MA student works with local musician on video project

An MA student from the University of Lincoln has collaborated with a local musician to produce a music video using Augmented Reality.

Dave Cutter, who is studying for a Masters degree in Digital Media, is working with Lincolnshire born singer Elliott Morris, to produce a video using the new found concept.


Cutter illustrates how augmented reality works with Elliot Morris's music video. Photo: Dave Cutter

For his final project Cutter will use Augmented Reality, a relatively new style of overlaying computer images onto a live video of the “real world”. More recently, developers have been trying to find new ways to mix the computer generated with the real world, in this case with a music video.

The concept has been used in a music video for Morris’s latest track “Scars”. Cutter spoke about his decision to use the idea during the production. “I’d seen a few Augmented Reality pieces online – business cards, Lego Sets – and feel that it is a technology that really takes people by surprise when they actually see it.”

Viewers have to hold a “marker” to their webcam which in this case is either by wearing a t-shirt with an image of Morris or displaying his recent CD. This will trigger the animation as shown in the picture above. “When viewers hold up Elliott’s CD or photo to their webcam, they’ll see what is a mirror image of themselves and their environment, but with added elements that appear to be taking place around them,” Cutter explained.

Digital Media is a new Masters degree at the university, offering students the chance to experiment with new found technology. The course has given Cutter the chance to work with various pieces of up to date equipment and give audiences an insight into the magical world of Augmented Reality. “I wanted to combine the impressive visual aspect of this with the “moment of magic” people get when they see Elliott’s technique for the first time, the two together really compliment eachother,” Cutter explained.

Morris is well known across the city for his work with BBC Introducing and has performed at festivals across the country. His new music video will compliment his style of musical output as Cutter explains. “I first met Elliott in the second year of my BA and was impressed with his style and commitment to actually getting his music out there. We’ve stayed in touch since and when the concept of the project came about, he was one of the first people I thought of collaborating with – his playing style is so impressive, and really stands out as part of the piece.”

Following a busy festival season, Morris was pleased to be working with a close friend on a initiative that interests them both. “It’s been great working with Dave, he’s a close friend and when he mentioned he wanted to do this project I was on board straight away! It sounded like a really new and exciting way of working!” Morris explained.

The whole process takes a lot of time and effort and is something which has to be perfected.”We could go over and over it until it came out right as it was such an experiment and learning curve,” Cutter explained. “It was a mix of so many different things – at the root of it is Flash software, with various plugins – we used green screens, lighting rigs and Elliott’s own audio recording set-up.”

There were, as expected, many problems along the way but luckily he is working with a team who understands. “With it being an ongoing experiment, there were loads of problems! We’ve literally just recovered a days worth of recording and will no doubt have more fun trying to solve problems. But thats one of the great benefits in working with someone like Elliott who understands what I want to achieve and is willing to wait it out until we’re ready,” explained Cutter.

The launch of Cutter’s project is going to be held on Monday, October 17th at L4 Bar in Lincoln and will include a performance from Elliott Morris himself.

To view the results of the Augmented Reality project and try it yourself visit
www.virtualelliottmorris.com/

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