Talent Recap

How BTS Appeared as Holograms with Coldplay During ‘The Voice’ Finale

BTS ColdplayKevin Winter/Getty Images for MRC

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If you watched The Voice Season 21 finale last year, you probably saw Coldplay perform their song “My Universe” with K-pop band BTS. What made the performance so cool was that BTS appeared on the stage without actually being there in person, thanks to hologram-like technology. A new article goes in-depth about how they pulled it off.

BTS Performed with Coldplay as Holograms on ‘The Voice’

As Unreal Engine explains, Coldplay and BTS filmed their music video for “My Universe” from Spain and Korea, respectively. Five visual effects studios, led by Ingenuity Studios, used a volumetric-capture rig made up of 108 cameras to record the singers from every angle.

Later, creative agency All of It Now started working with Coldplay to take the technology to another place by having the bands perform together live. They decided on The Voice, which, according to All of It Now CEO Danny Firpo, “had all the infrastructure we needed to get the groups performing perfectly in sync.”

The team used the volumetric-capture data for a more flexible approach than would have been possible with a traditional hologram projection. They used Unreal Engine to camera-block the performance ahead of time, realizing they needed seven cameras to make it work.



We Might See More Artists Use This Technology

“Knowing that we had excellent 360-degree coverage of all seven performers really opened up the doors of possibility as far as what shots were possible with the footage,” Berto Mora, All of it Now Virtual Production Supervisor, told Unreal Engine, adding that “the director was able to see all the feeds simultaneously, and cut the show as if the AR BTS members were actually on stage with the real Coldplay.”

The team used a “glitch” effect for transitions between seeing the BTS members on stage and watching them disappear, making them look like holograms. Floor lights were used to help the Coldplay members know which BTS members were on stage at the time.

Firpo told Unreal Engine that using volumetric video for these types of performances “opens up some big possibilities,” adding, “When you prove that you can record once and reuse assets across multiple applications, it’s exciting to artists who are always thinking of the next big thing. Volumetric video is going to lead them in some interesting directions.”

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