Project Description

Doja Cat at The VMA’s

Blink and Hidden Road Studio use Notch to send Doja Cat to space for her performance at the 2020 virtual VMA awards.

Broadcast from an alien planet, Doja Cat performed a mash-up of ‘Say So’ and ‘Like That’ on the VMA’s virtual XR stage for the 2020 awards ceremony. Blink and Hidden Road Studios worked closely with the VMA’s Creative Director, XR Studios, and Doja Cat’s Creative Director to transport viewers to the beautiful Planet Doja.

Doja Cat’s Creative Director Brett Nelson asked Blink to create an alien planet which could transform into a different scene as part of the performance. The design needed to embrace the transportational power of XR. The team at Blink workshopped the final concept and designed elements of the alien planet in Cinema 4D. Once completed, Hidden Road Studios imported the files into Notch to light, add further textures and compile to run optimally in real-time for the XR stage. The intricately designed Planet Doja features an infinite glowing waterfall which sits at the core of the floating planet. Mid-performance Planet Doja crumbles into a sci-fi grid created in Notch using cloners and effectors. The heartbeat of the virtual set-design is the musicality of the animated elements pulsating to the beat of the track using Notch’s Beat Pulse Modifier node. Doja Cat’s performance at the VMA’s fuses costume design, choreography, technology and set design in a killer combination. The design didn’t go unnoticed by the at-home audience who commented “the set and visuals on the performance were really next level” and “I thought these all were green-screened, but I did some research and apparently they actually did it in outer space”.

“Live-rendering is a huge advantage. It allows us to address feedback and make intricate creative adjustments fast. These features helped us during pre-production and when on-site. Sometimes with XR, there is a challenge with creating the best illusion possible. The real-life LED set must merge seamlessly into the fully digital, extended background. In Notch, we can make adjustments to the scene and fix issues like this within seconds.”

Rowan Glenn, animator, Hidden Road Studios

Additional press coverage:
Pitchfork, MTV News, Billboard, New York Post

XR Content Design, Direction and Video Production: Blink
Creative Director: Brett Alan Nelson
XR / Notch Animation & Direction: Hidden Road Studios
XR Production: XR Studios
XR Studios Technical Director: Scott Millar
XR Producer & Lighting Designer: Cory Fitzgerald
Camera Director: Tom Kirk