At this year’s BRIT Awards, Dave’s performance was the highlight of the night supported by an evocative, ground-breaking display of live adaptive projection and camera tracking from Mo-Sys.

The BRIT Awards, more than any other music awards, have become well-known for giving artists the opportunity to express their creativity and provide a forum for their artistic voice – a good platform to shake up the industry and create memorable moments. This year, Dave followed suit with an iconic, thought-provoking performance complete with an immersive visualisation powered by Disguise, Notch and Mo-Sys.

During his moving rendition of ‘Black’, powerful graphics were projected onto a double piano live on stage. Conceptualised by live music specialists Tawbox and creatives Bluman Associates, the constantly evolving 2D projection appeared flat and distorted when not observed through the camera. However, for everyone watching on the big screens inside the O2 arena and to the millions of viewers at home they were treated to an immersive 3D visualisation, with objects emerging from the inside of the piano to create the story.

Utilising a wireless infrared Mo-Sys StarTracker on a Steadicam facing downwards, black retro-reflective stickers were placed on the stage floor to calculate the absolute position of the camera. StarTracker provided accurate coordinates which allowed the graphics to be rendered in accordance to the perspective of the camera. The result was a 3D projection that had natural depth and adaptive perspective for a seamless viewing experience.

Dave and Fraser T Smith rehearse ahead of the Brit Awards 2020

Using a wireless StarTracker gave the steadicam operator the freedom to move around the piano, doing a full circle, all the while the projection being locked in its position. The camera tracking data and camera feed were sent wirelessly to the Bluman Associates’ master control room backstage, where the graphics were being rendered in real-time in Notch through Disguise’s media server.

Martin Parsley, StarTracker Developer said: “We used black stars on the stage, so they don’t intrude on other performances of the night. We were able to track off these stickers using our infrared sensor during the performance. Feature based optical tracking systems would have had a hard time tracking, as the piano was the only object lit and the rest of the stage and auditorium was virtually pitch black. StarTracker was a perfect fit for this application and once it was set up during rehearsals it was just a matter of switching it on one minute before Dave entered the stage.”

Wireless infrared StarTracker on a steadicam

Matt Swoboda, founder of Notch, said:   
“Dave’s performance at the BRITs shows the impact motion graphics can have in bringing audiences into the story – whether they’re watching live or from behind a screen. Brilliant visuals are able to bridge the gap between the virtual and the physical. Thought-provoking installations such as this one are rising in popularity with performers who want to create an inspiring stage design for a multi-channel audience.”

Michael Geissler, CEO and founder of Mo-Sys commented: 
“We’re thrilled to have supported Dave’s innovative and captivating performance at the Brit Awards. StarTracker was specifically developed for live productions like this and enabled millions of viewers at home to experience a seamless and truly immersive projection.”

Creative Directors/Conceptualists – TAWBOX
Piano Design – TAWBOX
2D Creation/Design – SHOP / TAWBOX
Technical Production – Bluman Associates
Camera tracking : Mo-Sys
Media Servers: disguise
Realtime Content: Notch
3D Creation/Design – Stout Studio