Production Innovation in Immersive Content, the new UKRI competition, is the latest instance of R&D funding targeted at the audio-visual sector.

Innovate UK’s ‘cross-platform production in digital media’ fund – Audience of the Future – which first launched in 2013 has resulted in more than a dozen industrial research projects, involving more than 40 different commercial and academic partners.

This included projects such as ASAP – A Scalable Architecture for Cross Media Production, which brought together leading production and games companies such as Double Negative, FilmLight, The Foundry and Rebellion to develop tools and processes for rendering and reviewing computer generated and live video. The project eliminated the need to repeatedly create from scratch the same asset for use at different stages of the production pipeline. As part of this, a number of technical challenges were addressed: scalable dynamic rendering and shading, on-set visualisation and real-time lighting combining 2D and 3D assets from both live and computer generated sources.

Screen shot from ASAP project

Screen shot from ASAP

The outcomes from the ASAP project have already led to a range of new applications and production services. This has resulted in significant efficiency savings for the industrial partners, as well as new licensing opportunities. The project highlighted how under an Innovate UK collaborative framework different sectors can be encouraged to work together to tackle similar problems via unification of media processing pipelines.

It is these kinds of outcomes that Production Innovation in Immersive Content is again seeking to achieve. Through the competition new collaborations and innovations will be established and, crucially, new tools and services will come to market. For creative production companies, technologists and researchers, it represents a significant opportunity, with the potential for far-reaching benefits for the UK’s creative industries.

For more information about the competition and to register for briefing events, visit the Audience of the Future section