Creating electrifying visuals for Doha from Goa
The world premiere of Perfect Amalgamation, a concert that brought together stalwarts of Indian fusion music in an immersive experience, recently took place during the FIFA World Cup Bollywood Musical Night at Lusail Stadium in Qatar. Interestingly, the visuals for the concert were created by a studio right here in Goa. The Switch Studio team at Socorro shares the process of creating the visualsXNo
Nearly 2,500 kilometers from the bustling center of the world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, Goa still played a small role. Members of a design studio in Socorro, Upasana Nattoji Roy, founder of Switch Studio, Vishrut Manseta, production team, Saurav Roy, partner and Nigel Gomes, design director, worked hard to create one of the visual effects amazing for the world premiere of “Perfect Fusion”. Composed by SK Music Works’ Siddharth Kasyap, the concert featured stellar Indian Bollywood singers Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sunidhi Chauhan and songwriting duo Salim-Sulaiman. This unique show brought together design, animation and art with music, entertainment and Bollywood.
Explaining the roles of the team members, Nigel says, “Concept development, visualization, design and direction for all ten songs was done by Upasana Nattoji Roy. Switch Studio produced all visuals. Vishrut Manseta assisted to create four. We had to adapt the render files to a totally different set design for the Lusail stage during the Bollywood Musical Night performance of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The visuals are created through a process concept that took about two and a half months from concept to delivery. We have created a “master” version of the show that can travel the world through different scales. Two pieces have been added called “Marhaba” or welcome in Arabic and the grand finale specifically for the FIFA World Cup Bollywood Musical Night performance. Adapting for the visuals took another week.”
The visuals created for this performance were one of the most significant of its kind done for Indian fusion music on the global stage. Most of the songs in this show had a flavor led by the hero’s instrument. “A lot of Indian instruments evoke the sound of the regions from which they come or are even associated with mythological characters. Each of the visuals has thus been tailor-made to celebrate each instrument. To add to the process, my background in dancing also helps me visualize myself as a participant in the performance,” says Upasana Nattoji Roy.
Talking about the challenges of working on the visuals for the concert, she says, “Each song in the show sounded totally different. Each song had its own moodboard to map out the colors and visuals evoked by the music. Once we had outlines the abstract narrative for each song, style sheets were created for the highlights of the song with a visual “bed”. Based on this, we decided on our team members who would work on the project. In the together we used Photoshop and vector artwork, stock footage, footage shot with chroma, 2D animations, 3D models and particular systems in After Effects and C4D.”
She further adds, “In the case of this show, it was originally created to be behind the musicians and it was kept in mind that there would be parts of the screen that would be blocked by the musicians standing in front. But since we wanted to provide visuals that could have a longer lifespan without a high additional cost to customers, we created “dead” sections. This paid off very well for the FIFA event as the stage was under the band and exponentially larger, creating a bold impact visual experience. This adaptation required design intervention as well as a pipeline to render very large files in a very short time. While we reinterpret it for the Lusail stage and we were preparing the production files, the SK music works team returned the files due to lack of time.”
The team will then co-produce a show, “When Walls Dance”, which is a performance that includes Bharatanatyam, Warli art and animation which will premiere on January 14, 2023 in Mumbai. They have also received a grant from the British Council with support from BeFantastic and Future Everything (UK) to develop an interactive art installation called “Give me a Sign” which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as the methods traditional ways of creating animation and art. This will be presented at the Future Fantastic festival in Manchester and Bangalore and is expected to travel to other parts of the world.
“We are also working with artists and performers based in Goa and Goa for a few other projects. One such project which is nearing completion is a virtual museum commissioned by the Indian Arts Foundation for the Kodava community,” says Saurav Roy. Switch Studio also does title design and animation for shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube Originals and other OTT platforms.