Project Description

American Idol: Katy Perry performs Daisies

Silent Partners Studio reimagined Katy Perry’s illustrated lyric video ‘Daisies’ as a virtual environment for her performance on American Idol.

For the season finale of American Idol, Katy Perry performed ‘Daisies’ immersed in a live virtual world. Silent Partners Studio scripted and directed the content creation in XR, in collaboration with XR Studios and with creative direction and producing from Silent House Productions and Baz Halpin. Their goal was to reinterpret the illustrative aesthetic of the ‘Daisies’ lyric video directed by Vallée Duhamel. Silent Partners chose a Notch and C4D workflow to help them achieve this pop-art style for the virtual stage.

The team used Cinema 4D to model scenic elements based on Duhamel’s lyric video. At the same time, the composition was previsualized in Notch to determine camera framing, transitions, real prop placement and set extension. Once the foundations were in place, the C4D scenes were baked and imported into Notch, to be lit, textured and animated.

The C4D designers and Notch designers formed a symbiotic relationship, changes and refinements could be made in Cinema 4D and smoothly implemented into the Notch scenes. Alembic import and the transference of Morph Target data between the two programmes were key to the success of their workflow. Heath Saunders, Spencer Sterling and Patrick Goski worked simultaneously to design different aspects of the project. Notch’s project merging feature allowed all three artists to collaborate remotely on files and scale up the project in a short period.

In the real-world environment, the XR Studios team were able to make alignment adjustments and updates to the scene using Notch’s live network edit feature. The team flawlessly implemented the colourful illustrative style they envisaged into a virtual production that transformed the American Idol stage and surprised the unexpecting viewers at home.

“Without being able to pre-visualize the whole show in Notch, this project would have been extremely difficult. Previsualization in Notch helped us see most of the problems ahead of time and come up with solutions before we got on set. Notch made it possible for us to see real-world outcomes in real-time.”

Heath Saunders, designer, Silent Partners

“Our biggest challenge on this project was optimization. Luckily, we were able to use features in Notch to bake textures and trim timeline elements, reducing the number of active objects in any given scene. Despite the significant number of creative requests and the short time frame for project delivery, we were able to deliver our scenes production-ready for the XR stage.”

Spencer Sterling, designer, Silent Partners

Additional press coverage:
That Eric Alper, AV Interactive, Medium Virtual Library, Live Production, Live Design Online

Client: Katy Perry American Idol Season Finale
Production Company: XR Studios
Production Design: Silent Partners Studio
Creative Direction: Baz Halpin of Silent House Productions and J.T. Rooney and David Fafard of Silent Partners Studio
Notch Designers: Heath Saunders, Spencer Sterling, and Patrick Goski
Video Director: J.T. Rooney
Video Producers: Silent Partners Studio

Video Producers: Silent Partners Studio
Lighting Designer: Cory FitzGerald
Screen Producer: J.T. Rooney
Animator: Heath Saunders, Spencer Sterling, Patrick Goski, David Fafard
Additional Content: Initial Lyric Video Design by Vallee Duhamel
Equipment Vendor: PRG
Media Server: Disguise: gx2c