disguise is partnering with event production company Fuse Technical Group to upgrade its existing systems and workshop and test new projects. Together, the two companies aim to support event producers through the development of new options in live entertainment production.
disguise joined Fuse for the official opening of FUSE | Stage42 on 19 October, as the foundation of this partnership. Located in Times Square, New York, the new studio includes a prebuilt extended reality (xR) environment that uses disguise hardware and software. Here, disguise will research, develop, test and demonstrate new systems. Fuse’s expert users will be the first to try out and test these innovations, to help guide disguise’s future developments. Thus, FUSE | Stage42 will be a hands-on partnership in action.
The Director of Media Servers at Fuse Technical Group Ryan Middlemiss said, “Screens control is a specialisation and focus for Fuse, in both virtual and live applications. Collaborating with disguise is allowing us to incorporate our own custom tools and workflows, which we have been using for this work over the past 10 years or so, into a standardised system. Being able to pass real-time feedback to the disguise team gives us the information and confidence to build better systems for clients in a continuously changing production landscape.”
Opportunities for Live Production
Fuse R&D Lead Michael Kohler said, “We want to demonstrate to the live production community that network innovation, such as SMPTE 2110 and disguise’s RenderStream, for example, is leading the development of live production workflows, and therefore should not be feared. Just the reverse – the progress disguise is making in these areas represents benefits that will allow artists to pursue new, unexplored types of creative productions.
“Once we have the ability to experiment with and learn about their new developments and workflows, we can then develop new use cases that make the most of opportunities present in the live production space." In the RenderStream example, the infrastructure connects the physical stage with the virtual set, integrating the disguise hardware, software, content engines and camera tracking. It also makes production scaling possible by distributing rendering power across a number of render nodes.
Fuse’s Creative Technical Director Stefaan ‘Smasher’ Desmedt became disguise’s first user back when the disguise team originally emerged, working on shows for U2. Since then, Fuse team members have become long-term disguise advocates, including some who were central players in the presentation of disguise's xR system at NAB in 2019, newly developed at that time.
Simultaneously, Fuse has been relying on disguise systems to support their technical set-ups at large-scale live shows that needed entirely new approaches for broadcast, concert touring and theatrical events. These include concerts and broadcasts for artists like Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon, Doja Cat and Panic! At the Disco as well as many other major broadcasts and events including the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the MTV VMAs and the Fortnite World Cup. Fuse’s disguise set-ups for film productions like Black Adam and Shazam have also been successful.
Going forward, Fuse will continue working with disguise software and product developers to further influence the future of its technology, including the development of SMPTE 2110 and new metaverse workflows. disguise’s Metaverse Labs will incorporate Fuse’s experience, FUSE | Stage42’s xR environment, and connected xR stages around the world to deliver unique experiences for those who want to experiment with the decentralised Web3 online network.
Fuse Creative Producer Shelly Sabel said that their disguise partnership will not only focus on developing future technology and workflows, but will also help train a larger portion of the community.
“An important goal for both Fuse and disguise is practical education and training for the next generation of server technicians. The collaboration at Stage42 will allow both companies to teach in a live production environment while allowing prospective students to dive deep into the layers of virtual production, xR and the roles that media servers play in both,” she said.
The studio is ready for anyone to visit who is interested in live, virtual production and metaverse workflows. Following the Open House held at FUSE | Stage42 on 19 October, plans are already in place for a series of curated industry events to connect and educate Fuse’s New York production community. www.disguise.one