Immersive Arts Research

The IASpace team conducts practice-based research on the field of interaction between art, design and digital technology. The team members have their professional roots in film, game design, interaction design, music, computer science and engineering, and often members have a background in more than one discipline. The IASpace is part of the research cluster of the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH).

Five research groups focus on the following topics:

Spatial Augmented Reality

Photo by Davide Arrizoli, ZHdK ©2019

The practice-based exploration of Spatial Augmented Reality – or tracking based projection mapping – is a major research focus at the Immersive Arts Space. Currently, the optimization of latency and the development of high-precision projection mapping on fast moving objects or humans has a high priority.

Group members: Martin Fröhlich (lead) Stella Speziali, Eric Larrieux. Projects: Presence & Absence, Helium Drones. Associated events: Floating in Dancing Lights, Dancing Digital, Twin Lab. Associated educational courses: Illuminated Flying Objects, Immersive Landscapes. Videos: Projection Mapping, Presence & Absence, Helium Drones, Floating in Dancing Lights, A Day at the Beach.


Co-experiencing Virtual Reality

Photo by Chris Elvsi Leisi, ZHdK ©2020

The aim of the project is to develop a versatile co-location multi-user system, with which several users can dive into virtual worlds together in the same room. The system can be

The goal of this field of is to develop versatile and unique co-location multi-user experiences, in which several users can share virtual worlds in the same room. The concept gives room for multiplayers games and interactive experiences in which the users feel closer to their fellow players through increased physical presence experience higher levels of immersion.

Group members: Chris Elvis Leisi, Oliver Sahli. Projects: Home in the Distance VR, Batvision, OEXR (in cooperation with ZHAW), Shifting Realities. Associated event: Virtual Echololocation (@ Refresh #3). Associated educational courses: Mulitiuser VR courses, BA Game Design. Videos: Multi-user VR, Virtual Echolocation


Virtual Production

Photo by Andreas Birkle, ZHdK ©2020

Virtual Production is a central field of competence of the Immersive Arts Space. Its focus is primarily on collaborative simulations in virtual 3D spaces, which find concrete applications especially in film, but also in games, production design and architecture. An important project in this area is the pre-visualization tool cineDesk. In addition, methods for film shoots in virtual spaces, based on the Unreal game engine and projection technology are being advanced. An important achievement this area is the completed project Virtually Real, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF.

Group members: Valentin Huber, Norbert Kottmann. Project: cineDesk. Associated educational projects: Previsualization courses, MA Film. Videos: Virtual Production, cineDesk , Scene-Blocking


Capture and Animation

Screenshot by Tobias Baumann, ZHdK ©2020

The acquisition of photorealistic 3D models of rooms, objects and human beings is a main focus of this group. Laser scanning, photogrammetry as well as neural volumetric capture processes are used to reach these goals. A central aspect is the optimization of real-time animation by means of motion and performance capture. The implementation of digital avatars has become an important aspect of VR and AR projects in research and teaching.

Group members: Florian Bruggisser (lead), Patxi Exequiel Aguirre and Stella Speziali.
Current projects: Digital Twins, Neural Volumetric Capture

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Spatial Audio

Photo by Stefan Dux, ZHdK ©2020

The integration of 3D-Audio in all central activities is an essential feature of the Immersive Arts Space. Spatial audio concepts are currently applied in a highly differentiated way through artistic research components of The Umbrella Project.

Group lead: Eric Larrieux, Associated projects: The Umbrella Project. Associated events: A Day at the Beach. Associated educational courses: Illuminated Flying Objects, Immersive Landscapes. Video: A Day at the Beach.