On April 26-28, Dataton will showcase its Watchout multi-display presentation, and Pickup audio software, at the Palme exhibition in Dubai. This comes following a projection mapping solution for the city of Al Ain, the second largest city in Abu Dhabi and the fastest-growing settlement in the UAE, which recently staged its National Day celebrations.
Projecting on the Al Ain Municipality building, MediaPro, the UAE Dataton Center for Pickup, was tasked by event management company, Red Events Services. Jinesh Nair, MD of MediaPro explains: “We wanted to break away from the usual light show and felt that architectural projection mapping would be a giant leap forward in terms of visual effects...We began by creating a scale-model replica in our studio of the Al Ain Municipality building that would be used as an architectural backdrop for the projections. We then created the overall dimensions in CAD software and rendered them in After Effects 3D max for the real imaging. Source images were created in Photoshop before being processed in After Effects and Final Cut Pro. The final transitions were achieved using the Watchout layering options, which can create multiple effects on-screen without any ‘ghosting’ interference.”
“The new scaling options made possible by the latest version of Watchout allowed us to achieve very precise mapping over the building’s surface,” adds Nair. “For this project we also adjusted the Mode settings in the software to sharpen the images and to increase their overall brightness, which was made necessary by the building’s pale concrete façade.
Two pairs of Christie Digital projectors were used to create an image 40m wide by 10m high. One Watchout software licence was used to drive each pair of projectors and blend their images together, with a third system running the production timeline. The movie’s soundtrack was connected to the production unit as the whole film was controlled by Watchout itself.
“This kind of architectural projection mapping was a first for the Emirates,” Nair concludes.
Fredrik Svahnberg, the Marketing Director of Dataton, sees a growing trend in the Middle East towards large-scale display projects: “Middle Eastern markets are strong and we are experiencing unprecedented demand for our products in the region. Local customers here really like to raise the bar when it comes to creating novel multimedia events and visitor attractions.”