Welcome to The Other Side

Our stylized avatar for Jean-Michel Jarre’s live virtual concert


Context :

Jean-Michel Jarre and the supporting SoWhen? team, performed a live concert from the Gabriel Studio in Paris on December 31, 2020, using new technologies to create a spectacular musical and technical performance. The performance took place in a virtual world of Notre-Dame de Paris specially created for the occasion, in front of a worldwide audience of 75 million people.

The concert was broadcast live via VRchat in a VRrOOm metaverse and live on his Youtube channel, his Facebook page, on the City of Paris website (co-producer), on France Inter radio station and BFM TV.

As the event took place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, viewers were able to gather from all over the world and spend a festive moment together in real time, and celebrate the new year with music and good vibes.

Audience participation to enliven the experience was made possible in two ways: you could view the performance via VRChat with a VR headset (optional) for an immersive virtual world experience, or watch the live broadcast on other media platforms such as Youtube or Facebook.

As was the case for Jean-Michel Jarre’s first virtual concert on World Music Day six months before, a few lucky VIPs had access to the front of the stage in the form of a private area equipped with connected headsets to interact and be represented by their avatars in front of Jean-Michel Jarre’s avatar. This room also served as a broadcasting room to all other media platforms.

SoWhen?’s role in Jean-Michel Jarre’s live virtual concert

SoWhen? created Jean-Michel Jarre’s virtual avatar, applied the shaders giving the avatar a futuristic holographic look, animated it and ensured the synchronization of Jean-Michel Jarre and his avatar linking the real and virtual world via motion capture techniques (see the part dedicated to the avatar below).


We also accompanied the artist to achieve his vision and worked on creating a strong link with his avatar. Just as we do with companies looking to include virtual speeches (CEOs…), we sought to combine the best techniques and technologies to free the artist from the setup, allowing him to gesture and move his body as he wished. Rapport can be established with his avatar, with whom he should be at one with for his performance.

Crédit photo @louisadrienleblay

Our work on Jean-Michel Jarre's avatar

What are the differences between his first avatar and his New Year’s Day concert virtual avatar? Well this time we were able to add detail to his avatar bringing its likeness closer to Jean-Michel Jarre himself (features, body shape…) all while respecting his wishes to have a stylized artistic holographic avatar.

Why a stylized holographic avatar? 

We respected JMJ’s wish to have an avatar that didn’t resemble something from a video game, but rather something closer but not entirely true to reality. On the contrary, he asked us to work around the existing limitations and to design an artistic avatar.

The big difference with the first Alone Together concert was the major challenge of transcribing JMJ’s movement and gestures into the virtual world in real time without him having to wear a virtual headset.

So for this concert, the technology had to be as discreet as possible so that JMJ could be filmed by real (physical) cameras without having to wear cumbersome equipment (sensors, helmets etc…).

To achieve this, we used a mix of technologies: a combination of motion capture with accelerometers placed all over JMJ’s body, gloves equipped with sensors to retrieve information from the fingers, an infrared tracking device with a Kinect infrared camera and a live one to / and a VIVE to give JMJ the “freedom” to move around.

As the concert was broadcast on different types of media (radio, TV, VR, web…) we had to make sure we kept quality to a maximum despite the constraints of each media platform. We had to find solutions to minimize the loss of the high definition quality we were able to achieve for Jean-Michel Jarre’s avatar.

Awards and accolades for the worldwide live virtual concert

  • An audience record, excluding TV, of 75 million viewers!

  • Winners of 2 Webby Awards!!

  • Nominated for the Pollstar awards 2021! (waiting for the results on June 16th) in the “Pandemic Innovation Award” category – “Award for the most innovative company during the Covid-19 Pandemic that served to elevate the entire live entertainment community and have a lasting impact on the industry. “

  • A Crystal Owl Award in the Best Live Entertainment category!

Teaser of Jean Michel Jarre's live virtual concert

A 150-person international team including:

Creator and Director: Jean-Michel Jarre

Production: City of Paris

Under the High Patronage of UNESCO

In partnership with BNP, Radio France, BFM TV / BFM Paris

Executive Producers: R2B Consulting & Aero Productions

3D Art Director: Vincent Masson

Interior and Facade Lighting designer: Jvan Morandi (Placing Shadows)

VR Developer: Antony Vitillo (New Technology Walkers)

VR World Creators: Lapo Germasi and Victor Pukhof (Manifattura Italiana Design)

JMJ Avatar Creators: SoWhen?

After-Party Designer: Denis Semionov

Live Director: David Montaigne

VR Directors: Maud Clavier & Georgy Molodtsov

Studio Gabriel Motion Capture: AMP Visual TV

Worldwide Broadcasters: EBU / EBU Eurovision Services

Audio Mastering: Yakuda Audio

VR Producers: VRrOOm, Maketafi, VRChat


Would you like a quote?
Tell us about your projects? Receive more information?
Grab a coffee?


Love the startup mindset? Do you thrive around creativity, thoroughness and sharing? For information on internships, permanent positions or assignments…


69-71 rue de la Fraternité
Terms of Use

About Us

The Team
Our R&D lab

What we offer

The SoWhen? Experience
Virtual Studio


Our news