Real-time Virtual Stage Streaming using Unreal Engine.
The Livestream for the COSMIC GATE, with live performance using Extended Reality technology. Pushing the live boundaries of XR tech, in collaboration with VJ AYL & Groovy Costa, we transformed the stage into a truly innovative experience, bringing a new music universe to life!
Our guests proposed a futuristic stage composed of greek-columns, led screens, led bars, and a triangle stage for the artists. There is also a retro floor and a background that creates the perfect environment for this real-time futuristic stage.
INTERVIEW WITH OUR GUESTS:
From Frameroom to the world: How do you describe your style as a DJ/VJ? Where did you get the inspiration for this virtual set?
Adrián: I really love all kinds of music, as long as it fits with my own criteria… For this event, I chose something more electronic and conceptual for the beginning of the set that changes eclectically until the end, going through different styles (Dub Techno, Nu Disco, Deep House, Electro Techno) always focusing on the dance floor and stage design. For the set design, I used Cinema 4D, as it’s a quick way to sketch out ideas. I have mixed 80’s style with Greek architecture, everything with a futuristic, cosmic touch.
Hayley: I get inspired by and am a bit of a sponge for all kinds of different styles, since I’m a Graphic Designer, but ultimately, there’s always one common theme in my work and that’s colour. I find it really difficult to work in black and white, I just don’t see the world that way. I like to explore abstract forms, and computer generated graphics. I usually work with a mixture of photos, video, Cinema 4D and After Effects.
What do you think of AR/VR/MR/XR stage collaborations with DJs/VJs? and why?
Hayley: Exploration of new forms of expression is pretty much innate to the arts, and new media artists particularly are intrinsically connected by their personal relationship with the new technologies. Ultimately this type of experimentation provides the artist with more ways to express themselves. Of course now, these types of new realities are extremely relevant, particularly in countries where cultural activities have been severely restricted due to the current situation. This has provoked a steep increase in the use of these technologies and need to reinvent the presencial performance by audio and visual artists. The challenge will be how we can create experiences that involve the audience through interaction and the types of messages that we choose to convey.
Is it the first AR/VR/MR/XR project that you have participated in?
Hayley: Yep, for both of us. I guess that’s because before, we had no imminent need to explore these types of technology, as live performance is really our speciality and our passion. I was working 3 times a week at Sala Apolo and Adrián had several important gigs coming up in the city before things came to a complete standstill.
What do you think about the future of virtual production?
Adrián: I think it’s a new experience with which you can achieve great things, stages, shows, events… many of which would not be possible to do in real life or would be very expensive to produce. Here however, the limits are set by the imagination or the power of the computer. I am sure that in the near future there will be many more technical options to give this medium. The negative side of this is that there is no audience in front of you and it makes the event more cold.
Hayley: It definitely seems like more and more use of virtual production is on the horizon, in answer to the global pandemic, for sure. The challenge facing production managers and artists will be how to provide enough value to the audience in order to make these types of production viable. For artists, upgrading hardware and software will be an issue for many, as technology advances continue to be ever-demanding on our equipment. People are exhausted by screen time, not only is it difficult to encourage audiences to attend virtual events for this reason, but with the translation of physical events online, your event essentially now competes internationally, not just locally, for attendance.
How did you feel working with all the latest technologies like the virtual stage and the Unreal real-time streaming?
Adrián: A whole new experience.
The truth is that I really like the idea of creating and conceptualising stage design, whether real or virtual. This one in particular, I was able to design. It’s a pleasure to see it work with camera travellings, lights, reflections, etc.
Hayley: It was refreshing to VJ on the virtual stage. Although with the absence of a big crowd of people, a dark room, lighting, smoke machines, etc. it was also quite surreal. You notice a lack of shared experience between the artist and the audience, which takes away some of the magic for a live performer. It’s not the same as a ‘normal live performance,’ which is fine, providing expectations are managed. And of course, the more digital connections there are, the greater possibility for hitches and glitches.
And how was it to collaborate with Framemov’s team?
Adrián: Everything was great, we had a great time with a great team. Everything was very professional.
Hayley: The whole team were extremely professional and clearly experts in the field. They were completely open to ideas, and incredibly supportive of our technical needs. They explained and shared everything with us from start to finish, explaining the technology and its limitations in order to allow for maximum creativity. Actually we learnt loads about virtual production through the team. Bridging the gap between technicians and artists means that collaborations will be key to supporting cultural industries from here on in, and framemov are clearly paving the way for future success.
Any final thoughts or any recommendations for other artists who want to join the virtual revolution by going live on Frameroom?
Adrián: I think it’s a good opportunity to show your performances and your shows. I invite everyone who thinks it’s a good idea to show their work, if it’s not possible to do it live today because of a “force majeure”.
Hayley: It’s also a fantastic testing ground. You have an idea, you’re not sure if it will work – you can try it out virtually and then potentially convince a future client to build something for real on the basis of virtual set up. We shouldn’t be scared that these setups will wipe out live performances with presencial audiences – afterall, the CD never wiped out vinyl.
To finish up with humor: Any funny stories behind the scene?
Adrián: Beers (Laughs)