Creative Direction and Content Creation

In collaboration with Contend Media, XiteLabs had the pleasure and privilege of creating a series of animations for the show MIXology. The show is featured daily on the largest LED screen in the world on Fremont Street and part of a group of animations and music pieces known as the Fremont Street Experience. The animated sequences were built to accompany three separate custom musical arrangements that were created by Contend. These arrangements feature Rock, R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop songs from the last 60 years all merged into EDM mashups.

Creatively the goal was and, when applicable, always is to push the boundaries of imagination while still being socially applicable. To do this we started by developing key concepts and our focus was on developing worlds surrounding the creation and transportation of light and sound, how music is made and where images come from. The basics of color and musical notes were kept in consideration as we chose three main themes and we ended with Intensity, Harmony, and Groove as the basis of the creative treatments to support our work for The Fremont Street Experience

It’s clear that light and sound are intrinsically tied with the world we live in and our world revolves around them. They are part of a large spectrum of waves but we can only experience certain ones. MIXology is a celebration of the wonderful waves we have the ability to experience and work with.

To create these pieces for The Fremont Street Experience we used Cinema 4D, Octane, Notch, and After effects. The 3D animation was mainly supported by Cinema 4D and Octanewas used to render these scenes. Notch was used to create real time displacement maps created using audio feeds. These displacement maps were applied to geometry created in Cinema 4D to create a music visualization effect. All final files were composited and rendered in After Effects.

Fremont Street Experience Reel

Intensity focuses on an organ made of portals of light each corresponding to a color, these portals are adorned and built into a “Color Organ” that uses

sound to create beams of color and light. We start with a view of the organ and portals, activate we find ourselves moving through the middle portal to

enter a new realm. This space is filled with musical instruments flying, moving to the music, and interacting with light sources moving through the ether.

As we jam along and move through this field of instruments we find ourselves once again entering a portal and moving back to the “Color Organ”.

Groove is centered around Cymatics, the visual representation of sound using pure frequency and a medium like water. When pure tones are applied

to maliable mediums they produce geometric patterns ranging from simple squares and circles to extremely complex mandala like images. We applied

this to our piece by creating displacement maps that were formed through audio reactive content creation in Notch and incorporating them into the

textures that were applied to geometry in our Cinema 4D scene. This crafted our cymatics and allowed for a strong integration of visuals to the music.

The scene is focused on orbs covered the displacement maps fly around moving to music. The orbs feature dancing models the move in majestic and

funky ways. In the scene there are flying DJ booths where Robot Dj’s are creating the music we are hearing.

Harmony uses a complex array instruments placed in a round room to create light and music. Each instruments works in time to send light pulses

to crystal monuments throughout the scene. These crystals build in energy and communicate using light with the center structure, a large crystal cube

that is adorned and surrounded by an Orrery. An orrery is a complex mechanical device from older times that was used to track the stars and their

movements. Using the power of light and sound we move this center structure and help create the movement of the cosmos. We can see our helpers,

human dancers come out and work with and enjoy the machine itself while new doorways and panels open in the background to reveal new instruments.

As the climax builds and the song moves on we find ourselves pushing a portal behind the center crystal and Orrery. This exit brings us back to the Color

Organ where our journey began.

Client: Contend

Creative Director: Vello Virkhaus

Executive Creative Director: Greg Russell

Producers: Jessica Tedder and Anders Rahm

Notch: Tanner Thompson

Animators: Ofer Zmora, Kevin Agguire, Sam Cividanis, and Billy Woods

Render pipeline and Lens Shader: Aaron Kaminar and Vello Virkhaus

Big Thanks to our whole team and everyone involved!