Capturing the experience of Terminal 1

We were recently approached by We Are FSTVL to create an animated promo for Terminal 1 - an epic dance venue featuring 24,000 ft of LED, 1200 lights, 10,000 fireworks and 10 lasers. 

Less than a month since its release the film has racked up close to 400,000 views. We sat down with motion designer Olly Robertson to ask him about its production.

Hey Olly. How did you arrive at the concept?

The aim of the promo was to excite festival goers about what is in store for them when they are faced with the huge new stage We Are FSTVL is building in 2017. It’s going to be a sensory overload with a combination of pyro effects, hundreds of LED screens, lasers, fireworks and more lights that you can shake a stick at. 

By implementing all of the effects into the digital model of the stage we were able to create initial designs that featured different combinations of effects and colour schemes. With these designs we were able to liaise with the festival team about what worked and what didn't before choreographing and executing the animation.

What do you hope viewers take away from it?

I hope that the piece excites We Are FSTVL fans as well as intriguing others that haven't been to the festival or heard about it. If someone was unsure whether to go and the video swayed them to attend then I would take that as a sign that we had achieved what we set out to do.

How did you go about representing the scale of the We Are FSTVL experience?

We Are FSTVL are pushing the boundaries with Terminal 1 and this is something they wanted to make clear visually. A good trick when making something look big on screen is to make the viewer feel small. Another thing that helps with this is keeping the camera low to the ground. When you are looking up you naturally feel smaller.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of the project?

I enjoy the technical aspects of animation and motion graphics. With most projects there is at least one technical hurdle that you need to cross in order to make the process efficient as well as working in a way where you can go back and change things. The digital model of the stage contains over 200 LED screens, all of which are animated and synchronised with the other visual effects. To animate each one individually would have made the deadline totally unachievable so I found it really satisfying coming up with a workflow that made this possible.

And the most challenging?

The most challenging thing about the project was choreographing the video. I then had to combine this with the long winded process of rendering and piecing together hundreds of renders that all intersect at different times. That's all I'm going to say about that because it's wearing me out trying to put it into words!

Cheers Olly!