"To Be With Hamlet": Shakespeare in Virtual Reality
During our recent visit to New York University’s Media and Games Network (MAGNET), we met with a team of innovators working on a Virtual Reality production where Shakespeare’s Hamlet meets the ghost of his father (Hamlet: Act I, Scene 5 at Elsinore Castle).
The “To Be With Hamlet” project is led by Javier Molina, an engineer and media artist. and is supported by a broad set of technology and artistic collaborators.
In performing the virtual scene, Zachary Koval and Roger Casey acted out their roles in black body suits. Their motions interact with Ikinema software and Optitrack motion capture technology to create live, photorealistic avatars. The Unreal game engine is used to manage digital assets. The project is using the M3diate platform, developed by another NYU team, to “broadcast” the VR session to larger audiences.
Also, HTC Vive VR headsets are used by viewers to enter the virtual reality scene in real-time and “teleport” themselves around the scene.
“To Be With Hamlet” is a unique experience and another example of how VR is reshaping the world around us.
The project's website is http://hamletvr.org/