Childhood videos of G-Dragon, a rapper of Korean boy band Big Bang, started playing on four video walls ― two on each side of the center stage ― at the start of a preview of his first hologram concert in Dongdaemun, Seoul on Tuesday night.
Then, lines of flashing lights appeared on one side of the video screens and converged to form an image of the 26-year old pop star sitting in a gothic chair at center stage.
The Korean rapper sang his four biggest hits, including “Crayon,” and “Fantastic Baby,” during the “AWAKE” concert preview, held for media at the Lotte FITIN shopping center.
“The hologram concert has no limit as almost everything like the stage can change and the audience can also be part of the show,” said G-Dragon in a recorded video interview.
During the entire show, he and a troupe of backup dancers suddenly disappeared and then popped up out of nowhere, and sometimes the image of the singer grew big enough to engulf the whole stage.
Mobile network operator KT has been working together with YG Entertainment and 4-D technology developer d’strict for the production of hologram concerts since 2013.
KT and YG have also set up a joint venture, NIK, together and held virtual concerts for YG’s singers and rappers, Psy, 2NE1 and Big Bang, which have attracted around 60,000 spectators so far.
The Korean mobile operator said it would team up with more entertainment businesses, including SM Entertainment, to develop more K-Pop content for fans and establish more virtual concert halls at home and abroad.
“KT and its partners are aiming to set up concert halls in global markets, including China and Southeast Asia,” said Lee Mi-yeoun, director of KT’s virtual culture team.
The key technology behind the concert is the “floating hologram.”
Images are projected downward and bounced off a reflective surface onto a transparent film tilted at a 45 degree angle.
Then the projections appear on stage as if they float in mid-air in 3-D.
This year, KT, YG and their joint venture NIK came up with a series of technologies to make the show more lifelike ― and yet also more surreal at the same time.
One such technology is called telepresence, which allows the audience to be part of the show through virtual reality technology.
During each of G-Dragon’s hologram concerts, a fan from the audience will be picked and asked to stand in an open booth at the back of the concert hall, and the image of the person will be projected onto the stage and become a part of the show as G-Dragon sings to them.
Those holographic technologies will be used to make virtual dramas and fashion shows, and they could also be used for educational purposes, according to KT.
Source: Korean Herald