Creating the UK’s first fully immersive gym class for Studio Society
In 2016 Pebble Studios were approached by an ambitious start up gym company – Studio Society. Looking to revolutionise the way people work out, their focus was on group exercise, but with a difference. Their studio would feature 270 degree, 3 metre high screens with bespoke content projected onto them with the aim to fully immerse the audience in their workout.
The primary objective of this project was to create a range of immersive environments that complimented and enhanced the core focus of each class. We started by reviewing each class that Studio Society would offer and broke them down into 4 categories – Calm, Sculpt, HIIT & Dance. Next we conducted social research in to the type of environments that their target audience find synonymous with these types of classes. Using the data from this research we created a bespoke photo realistic environment for each category.
In order to be fully immersive and not just pretty visuals, however, we wanted to ensure that all the senses were stimulated, building a suite of carefully curated SFX and creating automated animations in time with the music, which was in turn, choreographed with the instructors routines – Ultimately creating 11 beautifully crafted and fully immersive class experiences that raised the bar for group fitness.
“I’ve never been to an immersive class like this before. I love it!”
“I love this gym experience! State of the art.”
“Worth every penny”
READ MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Studio Society had developed a concept for a truly 21st-century fitness studio, fully kitted out with all the equipment you’d expect to find at a top of the range gym, but with one big difference: each of their class studios was equipped with 8 high-end projectors and a 20 metre-wide, 270-degree screen!
We were asked to create a series of photoreal CG environments that would act as immersive surroundings for their three key class types – Calm, Power & Sculpt – with ‘Virtual Instructors’ to match each environment. Faced with the gargantuan task of creating 6+ hours of animation and film for the company’s 2017 launch (including four CG environments and nine fitness classes), we took inspiration from some of the world’s best locations and researched evocative imagery and colours for the key class types.
After building our environments through a combination of matte painting and 3D models, we began pre-production planning for capturing our ‘Virtual Instructors’.
To ensure they felt as real as possible, we filmed the instructors over a 3-day green screen shoot, with environment-based lighting to ensure perfect compositing into the final visuals. Four editors and five weeks later, we had our Virtual Instructors ready to add to the immersive experiences!For that extra layer of immersion and gamification, we timed key environment animations to react with aspects of the class.
We also built graphic pop-ups, exercise modifications, messages of support, and a branded UI with timer countdown and energy bar, for use across all classes for a consistent look and feel that would boost their brand.
Studio Society completed the build of their studios in June 2017 before opening their doors to the public in August, with all nine of our immersive classes ready to roll.
Client: Studio Society
Director: Finn Wheelan, Bev Brinkworth & Rosanna Tucker
Creative Production Company: Pebble Studios
Creative Director: Matt Beveridge
CSD: Mark Witherow
Producer: Corrina Stegner
Head of 3D: Toby Barnett
VFX Artist: Alex Parsons
Motion Graphics Designer: Chris Ennis
Shoot Producer: Joshua Parsons
DOP: Tom Turley
VFX Supervisor: Toby Barnett
Editor: Davide Pilia
Sound Studio: Clearcut Sound