Berlin-based animation and content studio Woodblock has partnered with pop star and Tokio Hotel member Tom Kaulitz to introduce to the world his intergalactic virtual music project, WeddingCake. Opening the finale of this year’s Germany’s Next Top Model, WeddingCake’s debut saw alien holograms performing their hit single ‘Chai Tea with Heidi’ live, alongside rap icon Snoop Dogg and hostess Heidi Klum herself - also Tom’s wife.
Tom Kaulitz and Devon Culiner, the DJ duo that make up WeddingCake, initially contacted Woodblock with their vision of creating a virtual music act featuring intergalactic characters. The briefing revealed a natural working relationship between the pair and Woodblock, who approached the project with an open mind - excited to bring animated content to a broad audience. Relishing the opportunity to have some real fun, both parties collaborated intimately to design the virtual alien characters that would represent WeddingCake on video and on stage.
Woodblock then challenged the musicians to give the team two weeks to bring them on board with their ideas from a more visual point of view. From there, the Woodblock team followed their instincts, progressing from a mood board, to initial sketches, to concept art, to finished 3D character designs.
The futuristic final aired on German TV station ProSieben on May 26th. Audiences will be treated to more appearances of the cheeky alien characters in the lead up to the release of WeddingCake’s first EP, getting an insight into their personalities via live shows and interviews. The Woodblock team are also currently laying the groundwork to motion capture the animation and run it all through a real-time environment, elevating the project to the next level.
Tom Kaulitz comments: “My friend Devon and I have been working on the concept of WeddingCake for many years. When creating the music, we constantly envisioned avatars that would represent the DJ duo and push the boundaries of technology and virtual animation. When we met Pit and Ilija from Woodblock, we knew we had found the right guys to translate our vision into reality. We are completely stoked to see WeddingCake come to life.”
Fabian (Pit) Pross, executive creative director at Woodblock, comments: “At Woodblock, we constantly ask ourselves: what’s at our core, what stories do we want to tell, what makes us happy? Ultimately, what would a project look like that 100% feels like our own passion and not just someone else’s vision? For me, that shaped up to be grown up character design and storytelling that revolves around urban (pop) culture that’s unique and has a strong relationship to music. So, I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Tom Kaulitz and Devon Culiner on their vision for a virtual music act featuring alien characters who live their best lives discovering fun things like booze, tattoos, and dancing on planet earth.”
He adds: “The project just ticks so many boxes - grown up, creative character design, no creative boundaries, a musical context… And complete trust from the client. We have the talent and storytelling skills to take creative control, and we’re extremely motivated to further conquer that territory of work that puts the creative first, continuously bringing animated content to a worldwide audience.”