The battleROYAL production celebrating the 125thAnniversary of MADSACK required innovative thinking and attention to detail. Just the right job for Duncan McDade, who works with the motion design department battleVISION as a Video Designer to create cutting edge, interactive content for a broad range of productions.

For MADSACK, battleVISION and Duncan coordinated a large technical team, including collaborators Green Hippo and technical experts from VenCo, to create tailor-made interactive video design. Duncan worked tirelessly for 11 weeks to plan and deliver a custom system for this large-scale endeavor. The IR-system and video design was then implemented in only 4 days onsite. This was an industry first in Germany with the implementation of this brand new real-time tracking technology on such a large scale.

All the hard efforts paid off – the project is nominated for the German Design Award 2019. Duncan McDade agreed to answer a few questions for us about the process of making this live immersive experience a reality.

Is there any difference in your workflow when designing for a live interaction production?

The design and technical challenges are quite different. For instance, instead of creating a piece of content that you alter and watch endlessly in the build up to a show, it’s more along the lines testing a system that can be manipulated by the performers.

In some ways it’s a lot faster, you can create a design or look very quickly and timing is less relevant, but creating something specific and stable can bring a whole host of challenges with it.

How did you adjust your working process to showcase such a massive interaction projection?

By using references to the scale. Grids and technical drawings of the site are all essential on any large-scale project. Real world measurements can go directly into the 3D software, so that everything looks as it should.

What is the biggest challenge and how is it best overcome?

There are many ways to pre-visualize the look and feel you are going for. But until you see it onsite and to scale, you never really know how it will look. The angles it will be viewed from, scale and speed of elements, and composition will all be affected. The best way to overcome this is by being prepared, being able to change everything to look just right. Sometimes it’s straightforward, sometimes it’s not – but the payoff is always worth it.