28 Jan 2010

SquareZero's Abba Hologram wows Abbaworld

We've recently completed two animated sequences of Abba performing the songs ' Dancing Queen' and ' Mamma Mia'. The animations are for projection on the Musion Eyeliner holographic projection system at the heavily hyped Abbaworld exhibition in Earls Court, London. SquareZero have become leading providers of content for the Musion system, having created animations and live action content for more than twenty presentations, launches and events.

SquareZero used motion capture and traditional animation techniques to create the Abba characters. HD renders of the 3d characters were attached to motion data for the body movements. Faces and lip sync were animated by hand. Dynamic animations were applied for hair and other parts such as Bennies tie.

The likeness of the characters was arrived at after making caricatures of the band and reducing them to more natural proportions and attractive features. They were never intended to look entirely like 'Spitting Image' puppets or attempt to look completely 'realistic'.

Those who worked on the project at SquareZero included Jonson Jewell, Jon Ossitt, Chris Maslen, David Elices, Vicky Godfrey, Natalie Harvey, Sarah Klan, George Cheng, Richard Lester and Antonio Flores.

Motion capture for the project was filmed at Centroid.

There has been a huge amount of publicity surrounding the project and the exhibition launch.

But it seems most likely that Ulvaeus's expression is that of a man wondering exactly what expression to wear after being confronted by a lifesize 3D cartoon hologram of himself playing Dancing Queen.
In fairness, it's hard enough to work out what facial expression to wear when confronted with the holograms even if you weren't in the band. ­Punters are encouraged to get up on stage beside them and sing. This proves both breathtaking and deeply weird. I give it a go, to a response you could describe as frosty. Who'd have thought Dancing Queen was so hard to sing?
Still, the holograms' very existence is evidence that no expense has been spared on Abbaworld. 

     Abbaworld:Thank your for the music -  Alexis Petridis, Guardian

LONDON (Reuters) - If singing along to ABBA classics on the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack is not enough, fans have the chance to perform alongside 3-D, holographic versions of the Swedish quartet at a new exhibition dedicated to them.

hologram video on Sky news 

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