CoSTAR Network for Screen & Performance Industries

CoSTAR Network for Screen & Performance Industries

The Project

The Convergent Screen Technologies and Performance in Realtime (CoSTAR) national network was recently established to boost the UK’s screen and performance industries with a major research and development initiative involving University experts.

It is designed to provide researchers, companies and institutions across the UK with the infrastructure they need to conduct world-class research and development in screen and performance technology.

The £75.6m programme includes a National Lab, three Network Labs and a Foresight Lab, supported by investment from the UK Government’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), alongside investment from the private sector. CoSTAR will drive the design, development and creation of state-of-the-art facilities, resources and expertise to underpin the long-term competitiveness of the sectors.

New Partnerships

A team from Edinburgh College of Art will collaborate closely with researchers from Abertay University in Dundee to drive innovation in the games, animation, film and TV sectors. Creative Informatics’ Director, Melissa Terras, is The University of Edinburgh CoSTAR lead on the CoSTAR Realtime Lab and the CoSTAR Foresight Lab.

The partnership builds on Edinburgh’s global reputation for film, television and animation production, as well as its excellence in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This new pairing combines Edinburgh’s strengths with Abertay’s expertise in video games development and will specialise in virtual production – a new cinematography technique that uses computer-generated imagery (CGI), augmented reality and motion capture to create virtual film and performance sets.

Five facilities

The CoSTAR Realtime Lab, led by Abertay University, is one of five UK facilities involved in the project. The primary CoSTAR Realtime Lab will be constructed at Water’s Edge in Dundee with a second site to be based at Edinburgh College of Art. As well as the University of Edinburgh, the project involves Dundee-based Chroma Developments, the Scottish Government’s Techscaler programme and the national funding hub, Interface. CoSTAR Realtime is also supported by Scottish Enterprise, Screen Scotland and Amazon Web Services.

Edinburgh is part of a second CoSTAR lab that will analyse industry data and weigh up potential future trends in the screen and performance sectors. The Insight and Foresight Unit will play a key strategic role in helping to ensure the UK stays at the forefront of new virtual production techniques for stage, screen and live events.

The Foresight Lab – hosted by Goldsmiths, University of London – also involves the British Film Institute and researchers from Loughborough University.


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