VolvoxLabs: Working with Grammy Awarding winning DJ, Ali Shirazinia, commonly known by his stage name Dubfire, we set out to create a cinematic, techno music concert experience for his Dubfire Live HYBRID tour.
The show premiered worldwide on October 16 at the Roest Warehouse during the annual Amsterdam Dance Event 2014.
dubfire live HYBRID is a fusion of physical expression with the latest in dynamic, sound reactive a/v solutions. 2D and 3D animation is richly textured into a narrative and synced with live audio to explore the interaction of science and technology-of man and machine- and their resulting evolution.
The show begins at the micro level. Micro-organisms expand and form greater parts, pieces are drawn together and evolve into an autonomous entity. The entity is but a small mechanism within the greater “server.” The entity reacts.
Tension develops and the narrative unfolds.
The background animation was created using 3D and composting software, as well as TouchDesigner. Using TouchDesigner, VVOX created a reliable playback system that efficiently handled HYBRID's heavy load of video and geometry information while minimizing GPU memory. The result was a beautifully driven show with no frame loss or delay.
The team also used TouchDesigner to generate real-time sound reactive scenes in between the 3D pre-rendered scenes (see images below). To achieve these visuals, the Displace TOP was heavily used on top of the OSC-reactive geometries and movie ins. We're also using super cool GLSL setup developed by Vincent Houze that's breaking incoming complex FBX objects into tiny triangles, all also react to OSC. Overall we tried to achieve a noisy, rusty feel, something not so crisp like the rendered work.
The physical representation, a foreground multi-dimensional stage piece, was synced with content that was entirely reactive to OSC signals from Dubfire's Ableton session. Custom effects and on-the-go manipulation were used onsite to create a unique performance for each show.
Some notes on the making of:
The show cues and effects are entirely driven via the TouchDesigner Ableton Sync plugin. OSC information sent out from the master/backup HYBRID laptop is split up to our machines. This system works perfectly in case of any crash or cable problems.
We used the background screen to create a more cinematic experience for the viewers. 3D and 2D visuals on the screen guided the audience through the narrative of evolution and hybridization. The character, or what we refer to as the Entity becomes self-aware within his environment, the Server. It took a long time to perfect the connection between rendered and TouchDesigner-generated visuals but we're at a good point now.