“Notch gives us a great degree of freedom. There are no limits, the only thing that matters is the idea.”
FMF (Film Music Festival) takes place yearly at Tauron Arena, Krakow, Poland. The festival showcases and awards musical scores from film, TV, games and animations.
Creative Director of Piloci Studio Hubert Kaszycki has worked with the Krakow Festival Office for three years creating multimedia content for live music performances. This year the festival’s production design would be inspired by video games. Hubert’s vision was to composit live video of the orchestra onto 3D animations of a video game style, merging the two worlds together. He felt strongly that Notch was the right tool for the project and intended to build all the 3D environments in Notch.
With a brief to recreate gaming environments, the studio began an arduous R&D process playing some of their most loved video games from their youth. After thorough research, Hubert and his team of designers began to sketch out ideas for the festival. The sheer volume of content needed for the festival would make this the largest and most complex project the studio had produced in Notch. Hubert explains: “our main goal was to prepare well-optimized models that would keep the best possible performance on disguise’s gx2 machine”.
All digital assets were built in-house with Notch and Cinema 4D. Notch was used to render whole game environments packed with 3D geometry and simulations produced in real-time. The studio found Notch and Cinema 4D extremely compatible, which allowed them to embed 3D assets like models, animations and motion captures with ease. Once 3D assets were ready, they were placed in Notch. Programmers Tomasz Liszkowski and Damian Bałdyga used skyboxes, fog scattering, particles and colour grading Nodes to fine-tune scenes and found they were able to work quicker and more effectively with a real-time workflow. Some 3D elements were created entirely in Notch without using any pre-prepared assets.
During the festival, video content was displayed on one 28mx10m fixed projection screen. Live feeds of the orchestral performance seamlessly became part of the visuals on screens above. Notch remained an integral part of the workflow during the live show. Using the exposable camera node, disguise operator Tomasz Szwelicki was able to steer virtual cameras in real-time. Notch became an extension of the lighting desk- controlling lights in virtual environments via DMX. Whole scenes were controlled live via DMX. Switching to a real-time workflow allowed Hubert to conduct a visual symphony fit for the FMF.