Leviathan chief scientist Matt Daly and his colleagues at the design-focused, Chicago-based production studio are very proud to detail their artistry in conjunction with V Squared Labs (VSL) which has earned worldwide acclaim following Amon Tobin's recent live tour supporting his new Ninja Tune Records release entitled "ISAM."
As described in countless high-profile media articles and reviews, Tobin's breathtaking set for his ISAM performances in Montreal, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam and London featured an array of interconnected boxes, including one central cube that acted as the artist's own cockpit. The use of real-time projection mapping and generative, audio-reactive graphics, mixed with traditionally rendered media created one-of-a-kind experiences for each audience.
Daly and Leviathan are pleased to have built upon their longstanding working relationship with VSL's VJ, producer and director Vello Virkhaus to form the engineering and production team behind this groundbreaking project.
"As his fans know, Amon is partial to melding organic and mechanical sounds within his music to create narrative, and we wanted to do the same with his performance visuals for ISAM," Daly said. "Once concept development started, the team began factoring in a spaceship, nebulae, asteroids, and other abstract, otherworldly imagery to represent the journey concert-goers would experience. Creating original, long-form content in this style for live-performance projection mapping was taken to a whole new level when we saw the stage's projection surface: a visually stunning array of stacked white cubes."
While Leviathan creatives including executive creative director Jason White, creative directors Sam Gierasimczuk and Bradon Webb, and a dozen more artists set about creating animated content for five of the album's tracks, Daly and programmers Peter Sistrom and Adam Berg focused on other key challenges. "Until now, aligning projected, mapped content on such a complex structure as Amon's stage set would take hours, but using the new tool we developed specifically for this project, it can now be done in less than 20 minutes," Daly said. "As a result, our capabilities for handling complex projection mapping projects have just grown exponentially."
Microsoft Kinect hacking is another major technical innovation that is radically impacting the world at present, and courtesy of Leviathan and VSL, that also played a big part in this project. The Kinect 3D imaging device was used to capture a 3D representation of Amon, which was projected on-stage in real-time during the performance, and also acted as a virtual controller for Amon to pluck invisible strings in mid-air and control visuals during his performance.
"This live 3D camera feed of Amon was distorted with effects and projected onto the structure's facade, over the pre-rendered animation," explained Jason White. "The result was quite unbelievable, and in fact, every aspect of each performance was custom tailored for Amon to be able to deliver amazing, one-of-a-kind performances. This project was really a perfect fit for Amon, VSL and Leviathan: The perfect blend of cutting-edge technology and progressive sound, design and animation, in the hands of one of the most phenomenal musical artists of our time."
More information on Amon Tobin and "ISAM" is available at www.amontobin.com.
Along with Vello Virkhaus, Emilio Sa and Peter Sistrom, additional credits for VSL include producer Anastasia King Jaress, and animators Carlo Sa, Dave Foss and Bryant Place. Leviathan's project team also included executive producer Chad Hutson, producer Brandy Olsen, 3D animators Jody Evenson, Katrina Nelken, David Brodeur, Blake Cartwright, David Brodeur, Dan Tiffany, Jimi Filipovski and Dave Pasciuto, compositing artists Tim Sepulveda, Erik Jensen and Chris Beers, designers Derek Weglarz, Gareth Fewel and Aaron Edwards, assistant producer Krissy Estrada, and editor Daniel Ryan. Credits for the stage set go to production designer Alex Lazarus, set designer Heather Shaw and Vita Motus, and set fabrication artist Stefano Novelli.