Project Description

Gorillaz: Song Machine Live Stream

Block 9, XR Studios, and Pixels and Noise use live video FX and AR to re-imagine Gorillaz’s well-known music videos as a live stream performance.

Gorillaz shared their new album ‘ Song Machine Season One: Strange Timez ’ with fans in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. via a unique live-stream event. Broadcast from Park Row, London, the concert featured Damon Albarn and his band alongside their animated counterparts. Block 9 led the concert’s creative direction and production and worked closely with XR Studios to deliver the technical elements. Their goal was to translate Gorillaz iconic music videos into a live performance.

Pixels & Noise lead the Notch design, under the creative direction of Block9, re-creating effects used in the Gorillaz music videos for real-time application in the live stream. Animated Gorillaz characters and holograms of featured artists were created using AR techniques rendered in Notch. Lighting was an essential part of the AR illusion. XR Studios built a virtual lighting rig in Notch which enabled the lighting team to control the virtual lights alongside the physical lights. As well as being efficient for the lighting team, this process ensured the AR characters blended seamlessly into the live environment. The event was a ‘genre-straddling success’, and the team hope they can bring the design to festivals and arenas in the future.

“Notch gave us the ability to re-create post-effects from music videos and apply them in real-time to the live stream. We were running the final program feed through Notch and playing with final comp layers. It was fantastic to have that ease of movement between layers, and the workflow generated lots of variants on the core looks. It helped us create something that looked original and a bit strange at times.”

Scott Millar, CTO, XR Studios

“Notch allowed us to handle everything all at once, from the 2D in the 3D tracked environment, to shadow catchers, floor reflections, and virtual lighting rigs. This gave us the freedom to try things out while not compromising the technical integrity of the AR elements.”

Lewis Kyle White, Pixels and Noise

Additional press coverage:
The Guardian, The Upcoming, Gigwise, The Fortyfive, Music mxdwn

Creative Direction & Production: @block9official
Mgmt: @elevenmgmt
Film Production: @pulsefilms
LX: @pixelmappers
AR Production Partner: @xr.studios
Technical Direction: @tallscott

Tracking Lead: @andydenniscoates
Tracking Tech: @nickdiacre
Lead Notch Artist: @lewiskylewhite
Notch Artist: @MarcoMartignone
Disguise Operator: @lukejcollins
Video Production: @videodesignltd_
LED Content Creation: @designbyshop @gemma.yin