13.0549 voice; virtual reality

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 19 2000 - 20:18:30 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 549.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance) (17)
             Subject: Re: 13.0547 music: voice, instrument and song

       [2] From: "Stephen N. Matsuba" <smatsuba@home.com> (48)
             Subject: RE: 13.0547 music and a digital Ariel

             Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 21:11:58 +0100
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: Re: 13.0547 music: voice, instrument and song


    > transcription of its dictionary, and asked them if they could transform our
    > IPA-coded dictionary into the transcription used by their TTS engine. It
    > turned out that the process worked astonishingly well, even though it also
    > proved that a finer tweaking than just translating IPA into the TTS engine
    > phonetic code would be required to obtain 'natural' sounding utterances.

    The tweaking, did it occur? If it did, did it relate to some form of
    transcription to indicate pauses and rhythm? I ask because this has
    implications for the elements one would use in the encoding of a spoken
    word corpus.

    Thank you for taking the time to inform us all of these very interesting

    Francois Lachance
    Post-doctoral Fellow
    projet HYPERLISTES project

    --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 21:12:43 +0100 From: "Stephen N. Matsuba" <smatsuba@home.com> Subject: RE: 13.0547 music and a digital Ariel

    Willard McCarty writes:

    > Later, while at the University of Georgia, I was treated to a performance > of the Tempest in which Ariel was represented to Prospero as a > computer-generated animation, which was controlled by an actress wearing > motion sensors. The idea behind the performance was brilliant, the > execution less so, but to be fair I think it was not quite entirely > successful because the director was lacking a few (or many?) > $100K worth of computing equipment, the skills of George Lucas's crew -- or better, > whatever it might take to have a 3-dimensional holographic projection in > the air over the stage. Again, once the limits of the physical > are gone, in what terms do we imagine?

    I do not think that a holographic projection will be where this technology will have its impact. I believe that it will come in the form of virtual reality (I despise this term, but it is a handy shorthand).

    My own experience with VR theatre performances has confirmed the potential to me. The VRML Dream project sought to present a live performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with real-time 3-D animation multicast over the Internet. The sets, props and all the characters were optimized VRML models. A group of actors provided the voices and eight "puppeteers" controlled the characters' movements. The voice and the motion data were digitized, compressed and sent out over the Internet in real time. Moreover, people could access this multicast with a 28.8K modem connection and a 150 Mhz Pentium computer.

    While the animation was crude (it was a volunteer project with no funding) with some technical problems, VRML Dream showed us that it could work from an artistic perspective. We made the Athenians humans, but the fairies were a mix of Road Warrior and Arthur Rackin. The Mechanicals were robots designed to represent their professions. Quince looked like a fat hammer. Flute has a working bellows. And Bottom was made up of spindles and loom-like materials.

    As real-time graphics technologies improve, we will see human characters that look like real humans. Indeed, the Sega Dreamcast and the Sony Playstation 2 are bringing advanced graphics technology to the household much faster than anyone had expected. Eventually, we will be able to watch Shakespeare with fully rendered 3-D environments and characters that are indistinguishable from what we see outside our windows. Moreover if we want to mix in fairies, donkey-headed men, witches or Hobbits, the technologists and the artists working in this medium will make it possible.

    =========================================================== Is't real that I see? (Shakespeare) ===========================================================

    Stephen N. Matsuba

    e-mail smatsuba@home.com

    Web http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/~smatsuba http://www.vrmldream.com


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