“Combining pre-rendered and real-time content in Notch proves for a beautifully cohesive design.”
San Francisco based design agency All of it Now created an inspiring interactive design in 360° for charity: water’s annual gala. The gala is a night of celebration and philanthropy centred around putting a dent in the world water crisis. Central to the design concept was the notion that ‘Time is our most precious commodity’, with this in mind, All of it Now chose a real-time workflow in Notch.
All of it Now is a creative design agency specialising in live digital video production, interactive design, and 3D projection. All of it Now’s Managing Partner Danny Firpo, and Notch Designer Kevin Zhu take time out from doing it all to tell us how they brought together their successful cross-platform design. “The core concept we walked away from the brief with was that small, incremental amounts can add up to massive numbers with a significant impact. We needed to produce an experience that made the audience feel like they were contributing to something larger than themselves, larger than life – what better way to achieve that effect than audience-reactive content displayed on a gigantic, 88’ diameter, immersive LED ring?”
The 88’ diameter ring, dubbed by the team ‘the halo’, would feature a mix of rendered and real-time content to engage and immerse the attendees. All of it Now envisioned real-time content that created an immediate connection between donating and seeing the effect that donation has on the larger goal. “To maximize the impact of the giving moments, we need to create an awe-inspiring experience.”
Working closely with charity: water and their partners, All of it Now began simultaneously producing content design, application development, and video system design. charity: water was able to pre-visualise All of it Now’s design using a combination of Notch and disguise in VR. For Kevin “the real-time nature of Notch allowed us to make rapid adjustments and revisions based on client feedback without needing to render out massive files for previsualization”. Danny found “Notch was very advantageous in minimizing the storage needed to process massive full resolution 360° video assets that would normally command the majority of server storage capability.”
One of the core challenges of this project was creating graphics that were responsive to donation amounts: “Using Notch in combination with our donation system allowed us to send specific cues to Notch when we hit a certain target. For us, it was our first opportunity to use Notch for data visualization purposes. Although we had experimented with this kind of application before, most of our experience using Notch has been mainly in the content design and motion graphics realm. It was fascinating to leverage the requirement of real-time generative graphics for beautiful data visualization.”
All of it Now designed two totalizers to engage donors and visualise the donations they were making in real-time. The first totalizer would fund a water drilling rig, the team created a complex blueprint design using the ‘3D Object Outline’ node and bespoke 3D models. 3D elements would assemble in real-time to reveal a fully-assembled drilling rig once the target had been reached: “We aimed to illustrate the notion that through collective action, we can make a tangible difference”. The second totalizer illustrated the hours, days, and years of drilling time that attendees could fund. Both Totalizers displayed names volunteered by contributors allowing a direct connection between the donation and the impact made.
The gala opened with an incredible 360° video exhibit featuring live-action footage shot in Ethiopia. All of it Now’s donation app managed and monitored 500+ tablets simultaneously, driving the generative Totalizer content on display at 14,412 x 840 across the 88-foot diameter LED halo. “Notch allowed us to utilize 3D assets in a dynamic way that responded in realtime to donations submitted. Because each section of the night was dependent on the involvement of guests, there are no perfectly defined time lengths for the run of the show. Because of this, Notch allowed us to design sections of the night in a generative manner so that the visualizer could run as long as needed, and then transition seamlessly into the next portion of the evening.”
By the end of the event, the immersive fundraising experience had exceeded expectations by raising over $7 million! This money will be used to purchase a new water drilling rig and fund drilling projects to deliver clean drinking water in over 500 communities in Ethiopia for years to come.