Content Creation for Immersive Spaces - High Resolution VJ Performance For Beginners & Intermediate

Immersive art spaces have been sprouting across the globe, establishing themselves as a novel platform for audiovisual media art. They have garnered immense popularity among diverse audiences, promising a fresh media encounter inspired by virtual worlds, projection mapping, and the iconic StarTrek holodeck. The spectrum ranges from innovative projects, spotlighting contemporary media art to hommages to artists long departed (a quick search of the multitude of immersive Van Gogh experiences illustrates this phenomenon). Many believe that the current juncture is pivotal for demonstrating the artistic value of this medium, transcending the mere exploitation for tourist attractions.

studio1111 Berlin has recently opened a new venue that integrates immersion as a key element for a unique, art-centered clubbing experience in the heart of Berlin. The minimalist design of this space features central pieces surrounded by 270° floor-to-ceiling projections, inviting guests to enjoy a drink at the bar, dance on the floor, and, above all, connect with other art enthusiasts to forge meaningful relationships for a brighter future.

Technical Setup

The main room panorama is illuminated by 10 seamlessly blended laser projectors, delivering an impressive resolution of 16,568 pixels by 1200 pixels at 60 Hz. To facilitate the playback and performance of content on this sophisticated surface, the Berlin-based design studio flora&faunavisions was tasked with developing a cutting-edge real-time performance system in TouchDesigner, as well as an intuitive VJ implementation with Resolume. In addition, they curated a stunning content library that seamlessly integrates the studio’s expertise in immersive creation and real-time visuals with the club’s commitment to quality and human-centered content.

It goes without saying that the club boasts an exceptional sound system, developed with the assistance of members Spatial Media Lab e.V., to deliver an awe-inspiring audio experience utilizing over 39 speakers throuout the venue.

To explore the capabilities of this canvas and the spatial configuration of the club, flora&faunavisions has created a 3D simulation of the main room, allowing for content simulation in TouchDesigner and rendering pre-visualizations in any 3D authoring software available.

As part of the collaboration between studio1111 and The NODE Institute, we have developed an exclusive course led by Experience Designer Stefan Kraus (MXZEHN). This course not only provides participants with the opportunity to explore content creation for immersive spaces but also encourages them to develop live VJ performances for the main room at studio1111.

The concepts for these performances will be presented to participants of the TD Event Berlin 2024, the Derivative team, and the VJ booking team of studio1111 on May 22, 2024. Throughout the evening, those participants who were able to travel to Berlin will have the chance to showcase their pieces live to one of the most discerning VJ audiences imaginable—the attendees of the TD Event Berlin 2024, which includes some of the most talented and experienced TD artists from Europe and beyond.


About the Course

This course will focus on exploring ideas and techniques for crafting compelling and unique live VJ performances tailored specifically for immersive spaces. A key challenge lies in understanding how the space and visual content interact during production, as well as optimizing generative content to be both captivating and performable at a smooth frame rate of at least 30 FPS during live, improvised performances synced with the club’s top DJ artists.

To tackle these challenges, we will utilize a 3D simulation of the projection to preview our work in VR, generate walkthroughs, and experiment with alternative methods of experiencing our animations before entering the physical venue.

With the simulation in place, we will delve into various content creation approaches, ranging from generative, audio-driven content in TouchDesigner to pre-rendered 2D and 3D loops from software such as After Effects, Cinema4D, Blender, or any tool participants are comfortable with.

We will explore how audio analysis can be used to create and manipulate generative content, allowing flexibility for the VJ to perform alongside the DJ rather than being confined to a rigid rhythm.

Additionally, we will learn techniques for creating and rendering high-resolution scenes at relevant frame rates, as well as how to optimize scenes for performance constraints. We’ll also cover creating loops in TouchDesigner that can be used with Resolume or any other VJ software, granting creative freedom while composing and mixing to the beat.

Discussion topics will include the role of a VJ within the social and cultural framework of a club night, and how visual performance can both enhance and diminish audience experiences.

Participants will be guided to develop their own style and production workflow for creating unique and relevant visuals for live sets, as well as how to effectively think about and communicate their creations.

Although this course assumes participants have a foundational understanding of TouchDesigner, it’s important to note that the creative process of content production transcends the boundaries of any single tool. Under the expert guidance of Stefan Kraus, attendees will embark on a journey to create a concise audiovisual composition through iterative steps. The ultimate showcase will feature input and critique from the NODE Institute, Derivative, and studio1111 teams, who continually seek out promising new talent.

What if you can not attend the Presentation at studio1111 in Berlin, Germany?

We understand that the majority of our students do not reside in Germany, and for many, attending the showcase in person may not be feasible. While we may not be able to live stream the entire experience from the venue, we will present the pieces and facilitate remote participation in the presentation and feedback discussion through Zoom.

Additionally, we will offer photo documentation of the concepts projected in the actual venue, which participants can use for their portfolios.

Experience level