Blackmagic Design today announced that Rhizomatiks Research, a cutting edge design firm which has created various interactive artworks for clients such as NIKE and HONDA, used Blackmagic Design’s ATEM Production Studio 4K, ATEM 2M/E Production Studio 4K and SmartView Duo on NHK’s “Next World Live” music show.
Rhizomatiks Research creates a variety of artworks using digital technology. Their works include interactive art, advertisements, stage direction, music videos and installations at museums and performances at major festivals held at home and abroad. Daito Manabe, one of the founders of Rhizomatiks Research, is internationally acclaimed for his works, including his technical direction of live performances by the Japanese techno pop group, Perfume.
Rhizomatiks Research uses ATEM Production Studio 4K switchers, SmartView Duo monitors, UltraStudio Express capture and playback devices and Mini Converters for various projects. One of the projects which Manabe worked on using Blackmagic Design’s technology is "Next World Live,” which aired on NHK.
In "Next World Live,” a part of the popular documentary series “Next World,” Manabe directed the live performance of Sakanaction, a popular Japanese band who offered the theme song for the show, using CG and programming techniques. Computer generated avatars and neo futuristic CG for backgrounds were composited with the live feed of the band's performance in realtime, as if the avatars were surrounding the band during their performance and switched to various camera angles. Blackmagic's ATEM Production Studio 4K and ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K were used for live switching and compositing the live performance.
There were eleven live cameras for Sakanaction's performance, and five Kinect motion sensing devices, one for each member of Sakanaction to capture 3D scan data. "We generated CG with a Mac Pro for transitions based on the data from the Kinects in real time. We also needed masks so that the background CG and avatar’s CG did not overlap with the band. So we generated the masks too," said Rhizomatiks Research’ Yuya Hanai, who was in charge of system development to actualize Manabe's direction plans.
The avatars and background CG were created beforehand and two sets of their fill and key signals were sent to four inputs on the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K from an external disk recorder. Also, masks to prevent the CG and Sakanaction from overlapping were sent to the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K from a MacPro. Because cameras and band members were constantly moving, masks could not be made beforehand, and were created in real time based on the sensing data from the Kinect for each member.
"Eleven camera feeds were all sent to the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K. CG was created with the same angle of view of each camera feed. We composited the camera feed, the CG and the mask in the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K. The program output 1 and 2 from the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K were sent to the ATEM Production Studio 4K. When we switched to the CG for transition from the MacPro, we used a cross fade in the ATEM Production Studio 4K,” explained Hanai.
“The challenging part was switching the live feed, CG, mask and CG for transition in the same angle of view at the right time. We programmed using Blackmagic's SDKs for ATEM and Desktop Video. With the program we could control the ATEM switchers and the Mac Pro from a MacBook Pro based on timecode. So I didn't have to touch the switcher at all and just kept monitoring to make sure the switching was fine. Blackmagic offers an easy to use SDK, so I could program capturing and switching without any problems."
Manabe, in charge of technical direction of Next World Live, concluded: "If we want to create something new to conventional live production, we need not only to make visual content but also make a unique live system, which requires professional gear. I appreciate that Blackmagic allows us to develop our own system using their products."
About Rhizomatiks Research
Rhizomatiks Research, researching into the relationship between human beings and technology, is an organization which introduces to the world, art and entertainment projects through collaborating with creators including artists, researchers, graphic designers, athletes, dancers, choreographers, directors, musicians and engineers. Among Rhizomatiks works, Rhizomatiks Research mainly takes up projects focusing on the field of research and development, and sets priority in opening a new expression for the future.The team which is leading Rhizomatiks Research, has produced projects with artists such as Perfume and Elevenplay in addition to media-art and data-art projects, and is also in charge of all processes through the projects-planning, implementation and operation.
Product photos of ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K, ATEM Production Studio 4K, SmartView Duo, UltraStudio Express, Mini Converters and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/press/images.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.