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Voyage 2 the Moon

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Voyage 2 the Moon, 2015

Immersive environment using motion capture animation (2D and 3D) with live performance. Projection mapping of a re-edited and looping reconstruction of George Melies’ “Voyage to the Moon”. Film cycle developed in synchronization with an original score by Ash Tempke, performed by Christin Danchi on violin. Duration: 15 minutes

Collaborators: Miranda Jacoby, Christine Danci, with a score by Ash Tempke.

A multipart collaboration between Performing Arts, the Department of Music and Computer Science, Voyage 2 the Moon, was a satirical sequel cinematic reconstruction and deconstruction of Georges Méliès iconic 1902 short film, A Trip to the Moon; arguably the origin of science fiction in film- incorporated
a variety of sophisticated computer techniques, in celebration of the film’s historic and innovative technical artistry.

Through multiple mediums, I reinvented and remixed the film through the incorporation of contemporary special effects techniques.

Combining three-dimensional conversions of the original celluloid scenes as well as integrating motion capture and 3D scanning to embed new characters into a three-dimensional decomposition of the film, I produced a short re-animation and immersive projection environment, each of which was part of an award-winning musical performance.

Through this project, Méliès’ masterpiece became a medium by which I furthered my exploration of the immersive potential of the cinematic spectacle.

Spatializing the Narrative

Due in part to what was called the “substitution splice technique” the “Voyage” has relatively few shots. This made it ideal to deconstruct-


I first re- edited the film into segments based on each scene, and extruded a static plate of each scene into a 3D shape. I then composited these 3D models of the set with the original 2D footage into a single 3D environment.

Motion Capture & Animation

We created 3D models of performers with full body 3D scanning hardware. Using a Qualisys motion capture system to capture performances, we then retargeted our motion onto the 3D scanned avatars.

The 3D animations were then incorporated into a 3D environment, built from the 2D & 3D footage of the original film.

3D Scanned Performance Capture

With Applied Motion Capture

Voyage 2 the Moon (Animation Version)

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Performance & Projections

For the performance, violinist Christin Danci performed a solo violin score entitled “Launch Sequence”, immersed in the reanimated 1902 film.

The film was projected by three projectors and mapped to fit the frame of the historic Kresge theatre. The narrative unfolded, with new and original elements, in realtime to the original live score.

Voyage 2 the Moon (Clip from Recital)

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