As part of an initiative led by the cultural services of the French Embassy in Canada, with the support of the Consulate General of France in Québec, coordinated by Alliance Française de Vancouver in partnership with Xn Québec, we are proposing a series of portraits of the XR industry in Canada. Through this series of portraits which discuss the history and vision of these companies, we invite you to discover the talents behind the immersive and techno-creative studios listed in our database of XR in Canada.
Based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Arcturus is best known for creating HoloSuite, a tool used for volumetric video production. This portrait of Arcturus was made with the help of Fabio Hofnik
What sets you apart from other companies in Canada?
Arcturus is the global leader in authoring, editing and the distribution of volumetric videos. It is most often utilized in VR and AR, but has also been used in 2D productions. We were formed in 2016 by a collection of some of the best and brightest from Autodesk, Dreamworks, Google, Pixar, YouTube and more. Our founders saw the potential in volumetric video and realized they could elevate volumetric video in a way no one else was doing. That led to the creation of HoloSuite, the first post production platform for editing and distributing volumetric video.
Volumetric video is transforming the face of media creation and consumption across several industries, and it hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what it can do. HoloSuite gives creators the tools they need to experiment and take advantage of the format, then get that content to people on the device of their choice, including mobile. Our distribution platform provides an adaptive streaming solution to stream 3D volumetric content to the viewer, in the same way companies like Netflix, Amazon and Disney stream their content to viewers without a loss of quality.
What are some of your past projects of which you are the proudest?
Earlier this year, we helped launch a project for Anayi, one of Japan’s most influential women’s fashion brands. To highligh Anayi‘s new spring and summer collection, it released 19 original volumetric videos featuring models wearing the new fashions. Shoppers can select a video (labeled “4D View”) from their desktop using any browser, and view a model in motion – from any angle, including close-ups – to see how the fabric will drape and move with the wearer. Buyers can get a real sense of how their potential purchase will look on them, rather than making a decision based on heavily stylized (and occasionally misleading) product shots.
Potential buyers can also tap the “3D Hologram” button or scan a QR code on a mobile device to place a 3D hologram of the model in their room using web-based augmented reality. This is a great example of volumetric video being used for e-commerce, and features a look at our adaptive streaming solution. This is just the beginning of how brands will use volumetric video to deliver better value and experiences for their consumers.
Case Study — Challenges and Takeaways
The pandemic has forced many brands to think creatively. Last year, Samsung was preparing to launch a new product with a big, live event featuring the K-pop boy band, BTS. Those plans had to be nixed, for obvious reasons. So instead of bringing fans to the band, Samsung came to us and asked if we could help bring the band to the fans.
Users were able to turn on the cameras on their phones, and it appeared as if members of BTS were in their rooms. It was a great use of both volumetric video and our technology, and fans loved it. They were able to take pictures and videos with their favorite band members, and fill social media channels for months.
Based on your experience, how would you describe the purpose or advantages of working with an international co-producer?
International co-productions open up a huge world of opportunities for any business, but the XR ecosystem in particular can benefit for several reasons. XR is beginning to grow at a rapid pace, but it’s still so new that there aren’t enough experts for all the categories and industries that want to get into it. So by expanding to a global field, the pool of experts grows significantly, and partners from all over can help lend their expertise to a project and help make it extraordinary.
For example, Arcturus partnered with Dimension in London, Reflector Entertainment in Montreal and SequinAR in the USA to record and prepare four holograms of Madonna that were then integrated into the live TV broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards. It was the first time ever volumetric video was used as part of a live TV show, and it was a huge success for everyone involved. It went on to receive a lot of attention from fans and industry pros, and garnered several awards.
Looking ahead: Why should companies seek you out for co-productions?
Arcturus is a great partner for anyone working on volumetric video. We have experience with a variety of projects and clients across several industries, some simply through our tools, others through a more hands-on relationship. It really just comes down to what our clients need.
In some cases, clients can simply use our software and achieve the results they desire with minimal input from us. Our tools are meant to be comprehensive and intuitive, so content creators familiar with the format should recognize how and why HoloSuite is the top platform for the creation of volumetric video. But volumetric video is still such a new field, and creators have just started to understand its potential. For those cases, we can act as a strong producing partner. We bring our expertise (and services) in volumetric video post production and distribution, and help others see their vision become reality. Currently, we are focused primarily on projects related to e-commerce, music and sports, but we are growing along with the technology.
Mapping XR in Canada
Do you want to develop a collaboration with Canada? Discover Canada’s immersive and techno-creative studios by checking out Québec/Canada XR’s living database of XR in Canada.
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