SAUCE is a three-year EU Research and Innovation project between 9 partners to create a step-change in allowing creative industry companies to re-use existing digital assets for future productions. Currently, within film, TV or games, searching for and enabling a previously created digital asset for a new production or context requires a high cost due to the lack of automated processes and the fact that assets can be tied to a particular tool-chain.

The goal of SAUCE is to produce, pilot and demonstrate a set of professional tools and techniques that reduce the costs for the production of enhanced digital content for the creative industries by increasing the potential for re-purposing and re-use of content as well as providing significantly improved technologies for digital content production and management. SAUCE will contribute to make content “smarter” by making it fully adaptive, in a broad, unprecedented manner: adaptive to context (which facilitates re-use), to purpose (among or within industries), to the user (improving the viewing experience), and to the production environment (so that it’s “future-proof”). This smart content will allow companies to easily re-use it, share it with other companies, or provide it for use in other sectors.

SAUCE will research and use new cutting-edge technologies like light-fields to address media production chain steps that lose information, e.g. artistic effects like reduced depth of field and motion blur, or the integration of synthetic content into captured natural scenes. By capturing visual information as completely as possible, content could be enabled to be re-used in different contexts and technical environments in a much simpler manner. The project will also use cutting edge visual searching and semantics to better describe assets for future use.

Specifically, SAUCE has the following definite and measurable objectives:
Create tools to unlock value in previously-created content by allowing to edit or automatically adapt its properties (e.g. appearance, scale, motion) to the current production needs.
Create tools to allow content created in the future to be more easily re-used and re-purposed, by developing light-field technology for the creative industries in terms of capture, storage, distribution and processing.
Create management, animation and production tools to keep digital content accessible, discoverable and malleable by using procedural techniques and high level semantic knowledge.

Achieving these three aims will allow companies to work much more cost-effectively and efficiently. It will also open up the possibility of sharing assets with other sectors – especially those that are taking up interest in virtual production or AR/VR for various scenarios where content creation can be a barrier due to its prohibitive cost.