VR Citizen Kane – UROP Symposium

VR Citizen Kane

Hassan Adam Berry

Research Mentor(s): Vincent Longo
Program: CCSFP
Authors: Hassan Berry

Abstract

Today many film students find themselves without the necessary funding and access to the tools and materials required to record and create their films. As a result, these students cannot experience filmmaking firsthand, which hinders their ability to familiarize themselves with it in the first place. To combat this issue, students and faculty at the Department of Film, Television, and Media created a Virtual Reality (VR) application that provides students with what they need. This VR application has a digitally recreated set from the infamous 1941 classic, Citizen Kane, and a virtual actor playing Charles Foster Kane. However, because most film students also lack access to equipment such as cameras, a digital camera was also programmed in that allows users to change focus and aperture settings, and record/export their shots. Beyond that, students can also interact with the movie set, and change variables such as lighting and scene timing. These tools allow students to express their creativity and explore various storytelling methods. In terms of my work, however, I have been working to recreate another movie set for the VR Citizen Kane application. Moreover, after seeing how valuable these sets were within the VR application I decided to digitally recreate one of the largest sets in the movie, the Great Hall. This movie set houses several pivotal scenes and is one of the most crucial movie sets in the film. However doing so was easier said than done, as the large size and scale of the set posed many challenges. To deal with these anticipated issues, I approached this virtual reconstruction in a more architectural planning sense. I did this by first digitally redrawing the Great Hall, with 8 bespoke 2D CAD sketches. These drawings allowed dimensions to be added to each drawing. These dimensions ensured that everything within the set was proportional to one another. Then, I consulted an expert on the film, and together we tweaked the drawing to be more accurate. After that, I used the 8 initial drawings to model each piece of the Great Hall. Finally, using the individually 3D modeled components the complete movie set was assembled and imported into VR.

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