This year, Tomorrowland went digital on July 25 and 26, beckoning in 1 million viewers to watch the on-line consequence that was constructed with the Unreal Engine 3D game engine. With approximately 200 staff working for 3 months, 60 artists were recorded to join the lineup across 8 stages .
With huge ballyhoo for this event, and agitation around it being a virtual and synergistic entertainment feel, let ’ s revisit Tomorrowland with an in-depth campaign through of the festival beyond the slang and in the context of the tools that were used, the fans who watched, and finally, what Tomorrowland signifies in the context of the live music industry ( decamp to end to cut to the pursuit to learn about virtual concerts and where everything is going in this 5 min video ) .
The login experience was seamless. After purchasing a ticket, I was able to login to the festival grounds with a username and password on Tomorrowland ’ s web site. Upon entering the unique password protected web page, a directional filmdom appeared to provide me with data about how to navigate the page. This was a great begin to the festival, with little to no barrier to entry, accessible on Mac/PC and mobile earphone via the web — although not accessible via virtual reality .
With a low poly environment ( simple ocular design ) the graphics besides contributed to the experience being accessible to attendees who may not have a eminent powered gaming apparatus .
Festival Grounds and Stages
With Boom, Belgium out of the picture under COVID-19, Tomorrowland took place in the digital global of Pāpiliōnem. The island, feel and artist recordings took 3 months to develop with Tomorrowland ’ south staff and extra developers, bringing in approximately 200 people total to work on the project .
The island boasted 8 different stages, with the largest stage being the Mainstage, as pictured below from the birdseye vantage steer provided to view the island. The purpose was childlike, similar to the likes of Civilization 3, a turn-based scheme video recording bet on series released in 2001 .
The stages themselves have 10 times more polygons ( higher resolution ) compared to a modern computer plot, and these visuals could be enjoyed in the video recording recordings available at each stage .
Numbers such as outdoor stages having 16 squarely kilometres of photograph naturalistic landscape, 32 000 trees and plants, and 280 000 blank fans are impressive, but it ’ s like taking a photograph of Queen performing for Live Aid in front of 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium and saying that it ’ s 180,000 Square metres and that the ( complex number ) forest around it had 25 000 shrubs, 50 flowers and one type of rare palm tree. unfortunately I didn ’ t notice the plants during the festival, or the scale of the venues as mentioned above. As an attendant I would have loved for the focus to be on developing the know. I hope that the commitment to environment plan and scale means that we will see an actually immersive and interactional Tomorrowland in the future .
To enter the stage, I clicked on it and was brought into a YouTube like page with embed video. I could select which performance to watch and switch between or skip through the recordings as desired .
For each of the digitally constructed 3D stages, a number of virtual cameras were used to enable the director to choose up to 38 respective camera angles when editing the clips .
virtual cameras are software rather than hardware. They are television camera tools within the game engine that capture 3D animation and scenery from different points of opinion ( POVs ). They behave similarly to real-world cameras, but record digital footage. For case, in video recording games these virtual cameras are used to show natural process at the best possible slant, and much for cut-scenes when a one-third person view is used as a separate of the narrative .
These virtual cameras were used without restraint during the Tomorrowland Festival to show the complicate stage designs, lighting effects, and dummy consultation, with continuous cinematic camera movements during the 45 moment to hour long performances .
In real life, 6 4K Ultra HD cameras were used to capture footage of the artists in park screen door studios in Belgium, the USA, Brazil and Australia. This footage was then implemented into the digital 3D environment of Tomorrowland. More than 300TB of naked footage was collected, with tens of unlike render engines working 24/7 to process all the datum into the final examination video end product .
The final results were pre-recorded 2D video of the perform artists with particular effects built in a 3D engine that contributed to the final appearance of the 2D experience. The consequence was hosted on a web site, where fans could watch the pre-recorded and pre-rendered video of celebrated DJs .
There is a lot of talk around the use of brawny game engines in on-line performances, but these types of performances aren ’ triiodothyronine using the real-time effects that makes the Unreal Engine a game changing creature for synergistic and survive entertainment. Tomorrowland ’ s lighting effects and stages were absolutely stunning, but as a passive voice 2D spectator pump experience the real magic trick of a festival was lost .
There was no means other than what is available on a typical web page. For case, the ability to select which pre-recorded television to watch as you would do on YouTube, or which stage or web page to enter depending on where the artist video that you want to see are located.
The “ chat ” or “ talk with other fans ” element of the festival was angstrom childlike as leaving a comment integration where fans could write their message to the festival. Curated messages would then become visible on the network page in conventionalized fonts .
The ability to “ explore the island with friends ” means you can all sit in front of the computer or telephone and watch the video recording together, or click on the embedded curated Instagram social media feed within the Tomorrowland web page .
The “ game ” component of the festival was a quiz with an synergistic vane page. Locating the shining lights in the library would trigger multiple option questions to appear .
The trade name pages were exchangeable to the stage experiences, where I could click on the brand area on the map and a web page would open with information about the patronize. Pepsi featured “ The future Sound of Tomorrow ”, and Absolute Vodka shared videos and recipes for interracial drinks .
Brands play a huge function in funding invention and bringing experiences to fans. When their contributions become a collaboration, this gives room for the development of an experience that feel a lot more organic than giant pop-up book pages .
I look advancing to these types of integrations being promote developed for future events. advertise, like concerts, should advance with the tools available to shape the know .
The Line Up
The consequence brought in more than 60 of the world ’ s most big EDM artists. This is fantastic for the fans of Tomorrowland who travel to Belgium each year to see the biggest names in EDM. It besides makes sense in the short term for companies that are building a solution that will bring in the biggest numbers with the lowest barrier to submission .
What it Means for the Music Industry
These on-line video recording experiences that use brawny bet on engines are a capital step forward for on-line spectator video with special effects. Tomorrowland is besides a big milestone for on-line events as it outsold its IRL counterpart .
however, beyond the PR, it ’ sulfur unclutter that this festival is still a long means from something that will authentically create a meaningful and excite know .
It ’ south great that these top 60 DJs can share their videos with stunning ocular effects, but what does this mean for breaking artists who have had their live shows cancelled ? Or the venues that have had to close their doors and lay off staff ? What about the rest of the $ 9 billion that the alive industry used to be able to generate from ticket sales and deals ?
Events that are actually live streamed with volumetric capture, in-browser 3D experiences, faster bandwidth/5G, and cross chopine compatibility, including VR, are not far off, and it ’ s the smaller events that are taking place, focusing on creating great hearing experiences, persistent worlds, and an ecosystem that supports artists that are building a sustainable model for live and virtual concerts :
This lecture by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney provides excellent insights into how this ecosystem and its economics will work :
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I ’ vitamin d love your feedback on your experience of Tomorrowland. What did you think ? Was it what you expected ? What would you keep ? What would you change ?
I ’ vitamin d besides love to learn more about how many of the 1 million viewers buy tickets, how many acts they watched, and the average time they spent on the platform and watching the video. I have reached out to Tomorrowland ’ sulfur PR team and will update the article if I hear back .