Cirque Du Soleil, Microsoft Test New Hologram System as Set Design Tool

AR could assist Hollywood in areas such as production design and VFX.

Cirque du Soleil and Microsoft are testing how the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality system could be used by directors and production design teams to better envision and plan sets for Cirque du Soleil's live shows. This is a technique that might also find its way to Hollywood productions.

With the Cirque du Soleil test, directors and designers could effectively stand on a stage or set, and while wearing the HoloLens AR headsets, they could see virtual set pieces and props, allowing them to better plan the look of a set before construction.

"It allows them, in the creation process, to visualize what the set will look like much sooner," Bernard Fouche, general manager of innovation at C-Lab for Cirque du Soleil, told The Hollywood Reporter. "They can walk through the stage and see what's planned before it's been created."

Forward-thinking filmmakers in Hollywood have already started to explore the potential of virtual and augmented reality in production. Notably, virtual reality headsets were tested during the filming of Disney's The Jungle Book on a bluescreen stage, to allow the filmmakers to see the virtual set. The same team, led by VFX supervisor Rob Legato, plans to continue this experimentation during the virtual production of Disney's The Lion King.

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