, the studio is optimized in a way that helps the composition animated.
Our new, enriched “composition” comes with camera tracking devices which allow the camera positions in the unreal engine; this means the collected position data makes its way into the unreal engine, which now recognizes this data. What follows is the keyed footage being integrated with the stage; and the real camera and virtual camera now work in tandem.
It might sound a little complicated to grasp initially; especially when this real-time processed stage is “augmented” with Augmented Reality components called OnAir Graphics. An OnAir Graphic is augmented reality graphic that is reflected on a virtual stage (green background). Generally used to enhance the content of a presentation or any topic discussed, it incapsulates and visualizes the important points communicated. In Mr. Akkol’s presentation, for instance, several initiatives and practices implemented by TISK, the Turkish government, and different NGOs were visualized “on air”. When the topic came to the Yeşile Ortak Ol (Join the Green) Campaign, the entire stage turned into a lush, vivid forest with trees emanating around the speakers. This technology contributes to the visual quality of what the speakers are communicating in speech.
The shooting took place in XRT Studio, a novel digital studio situated in Fişekhane, Zeytinburnu, one of the bustling districts of Istanbul. Partnered with Zero Density, XRT Studio and ArtNPars The Designer’s Agency created a first in Turkey and executed multiple virtual events at a time. The Forum lasted two days. In addition to the Main Stage (Together Possible Stage), two other stages conceptualized as the Social Dialog Stage and Future of Work Stage, again designed by ArtNPars, where international live seminars and panels with live calls took place.