Anamorphic Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, also known as 3D billboards, has been making waves in recent times. High-profile campaigns such as Netflix's Resident Evil campaign escapade in Times Square and Nike's Air Max Day takeover of Shinjuku Station celebration in Tokyo's Shinjuku Station clearly demonstrate the captivating potential of this innovative medium to blur boundaries between the digital and physical worlds.
It comes as no surprise that streaming giant Pandora decided to utilize this ground-breaking technique to commemorate June's Black Music Month in a unique and memorable way. The challenge was to elevate an already advanced medium to an even higher level, while encapsulating the spirit of authenticity inherent in Black Music Month.
Our team at BCN Visuals answered Pandora's call by creating the world's first fully choreographed motion capture (MoCap)-based anamorphic billboard. The concept was to pay homage to the '80s, '90s, and 2000s through accurate 3D representations of real-life movement, an essential feature when celebrating an important diversity and inclusion initiative such as Black Music Month.
Given the task of crafting a standout 3D billboard experience for Pandora's high-energy dance takeover in Times Square, our challenge was to faithfully replicate a range of African American dance styles and choreographies in computer graphics (CG). The traditional approach would have involved researching pre-existing footage of dancers and designing 3D animated characters that mimicked the real-life movements. However, for Black Music Month, a deeper level of authenticity was required.
To achieve this, we adopted the MoCap technique, placing trackers on professional dancers to record each movement with incredible precision. State-of-the-art Rokoko full-body MoCap suits were used to track every subtle movement, right down to the dancers' fingertips. The motion data was then transferred to a team of CG and VFX artists who created four unique animated scenes featuring high-quality 3D characters and environments.
On June 18, Pandora unveiled the MoCap-based anamorphic 3D billboard as the centerpiece of its Black Music Month celebration in Times Square. The result was a high-energy tribute to iconic African American dance styles, ranging from '80s b-boying to '90s hip-hop and early 2000s clubbing, culminating in a contemporary TikTok dance challenge. Thanks to the anamorphic technique, these dance moves dynamically burst through the billboard frame, joining the street party below, thus creating a truly immersive celebration of Black Music Month.
That, indeed, is how you throw a dance party for the ages.