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Dolby Atmos Takes You to the Outback in Lynette Wallworth's Collisions

January 28, 2016 9:34am
Source: Dolby Institute

Virtual reality (VR) offers storytellers an exciting new format to tell immersive stories and transport audiences in a way that was pure fantasy only a few years ago. Put on a headset with high-fidelity headphones, and suddenly you can be anywhere a filmmaker can imagine, choosing for yourself where to look and how to experience the story with a simple turn of your head.

But how are artists accomplishing this work? How are traditional cinematic techniques being adjusted to the new VR reality? And how can you possibly mix sound while you're wearing VR goggles? These are some of the questions the Dolby® Institute explores in this exciting and informative behind-the-scenes case study of Lynette Wallworth's Collisions, produced by Nicole Newnham.

"It's a short, very powerful story—an Aboriginal elder who had an experience with nuclear technology in the 1950s," explained artist and creator Lynette Wallworth. Known for her immersive installations and films that reflect connections between people and the natural world, Wallworth found VR the perfect medium to tell this story.

"Because you have the capacity to see 360 [degrees], you use sound to frame the viewer's experience," said Wallworth.

Mixed by Tom Myers at Skywalker Sound, the sound postproduction workflow dictated three passes for the mix. The first pass used in-wall studio speakers to accomplish a mix of the piece in the Dolby Atmos® format. Then the mixer and director donned headphones to make sure that the mix was translating accurately, using Dolby's psychoacoustic technology to represent the object-based Dolby Atmos mix. Finally, in a third pass, visual headgear ensured that the audio would track the moving viewpoint of an audience member as she might turn her head while experiencing the piece.

It's a brave new world of sound in storytelling. Learn about it by watching this case-study video for Collisions.

www.dolby.com/us/en/dolby-institute/collisions.html

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