How Territory created this amazing 360º music video

For Puzzle's first single, Godlike, Territory Studio used a mix of CG and Kinect-captured movement to create an immersive experience. Discover how they did it.

Puzzle's Godlike music video

Interactive 360º videos

Making of video

Territory Studio has created a visually rich, immersive video for the debut single Godlike by the Brazilian-born artist and musician known as Puzzle, and a further set of teaser trailer, 360º and VR videos to support the multichannel launch of the London-based artist’s career.

Commissioned by music artist management agency Recognition London, Puzzle wanted Territory to deliver a creative concept that captured the emotional heart of the song in abstract form without actually revealing himself.

Territory’s response references geometric shapes, bold colours and surreal environments in a low poly head concept that creates “a layer of mystery and fantasy” by only showing Puzzle in 3D form.

The collaborative nature of the project, defined by an openness and enthusiasm for new ideas and methods, inspired Territory to experiment with new techniques for 3D content creation and development.

“This was an exciting project for us, combining our 3D, CGI, gaming and high-end production expertise with innovative R&D” said co-founder and creative director David Sheldon-Hicks.

“The challenge today is that music videos no longer sit in isolation as a piece of content but are part of a greater ecosystem,” he added. “We wanted to use the creative concept as a means to generate multiple experiences across various emerging channels”.

With plans to develop 4K content for VR, AR and 360° applications, Territory needed to capture 3D content data for 3D sequences and photogrammetry – essential elements required to generate a multitude of rich media. With such an expanded pipeline, the team needed to augment traditional production techniques with more nimble and cost-effective capture formats.

Having worked with the Xbox Kinect on previous projects, Territory’s head of 3D Peter Eszenyi was interested in the technology’s flexibility, facial recognition capability and experimental appeal, and felt there was an opportunity to take the technology and techniques in a new direction.

“Using the Kinect with Skanect software we were able to capture incredibly accurate facial expressions and body movements, and create a high definition 3D CGI animated sculpture of Puzzle that syncs to footage," he explained. "As a new approach to creating high quality 3D content, the set up proved to be ideal for the project in every way”. 

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Sheldon-Hicks explained: "As Territory’s concept was rooted in a 3D graphic environment, featuring a low poly count model of the artist, we felt there was an opportunity to explore a new creative process, as an alternative to conventional 3D capture set ups."

"Conventionally, capturing a sophisticated 3D model involves a proprietory studio that uses laser or photogrammetry technology. We felt that the Kinect, which we had worked with on a previous project, could offer a new approach."

"Our team was impressed by the Kinect’s built in colour and depth cameras which enable the scan and capture of high resolution 3D images in real time and felt that its portability, efficiency, flexibility and facial scanning technology offered exciting possibilities for a project of this type."

"This advancement in technology meant that we were able to capture all the 3D data in-house, with minimal setup, using a handheld Kinect to scan the artist’s facial expressions and body movements."

"Having captured Puzzle as a high density model, it was quick and easy to clean up and reduce the file size, making it an extremely time and cost-effective process," continued Sheldon-Hicks.

"The data also allows us to place the model and the camera anywhere in a 3D space without being limited to one given angle, and the flexibility of this method means that we can use the data for different types of content, from the music video through to spherical VR-ready 360 video."

"Finally, pairing the technology of the Kinect with the capability of Skanect’s software, we were able to create a full 3D model instantly, giving us much better feedback without too much post processing, and allowing the team to see the results on screen almost immediately."

"In terms of creative treatment, we wanted to explore different surface qualities and textures on top of the scanned mesh, basically using the scanned geometry as a springboard for ideas," added the creative director.  "If there were some glitches in the scanned model we embraced those errors and in some cases let those drive the creative process. 

"The final creative transformation of the model through various textures and effects aims to reflect the emotional heart of the lyrics, as the song explores the fragmentation of our idols, from ‘godlike’ to human."

"This 3D environment lends itself to rich and engaging content formats, and part of the project was to explore how far we could adapt the content for emerging spherical 360 video and VR experiences."

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"It is incredibly exciting to innovate in this dynamic space," said Sheldon-Hicks. "Being open to new techniques and technologies is hugely liberating and inspiring for the creative process. We felt that the Kinect could be the perfect tool to realise this project and it’s really rewarding to be the ones to pioneer a unique new combination of existing technologies."

The result is a continuously animated CGI narrative that feels like a visual track to the song, ‘a richly textured landscape where the lyrical story can live and breathe’.

“Our vision is to engage audiences in a more immersive way where people can embrace music and fantasy through their senses," said Puzzle. "I think the visual element is key to how we converse with our audience and introduce them to the world of Puzzle and it’s possibilities. I hope that Godlike’s video will demonstrate the power of collaboration when creative minds, aided by cutting edge technology, portray music through powerful visuals."