TPi October 2020 - #254

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CHANGING HATS Two creative minds operating in the live event realm pivot their skillsets in lockdown to cater for the growing demand for interactive experiences for live music fans – harnessing the creative capabilities of real-time graphics tool, Notch.

T2 VISUALS, TANNER THOMPSON Since 2013, Motion Designer / VJ, Tanner Thompson has been freelancing at music festivals and creating custom motion graphics for concerts and shows full time. In 2019, motion graphics studio T2 Visuals was officially established in the live event and music space. For two-and-a-half years, Notch has been integral to motion graphics studio, T2 Visuals’ workflow. “I took the training when it came to LA in April 2018,” began Thompson. “Since then, it has been a really great tool to learn and experiment with. The power, flexibility, and speed of Notch allows me to accomplish a lot in a short period of time – speeding up processes such as rendering out content and allowed us to experiment in this virtual realtime environment.” With his sights set firmly on the future of real-time content and exploring innovative technologies and approaches, Thompson shared his Notch experiments with the DJ and Producer, Tyler Marenyi, better known by his stage name, NGHTMRE, and his team, who were interested in pursuing an experimental direction. By late April, Thompson had formalised an initial game plan to create and feature as many unique Notch scenes and FX as possible with the time available in NGHTMRE’s forthcoming livestreams. The first, a private stream for students at University of California, Santa Barbara, led to the band’s first livestream with League of Legends and increased development and new Notch scenes for the Digital Mirage 2.0 YouTube Music Festival. “It has been a constant process of refinement and experimentation since this project began,” Thompson reminisced. For Digital Mirage, the T2 Visuals team created a handful of different worlds to transport the viewers as the concert was streamed. The show began in an abandoned city, inspired by the DJ’s Portal Tour poster. “We then go through a wormhole that took us to a series of other thematic lands.” After landing in a virtual city, viewers arrived in a land that was inspired by subconscious surrealism. “We took inspiration from Salvador Dali, as well as other festival experiences and seemingly random subconscious surreal elements. We go back through the wormhole and arrive in a landscape that was inspired by a balance of nature and man,” Thompson

commented, pointing the trees, plants, and hybrid human/natural elements in this landscape. “The final scene was inspired by a futuristic city and future club environment. Each land has unique elements as well as a constant stream of VJ visuals feeding the environment.” Following the Digital Mirage stream, Thompson collaborated with Pete Thornbury to create a custom TouchDesigner method to translate lighting data from an MA Lighting grandMA2 into Notch for a simulated concert lighting experience. For Lollapalooza, Thompson wanted to remain true 52