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How ILM created the ABBAtars

Between 500-1,000 ILM digital artists are working on the band's virtual concert

Following ABBA’s announcement of new music and a virtual concert that will take place in May next year, the band are also giving fans more details about how their virtual alter-egos have been created.

The ‘ABBAtars’ have been created by more than 100 digital artists and technicians from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

The band were filmed using motion capture as they performed a 22 song set over the course of five weeks. The team at ILM then “de-aged” Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid, taking them back to 1979.

“They got on a stage in front of 160 cameras and almost as many genius [digital] artists, and performed every song in this show to perfection, capturing every mannerism, every emotion, the soul of their beings — so that becomes the great magic of this endeavour. It is not four people pretending to be ABBA: It is actually them,” explained producer Ludvig Andersson.

Four of ILM’s five global studios are working on the project, revealed Ben Morris, ILM’s creative director. “The team size is certainly somewhere between 500 and a thousand artists working on the project around the world,” he added.