In August 2023, Video Director Zhu Xiaojing asked Notch Designers Miii and Yu Zhao to create real-time and rendered content for Lay Zhang’s Grandline 3 tour, beginning in Beijing. Inspired by Taoist thought, the director wanted to convey that the spiritual world and the world of man are one and the same.
With a three-tiered stage as their canvas, the team had the vision to preserve traditional Chinese culture while giving play to innovation and creating a memorable scene from the contrast between old and new–a difference also found in Zhang’s music, which blends Peking opera, hulusi, matouqin, and electronic music. They worked intuitively, reacting to the music and stage elements already in place, and built the complete set of show imagery in Notch.
During the production process, Miii read a diverse collection of texts in preparation for songs like “Ascetic Monk,” for which the creative team strived to convey one monk’s journey to enlightenment through extreme restraint of desire. The team looked to water, rock, and clay sculpture for direction, using Notch’s Procedural nodes to depict their chosen textures. For “Lit,” featured in NBA 2K23, they depicted a lotus escaping from mud, then blooming fully and ultimately flaking away layer by layer.
On top of their carefully planned rendered material, Miii and Yu Zhao added plenty of real-time video effects to match the venue’s overall atmosphere. They used the disguise d3 as their media server. The show was overwhelmingly well-received, and Wukesong Arena was the perfect setting to kick off the latest era of Lay’s touring career.