Approximately 380 million people watched the Opening Ceremony of this year's UEFA Champions League Final, presented by PEPSI with headline act featuring Marshmello, Selena Gómez and Khalid. Spanish company MR Factory, virtual production and VFX specialists, were brought on by producer IYA Productions to create the 3D worlds of Marshmello's imagination.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2021 UEFA Champions League final in Porto kept its stars under wraps until just days before the event. We now know that the spectacular show, which involved months of preparation and work, was largely realised by a Spanish company. Hundreds of millions of spectators were able to enjoy the show in which Virtual Production and VFX studio MR Factory, Madrid, created the 3D scenery and visual effects. Marshmello, Selena Gomez and Khalid were immersed in a stunning virtual tour on top a moving globe and through the sixteen cities of the teams that reached the final phase, all staged within a 3D Estadio do Dragao. The truly global project was produced by LA-based IYA Productions, and involved more than one hundred professionals, including technical staff, artists, dancers and musicians.
The creative concept for the piece was developed by UK-based artist and set designer Es Devlin - famous for designing the show for the last Super Bowl as well as shows for some of the biggest names in the music industry.
MR Factory’s project involved more than 75 professionals, "an against the clock technology challenge, for which we used cutting-edge technology and tools", as stated by Oscar Olarte, co-founder and CTO of MR Factory. The process involved the use of GPU servers that have more than 50 Nvidia RTX 3090 graphics cards, and software tools such as Otoy's Octane Render and Epic Games Unreal Engine render engines. Currently, MR Factory is the only Spanish company approved as a partner of Epic Games in virtual production thanks to its own system called MR Box.
Stadium change two weeks before the final
The news of the change of venue just two weeks before the event was undoubtedly the most critical moment in the production process. Having worked throughout the project with the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul as the venue and having practically finished production, the move to Porto questioned the viability of getting the show broadcast. In words of MR Factory’s general manager Juan L. Bravo “Thanks to the commitment and extraordinary effort of the entire team, what in principle seemed an impossible objective of moving all the action to the new location was achieved, which meant 'building' the new stadium in less than a week and remaking practically all of the footage in the following week, allowing us to reassert the full trust of the artists, PEPSI, the producers of the show, and UEFA,”.
MR Factory has worked in the last year with a variety of productions, among which it is worth highlighting "Unlimited Access", a PlayStation 5 launch act starring worldwide influencer El Rubius, virtual production scenes for series such as Sky Rojo or Money Heist fifth season, both for NETFLIX, as well as several feature films. They are currently immersed in an Amazon Originals series in which they will also apply their innovative virtual production systems, which set Spain at the forefront of audio-visual productions.
About MR Factory:
Audio-visual producer of multimedia content specialized in real time virtual production and generation of photorealistic 3D scenery with cinematographic quality. Specialists in developing new communication formulas for the creation of stories that adapt to non-linear experiences in immersive and interactive formats. www.mrfactory.tv