A Virtual Studio Production Chain

This chapter discusses the Prometheus project, a joint effort of various film and broadcast companies in Europe to develop a three-dimensional film and broadcast capability without the extensive use of markers and animation techniques and create a new "entertainment experience" for the user.

Presently, the technology has been developed to create a realistic (albeit distorted and creepy) 3D rendering of a human face from two photographs (front and side) and to use and to track by natural markers (recognize specific points on the face without needing to draw dots on it).

The author then delves into history - how the earliest entertainment was a play, done by real actors in real time in a physical space, experienced in 3D by the audience. Film came along, transforming it into a 2D experience, but giving the producer greater ability to edit (several takes to get the scene just right) and create visual effects. Television was an extension of film, though with real-time capabilities (sacrificing some ability to shoot, edit, and apply effects). Finally, animation, which had been around in the form of line drawings, became capable of creating more photo-realistic effects. Finally, the medium of the video game has made film interactive.

Prometheus is an evolution from this history - it provides the ability to render images in 3D, in real time, applying animation effects, and enabling the user to interact with the scene. It seeks to provide a medium in which an individual could watch a film in 3D, or experience a photorealistic 3D environment, or even create an avatar of themselves to project into the scene.

He goes into a bit more detail about portions of the project that can create realistic impressions, program avatars with AI to accommodate a variety of interactions, and the like - but in the end, he considers it to be an "entertainment experience"

EN: I attempted to do some follow-up research to see the present status of the project. From the look of things, it came to a close in August 2002. There's no clear indication of what became of it, though I suspect that it was either eclipsed by alternative methods for accomplishing the same task, or funding simply dried up. In any case, we still do not have the kind of "experiences" the author predicted the project would produce.