Club xR at ADE

For the 2020 edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event, EVOKE Studios got into a partnership with Creative Animal, to deliver a new kind of remote production and club experience. A virtual club dubbed Club xR! The goal of it is to deliver a club-like experience that can be delivered worldwide, in a safe, socially distant way. Pandemic proof.

The x in the name was found through the design process for this format. We explored working in Extended Reality (XR) as well as Augmented Reality (AR), and tried to find what the way forward would be for this new type of club experience. We appreciate the creative freedom XR provides but weren’t sold it was the right way to go. Looking at similar productions that had gone before, most are heavily green screen based, and they don’t get away from a distinctly animated feeling, paired to a lack of strong audience connection and participation, or ability to show real physical effects in camera.

AR was chosen as the way to go, as we would be able to combine AR looks with real physical lighting and haze. This brings you much closer to the feeling of experiencing a real show while participating remotely. 

The energy and audience participation delivered by this combination of technologies is what sets this format apart. The flexibility inherent in the AR environments, themes that can be freely chosen, and the real-time nature of it, means easy colour matching and show control from a lighting desk, for a smooth pre-programming workflow are also achieved. 

“Part of the content workflow is a VJ who plays imagery on the physical screens, as well as onto the AR scenes simultaneously, creating a more immersive looking show.” – Chema Menendez, Creative Director

Using Creative Animal’s in-house Zoom cloud solution, paired to integration through Notch, we were able to achieve a really exciting level of audience participation. We transported the zoom cloud into volumetric space, making the audience part of the AR environment. The end result truly felt like a shared experience unlike any other, and enabled people to interact in new engaging ways. It was a great success.

The workflow outlined here relies heavily on disguise servers driving AR graphics for the crane and steady cam setup, the Notch real-time engine for graphics rendering, Mo-sys StarTracker for camera tracking and grandMA lighting desks for sophisticated show control. Crucially all paired to our workflow specialists to deliver the show.

For ADE, Club xR provided content for 3 separate performances, totaling 6 hours of live-streams, all themed according to the acts of the night. 

Credits

Acts provided by
KOOLWATERS agency
MOJO CONCERTS

Executive producer:
Jasper Steenkamp for Creative Animal

Concept design by
Univate BV
EVOKE Studios

AR looks designed by
Univate BV
EVOKE Studios

disguise and tracking workflow:
EVOKE Studios

Club xR format is owned by
NEP Group

Broadcast enabled by
NEP Group

LED screens and lighting provided by
Faber AV