Groundbreaking augmented visuals in SBS6 show DanceSing

31 January 2019

Unique, impressive, and spectacular. Even superlatives cannot adequately describe the experience of watching DanceSing, the new SBS6 show. The show, a singing and dancing competition for hopefuls, is being broadcast on SBS6 since Thursday 10 January. The producer, Talpa, has contracted with Univate and Faber Audiovisuals for the implementation of this ambitious programme concept. It was a technical and creative effort at the highest international level.

“There are spectacular innovations in two aspects: full interactivity between the physical studio and the virtual world. And real-time content,” explains Jasper Steenkamp of Univate. His team created the content and visual concepts for the television show, in which sister entities NEP The Netherlands supplied the augmented reality technology and Faber Audiovisuals all LED video and audiovisual facilities. “The augmented layer of the virtual studio that we superimpose over the physical decor is no longer static in this production. All visuals move in tandem and are more or less interactive. This done on a scale that has not yet been used before.” This effect is achieved by linking a number of studio cameras to the created virtual decor. “It is in fact in this programme concept—which revolves around show and dance— that this groundbreaking visual technique works perfectly.” For example, the participants seemingly perform with professional dancers. In reality, those dancers have been recorded earlier and are being projected on the decor during the broadcast. “Those scenes had already been recorded in our own studio in Hoofddorp in the fall of 2018 using green screen technology.”

Real time
Another distinctive innovation is the use of real time content in the production of DanceSing. Steenkamp: “We had the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art software in combination with a proprietary workflow for augmented content. While before we had to render anew every time for each animation or video, even after a minimal change, this is now a thing of the past. We can make changes on the fly without having to wait long. This really makes a big difference in time, even more so in productions such as DanceSing, which use digital content to a significant degree. The only other thing you need in that case are the design skills required to make the animation or image really beautiful.

Talent contest
Johnny de Mol and Romy Monteiro present DanceSing, which requires participants to be able to sing as well as dance. Gordon and Trijntje Oosterhuis judge the singing, while Timor Steffens and Kenzo Alvares judge the dancing. The show is broadcast by SBS6 every Thursday evening. The winner of DanceSing enjoys the ultimate kick-start for an international dream career. 714,000 people watched the first episode of DanceSing, the SBS programme on 10 January.

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