“Real-time was key here as that’s what this whole event was about, Notch was a perfect fit of form and function.”
IBM’s annual Amplify Conference, in Las Vegas, attracts a star-studded crowd of speakers and professionals at the forefront of ‘what’s next’.
Gretl Claggett, Senior Creative Director at Drury Design, was chosen to create an event opener to excite an audience of more than 3,000 influencers, and set the tone for the forthcoming event – a celebration of innovation: “Our objective was to invent a fresh, singular opening to entertain and inspire the audience, while also focusing them on the main message: IBM turns WATSON real-time cognitive data into an art form”.
To realise her vision, Gretl and her small team needed software that was intuitive and reactive. They chose to build and run the visuals in real-time using Notch. This would be the teams first live project using a Notch workflow. In the month run up to the opening, the team tested different visual representations of data using custom 3D motion graphics and IMAG effects.
Live at the opening, exciting and dynamic visualisations of WATSON real-time cognitive data played on a 120-foot screen. In conjunction with this, a 60-foot screen below displayed live art and ‘pop & lock’ performances from Elastic Shore. The artist’s strokes appeared on screen reacting to the dancers in real-time, all working in harmony with the colourful, dynamic waves of data above.
Art Director Isabel Clavo described her first live project with Notch as ‘challenging but fun’ and has been anticipating new ways of using Notch: “We have been using it to develop interesting new looks without having to wait for long renders in traditional productions. The ‘live’ component seems to be its strongest feature. We are still experimenting with alternate uses, including real-time data input to affect the visualizations in interesting ways”. For Gretl, experimenting with new technology is part of the fun, “Our team loves the challenge and thrill of working with cutting-edge technologies, and we were especially excited to work with Notch as it gave us the opportunity to show the artist becoming part of the art and data visualizations in real-time”.
Claggett’s vision of beautiful real-time visuals fused with live performance immersed the audience and set expectations for the event. Right after the opening, #IBMAmplify trended #1 on Twitter. “The clients and the audience — which included futurists and influencers in the tech industry — were thrilled. It was a home run”. The project won a Silver Telly (the highest honour) for Excellence in Craft for Non-Broadcast Productions/Craft: 3D Graphics/Animation, plus a Bronze Telly for Use of Graphics.