This autumn, Voyage Productions commissioned SUPERVOID.tv to create video effects and content for San Holo’s Existential Dance Music tour of the United States–the artist’s biggest tour yet. Creative Director Thorwald van den Akker, Voyage Creative Director Jamie Issuh, and Production Designer Kyle Kegan worked with San Holo to devise the look and feel of the show before passing it on to the SUPERVOID.tv team.
The team began by taking inspiration from van den Akker’s art for San Holo’s releases and videos, which follows a simple but beautiful hand-sketched aesthetic. As Screen Producer and Notch Designer Drew Mercadante said, “It’s got a lot of ‘inner child’ in it, which doesn’t really work with more traditional 3D concert visuals, so we looked outside the box to find a way to create visuals on a computer that would match that hand-drawn feel.”
The creative team selected image sequences from the raw sketches–for example, flocks of flying birds and the artist’s signature imagery–and ran them through particle simulations to create fields of sprites in Notch. From there, they used post-FX nodes to add audio-reactive elements to van den Akker’s animations.
They also created a set of heavy video effects using Notch’s Background Removal and Virtual Background features to isolate the artist’s silhouette and form a “being of light” they dubbed “Holo San.” The team used Resolume as their media server. In their review, NYS Music described a ninety-minute set wherein the artist created a nonstop stream of beats from scratch layered with lively guitar riffs and mystical imagery, culminating in “nothing short of an emotional experience.”