• Ian Ravenscroft

Field Notes: June 2022

The fans are on in Hey Green Raven towers, sending a cooling breeze over my keyboard as I type up a slightly belated update on what's been going on in the last few weeks. Grab a Mr Whippy and have a little read...

The big news is that the BFI and StoryFutures Academy-funded narrative VR project I am producing with Second Home Studios has been announced. Beachcomber is an immersive dive into the subconscious realm of memory and imagination. We are currently in pre-production, further developing the visual look and script. It should emerge in 2023. You can read the press release here.

In related developments, I have been experimenting with the AI visualisation tool Midjourney. Similar to the Dall-E AI image generator, Midjourney has strengths in blending art styles and composition. So I have been using it as a tool to create concept art for Beachcomber using a string of different prompts and inputs from our development. The results are incredibly useful, not as final artwork to be used, but as mood, reference, inspiration, and material to guide the design process. Below is an environment concept generated by Midjourney from my prompts.

Environment concept designed with the Midjourney AI

While our finished experience won't take on all this input, I wouldn't be surprised if some elements of our wide AI image generation from the initial mood-boarding make its way into the experience. Super useful for a non-visual artist like myself.

Another project has gone live recently. I produced a digital portal for the artist Al Davison for The Space to showcase his hard-hitting, autobiographical graphic novel Muscle Memory. Al documents his experiences of disability hate crime through his art and is beginning to share his process alongside his narrative.

In other news, I have been invited to speak on a panel at the Birmingham Commonwealth Growth Mindset Summit. I'll be discussing the work at Hey Green Raven and all things creative and digital.

Meanwhile, I recently attended the Creating New & Immersive Realities Together event organised by Innovation Alliance WM and hosted by STEAMhouse.

Plus, Innovate:Create has been pushing forward with projects gearing up with Birmingham 2022 Festival and National Express. I've been advising the winning companies and leading the programme delivery for Create Central. And my work with Arts Council England is fully in swing, with very exciting projects covering VR, AR, archive, and digital labs being developed for the Bloomberg Digital Accelerator Programme.

I've also been working on a new development project involving augmented reality and mental health which hopefully I can share details of soon. Watch this space.

You can follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn. Until next time, adios.

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