Project Description

Lewis Capaldi at the EMAs 2022

FRAY Studio turned the stage of the 2022 MTV EMAs into a pastel-hued, watery sanctuary for Lewis Capaldi’s poignant performance.

In planning Lewis Capaldi’s show for the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022, TAWBOX approached FRAY Studio to help complete a stage show capturing the essence of the artwork for Capaldi’s latest album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent. Knowing the stage would be broadcasted from all angles, FRAY decided to add contrast and create dynamic transitions between the verse and chorus of Capaldi’s song. The team incorporated the artwork’s pastel colour gradients and soft, rippling water into a responsive layout and set elements. 

The FRAY team began by testing various pieces of software, ultimately deciding to use Notch for its balance of 2D and 3D parameters that added depth and power to their final look. FRAY created a water system combining a baked simulation from x-particles and Notch-generated, high-resolution fractals to add variation and detail. In the end, they decided to power the system solely with Notch. Still, as Notch Artist Norvydas Genys put it, merging the two systems seamlessly helped their team arrive at a unique look they would not have found otherwise.

Because FRAY used a UV camera within Notch, they could import a drawing of the stage complete with risers for Capaldi and the band and immediately get accurate reflections of the set on the generated water. With the pinks and purples of the sky glowing in harmony with the water, the final results were at once emotionally crushing and purifying.

“A small change in wave size and direction or sky angle would have a pretty dramatic impact on the contrast and colours reflected. Luckily, with Notch, we could push beyond physically based rendering and find the right balance.”

Norvydas Genys, Notch Artist, FRAY Studio

Additional press coverage:
POPline, Daily Mail.

Client: Lewis Capaldi
Creative Directors: TAWBOX
Director: Liz Clare
Production Design: Wieder Design
Lighting Designer: Tom Sutherland 
Tracking System: BlackTrax
BlackTrax Operator/Provider: Oli Metcalfe

Screen Control: Chris Saunders, Luke Collins, Rich Porter, Dan Hall, & Ed Joynson (Ogle Hog)
Lewis Capaldi Creative Directors: Cassisus Creative   
FRAY Studio Team:
Notch Artists: Kira O’Brien & Norvydas Genys 
Animator: Adam Young