Impressing at Live Events with Cinema 4D


Nothing beats going to a live event. And we are doing it more and more these days.

Take the UK. Last year, Brits spent 10.2% more on experiences than in 2016, says Barclaycard, who process nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK.

In 2016, audiences for live music events rose a whopping 12% on the previous year, reports UK Music.

And it's not just Brits who are attending more live events than ever before. Live Nation, the world's biggest live entertainment group, announced record revenues for the sixth consecutive year - up 15% in 2016.

But creating a special event that everybody is talking about is not easy. It often involves a combination of a great entertainer, awesome sound and dazzling visuals. Here's how the 3D animation software Cinema 4D helps...

What Makes a Great Live Event?

Naturally, the prime draw is who is doing the entertaining. But to make them a success, they need support. Typically, that's sound, light and visuals. If any of those suck, they can really pull down the impact of an event. Any event needs to try and ensure that every attendee feels like they got good value for money and that they enjoyed themselves. Do that and they'll tell other people to attend, share on social media, and maybe they'll even come again to a future event.

Perhaps the most critical type of event to pull off well is live music. The music industry has been hit hard by the mass of piracy in recent years. From 2000 to 2016, global recorded music sales plummeted 32.7% according to the Global Music Report 2017.

Musicians now heavily rely on live events to bring in revenue to support their work, and this is an area that has been skyrocketing. Over that same 2000 to 2016 period, North American concert industry ticket sales rose from $1.7 billion to $7.3 billion, a rise of 429%, reports Variety.

Justin Bieber's Purpose Tour

A great example of wowing on all aspects is Justin Bieber's Purpose tour.

Taking in 141 shows in six continents over 16 months, Purpose was seen by 2,805,481 people, earning a total gross of $257 million.

"The concert was sublime vocally, visually and musically," wrote Andrew Matson for Rolling Stone magazine. "Justin Bieber was ostensibly charged ... dancing in a hail of sparks and through sheets of water, performing a thoroughly professional 90-minute arena spectacle."

It's a great example of where all the aspects have been polished to ensure that the audience were wowed from start to finish. Purpose was Bieber's third world tour and you can bet that loads of the audience have been to his previous tours because he puts on a stunning event.

"His show opener was a dance and special effects spectacle to Where Are You Now and the crowd went wild… Justin, you should definitely Love Yourself because that was one hell of a show," raved Alana Fearon in the Irish Mirror.

As you can see from the above movie, the visuals really add some excitement to the show. Justin Bieber worked closely with Los-Angeles-based Possible to ensure that his singing and movements worked beautifully with the animated backgrounds. Possible used a combination of tools including Cinema 4D to create 22 full-song scenics, as well as three intros and interstitials. If you'd like to know more about this project, here's a great article on how Cinema 4D was used on the Purpose tour by Meleah Maynard.

Sydney Opera House: Lighting the Sails

Here's an example where the star of the show is a building: the Sydney Opera House. You might want to scrub through as it's a 90-minute movie!

This example is from Vivid Live, a summer festival which transforms Sydney into a wonderland of light, colour and music. The 'Lighting the Sails' event turned the iconic building into a breathtaking animated canvas. Cinema 4D was among the tools used to create the animation that was projected onto the sails.

Luxx collaborated with Spinifex to create around eight minutes of the 15-minute production used on the sails. Although regular footage could have been used, 3D software provides a lot of control to match the content to the architecture. Luxx created a bunch of CG content in Cinema 4D, including a butterfly, jellyfish, octopus and so much more. You can read more about this project in the Audio Creatures article by Meleah Maynard.

Shard Lighting Display - New Year's Eve

Did you know that you can use Cinema 4D to control real lights? The Shard, London's tallest building at 310m, was turned into a stunning display of light to celebrate New Year's Eve in 2015 by Jason Bruges Studio. The light show ran every evening, from Friday 19th December until the end of the year. As you can see from the movie, the light effects are extremely complicated and feature moving lights.

It was up to the artists and technicians at Jason Bruges Studio to figure out how to achieve this effect without spoiling the surprise before the project went live. Cinema 4D was used to pre-visualize the project on a 3D model of the Shard, so the team could experiment with how to position the lights. Then came the headache of how to control the lights for the real show. Here, the studio created a special plugin for Cinema 4D to operate the lights, which drove the live light show. For more info on this project, check out this Tripping the Light Fantastic article by Steve Jarratt.

Fancy Trying Cinema 4D Yourself?

Easy to use, powerful, stable and fast. If you'd like to try Cinema 4D and have a go with all the powerful features on offer, then be sure to grab yourself a free trial. The trial gives you access to virtually all of Cinema 4D's features, and you can also activate it, which will allow you to save scenes for 42 days. Simply fill out the form on the link below to get started!

Get my free Cinema 4D trial!


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About the MAXON Blog

Welcome to the official MAXON UK Blog. This blog provides the most up-to-date official information about MAXON, its products – in particular its flagship product Cinema 4D – and the Cinema 4D community. You can expect to see posts from a wide variety of MAXON UK employees.