Copper Candle, a Creative Technology Business specialising in immersive technologies, has won, not one but, three separate PLASA Innovation Awards during September’s PLASA Show 2021, held at London’s Olympia.
The winning products – Copper Stream, Bone Stream and Cue29 – were chosen by a panel of industry experts and have been created to optimise the real time design, broadcast and audience engagement of live music, theatre shows and events in the virtual environment.
The PLASA Innovation Awards judging panel said: “The Judges have chosen to award a suite of products from this boundary-pushing software developer. They felt the group of products shared the same innovative approach to merging gaming technologies into a framework engineered for the live events industry. The judges believe these products are at the forefront of the move towards virtual production in events.”
Following 18 months of a global pandemic on the live entertainment sector, James Simpson, managing director and Founder of Copper Candle, was thrilled, and reassured, by the outcome of the awards: “Winning industry specific, product awards are critical to the success of curve leading products like ours. If there is a positive outcome from the recent pandemic, it’s that it has revolutionised people’s attitude to virtual technology. For a new start-up like Copper Candle the PLASA Award has provided the respected expert and public validation we need for our products. In turn that drove our future customers to pick up the phone to discuss their own projects!”
Simpson went on to say that the Copper Candle team were astounded and flattered by the support they attracted from visitors to the PLASA Show: “Our industry has had such a tough two years. Even so, people seemed genuinely pleased to see us doing well. We were delighted to find so many industry professionals and colleagues to be interested in our Motion Capture streaming technology, Bone Stream. The product was only recently developed so we submitted it for an award last minute!”
Throughout PLASA people were discussing new uses for the Copper Candle product range that the Copper Candle team confess even they hadn’t thought of. Andrew Voller, Creative Technologist at Copper Candle discusses: “PLASA was an effective way to ascertain how people envision using the Cue29, Copper Stream and Bone Stream plugins for the Unreal engine in their workflows. It was fascinating to hear the future creative applications people are already devising and our plugins will continue to develop as we better understand user workflows in the virtual production arena.”
One of the big challenges that the Copper Candle team has overcome with its products is streaming DMX onto the devices that run the app. The solution was Copper Stream – an optimised form of DMX that can be streamed remotely to devices on wifi or the cloud. Bone Stream came when we realised that the technology we’d created could stream animation data. This enabled producers to include live performers into their apps, alongside remotely operated scenery and lighting, both of which Copper Stream and Cue29 can handle.”
With a focus on four key markets, the Copper Candle products satisfy the needs of the pre-visualisation and design community who want to build and test ideas remotely using real-time engines, the immersive theatre and live experience market, where VR/AR and realtime content is needed, perhaps for story telling experiences or in museums and galleries. Also key is the live events market where real-time content creation for screens and projection is becoming a critical element of more traditional live media workflow. In addition, the virtual production industry emerging in Film and TV increasingly requires Unreal Engine to drive content into LED backdrops and sets for in-camera filming.