PermaDeath at PAX East

The White Snake Projects Team is recovering from PAX East 2018, the largest video game consumer event in the United States with over 100,000 people attending four days of gaming, demos, cosplay, and just plain fun!

While the most innovative companies showed off their latest and greatest in gaming, White Snake Projects showed off PermaDeath, one of the world’s first video game operas, using real time facial motion capture to transmit the facial movements of live singers to their projected avatars.  We got a kick from displaying side by side with the likes of Blizzard, Sony, Electronic Arts  . . . names unfamiliar to the opera world, but which are driving the direction of entertainment today.

With our partners, Becker College and RISD, we had a PermaDeath booth for a day filled with all things opera, displaying the imaginative concept art created by RISD students and demoing Faceware motion capture.

Our team also presented a panel entitled “HACKING OPERA: GAMERS AND OPERA REBELS MASH IT UP WITH PERMADEATH!”  Dan Visconti discussed his musical inspirations; Mary Jane Begin described how RISD students arrived at their concept art; Curvin Huber how Becker students turned that 2D art into 3D animated models; Catriona Baker explained Lesley students’ story boarding for the CGI sections; and, Sam Helfrich discussed the challenges of integrating all of this into his staging.

But that’s not all. Josh Quinn (Apollo) and Chris Carbin (Marsyas) sang (operatically!) excerpts from Scene 2 of PermaDeath, with Tim Steele on keyboard, Steve Marotto on cello. and Mat Solomon on electronics. Curvin Huber ran Faceware which captured Josh and Chris’ facial movements and transmitted them to their avatars in real time.

Video: Kathy Wittman/Ball Square Films

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PermaDeath—Boston 2018