“Notch gave me the freedom to dedicate more time to designing.”
Italian superstar FEDEZ has been performing his hybrid of pop-rock-rap at sell-out shows across Italy and Europe since 2011. FEDEZ wanted to create an interactive stage design like Italy had never seen before. He sought out Lorenzo De Pascalis.
Lorenzo De Pascalis aka IAMDEPA is a London based Creative Director and Motion Graphics Artist. Lorenzo takes inspiration from the world around him and is known for incorporating cutting-edge technologies into his productions.
Lorenzo envisioned a journey: “My initial idea was a trip, travelling from outer space to earth”. Within this narrative, Lorenzo wanted to tell a story of self-discovery: “We wanted to create elements in the stage design that FEDEZ could interact with in real-time.” FEDEZ wanted a 4×4 cube of transparent screens for the show, Lorenzo ran with this, pitching a larger 8x10x8 movable cube made from transparent LED screens. “The Artist’s team were initially hesitant about FEDEZ being inside an LED cube.” To calm these nerves, Lorenzo and Notch artist Marco Martignone created multiple visualisations of what the show would look like using Notch with disguise. Marco found that “The tight integration between Notch and disguise allowed me to validate concepts and iterate quickly.”
“Having a 3D structured LED gave us immense possibilities together with unique challenges. There are a lot of technical elements to this show but we didn’t want to get bogged down on the tech side of things, we needed a simple workflow that would allow us to focus on the design of the show. Being able to see at any point in time what we were doing was fundamental. I created an architecture containing cameras, tracking logic and debugging features, that I could reuse across multiple layers in Notch. Notch gave me the freedom to dedicate more time to designing.”
Notch enabled quick changes, mapping fixes and easy import of Blacktrax data from multiple cameras. “Notch was an ideal and important tool for what we wanted to achieve from the very beginning of the project. No other tool would let us create a 3D space with separate cameras in real-time with data driven by the artist with Blacktrax sensors.”
“We also used Notch to create a few IMAG effects. We managed to give context within the huge canvas and the visuals by creating smoke and particle effects driven by the camera feeds available in the media server.”
The production runs entirely in real-time, switching organically from one sequence to another, using modifiers on both platforms. Atmospheric nebulas, storms and cityscapes play out at 9216×2048 pixels on transparent 3.9 mm LED screens provided by STS Communication. Marco and Lorenzo’s designs are captivating and well-considered, allowing the audience to still see FEDEZ from within the cube.
At the beginning FEDEZ wasn’t getting what interaction was, he had never experienced it before. “We would guide him through the interactive content during the rehearsals, and once he got it, he really started making the most of the interactive elements. By the first live show, we could see he was comfortable playing and experimenting with the interactive visuals.”
“Initially, there was a great deal of hesitation from the management on the design of this show. The interactive elements were an added risk, and the idea of positioning FEDEZ within a cube was controversial. Seeing our ideas come to life in an arena, and look so effortless, made it worth challenging the norm.”