AV as Art: A Showcase of Projection Mapping
The Dream of Toledo
A total of 28 laser projectors from the Christie HS Series is behind “El Sueño de Toledo” (The Dream of Toledo), in Spain. This is the first spectacle by Puy du Fou España, the new historical theme park currently under construction in Toledo, which is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2021. The park is previewing El Sueño de Toledo for local audiences and the nighttime show brings over 1,500 years of Spanish history and culture to life. It first ran until October 26, 2019 and can be seen again from April 8, 2020.
Rigged in three towers with most in landscape mode and the rest in portrait, the projectors bring to life the buildings, walls, bridges, churches, windmills, rivers, trees and stones making up the set that includes 1,400 square meters of projection area plus water screens on the five-hectare stage. Completed in under eight months, it serves as the backdrop for the appearance of Reccared I, Alfonso VI, Alfonso X the Wise, Al Ma’mun, Isabella of Castile, and historical characters including Christopher Columbus, Emperor Charles V, and Miguel de Cervantes.
A symbol of Jerusalem in the heart of the ancient Citadel, the Tower of David was a royal palace for thousands of years before it became a setting for a museum visited by 400,000 people each year. One of its most celebrated events takes place every night, with crowds showing up to watch the story of Jerusalem unfold in a blaze of images projected onto the walls, archaeological ruins, and pathways of the Citadel, a truly immersive experience called “The Night Spectacular.”
Fifteen Digital Projection projectors are deployed across the site in total: 13 M-Vision Laser 18Ks and two E-Vision Laser 8500s, illuminating the walls of the Citadel with 250,000 lumens and 35 million pixels—a hardware investment of close to $500,000.
“When we began 10 years ago, there was nothing to do in Jerusalem at night,” said the show’s project manager, Yehuda Vaknin. “We started ‘The Night Spectacular,’ and it has been running continuously ever since, fully booked almost every evening. Now, the show is world-renowned and completes not only any visit to the museum, but indeed any visit to Jerusalem.”
During Electric Forest Music Festival, a four-day event in Rothbury, MI, Sherwood Forest was transformed into an imagination-fueled amusement park through dazzling projection mapping. Now in his fourth year with the festival, artist Jasper Mosher envisioned a whimsical and vibrant display that played off the lush, natural environment. Overcoming time restraints and harsh environmental conditions, Mosher meticulously planned every detail, from designing weatherproof cases to strategically rigging projectors so they would brave various elements of the forest for several weeks.
More than 40 Epson projectors were placed throughout the festival to create more than 10 original projection-mapped art installations. Chosen for their durability, high lumen count, and color accuracy, Epson’s projectors worked seamlessly with the Resolume software. Mosher used Resolume on high-powered PCs to control the Epson projectors on multiple closed networks, creating perfect projection synchronization to display digitally rendered content and enhance hand-painted installations with vivid projection.
Pablo the Nissan
Lightware Labs and the Backlot Studio teamed up to collaborate on a unique projection mapping project in Fort Worth, TX. The goal of the project was to capture compelling photo and video content for promotional materials using a 1990 Nissan Pao named Pablo.
The project involved seven Maxell Pro AV projectors including two MC-WU5505 LCD projectors on the back wall for background, two for the wheels, one aimed at the front and hood, and one on the side of the car, with an MP-AW4001 LCD laser projector for the projection on the floor.
Using the built-in warping and corner-pinning features on the Maxell Pro AV projectors, Lightware Lab was able to test out various stock and original media until the final look was designed. Then, using Renewed Vision’s PVP3 software, Lightware Labs was able to create independent video layers for each projector, allowing the team to manipulate and change the media throughout the video.
Lightware Labs said that it has received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the project and is now looking into making permanent installations at auto dealerships.
Rooted in Greatness
To celebrate the 200th birthday of the state of Illinois, a committee was tasked with creating an art exhibit to honor the numerous individuals across history who have left an indelible mark on the Land of Lincoln. The committee wanted to go beyond the ordinary art installation or museum exhibit; they wanted something striking and symbolic. The result was “Rooted in Greatness,” a digital projection mapped onto three trees outside a Chicago convention center that came together with the support and collaboration of numerous local businesses and civic figures.
Following the decided theme, “Born, Built, and Grown,” the committee moved to create an outdoor art installation at McCormick Place that combined video and audio to commemorate noteworthy Illinoisans throughout history. Using three NEC Display Solutions 10,000-lumen, 4K NP-Px1004UL laser projectors with long-throw NP21ZL lenses, history came alive with the faces of Illinois historical figures on three trees outside the convention center, complete with coinciding narratives about their lives and connections to the state. After the sun set each night, pedestrians were surprised and awed with the powerful retelling of history combined with detailed faces blending naturally into the leaves.
The Chameleon Lamp
Located in St. Louis, MO, the Angad Arts Hotel was looking to revamp the appearance of a floor-to-ceiling concrete support pillar located in the lobby lounge on the top floor of the hotel. Working with Chris Brackenbury, founder of Pixelwix, the team developed an innovative visual solution that would elevate the look of the hotel’s lobby lounge. The proposed solution was to create a large 360-degree projection screen surrounding the support pillar, and install projectors around the pillar, allowing media content to project onto the screen on a 24/7 basis.
Leveraging five Optoma ZH400UST projectors, as well as Pixelwix’s proprietary warping and blending tools and media player, the team was able to position the projectors on a custom slide rail on the center post and overlap the projected images to cover the entire 360-degree canvas.
The lounge of the Angad Arts Hotel lobby was successfully transformed into a visually captivating hotel entrance with a beautiful 360-degree installation in the shape of a lamp, dubbed the “Chameleon Lamp.” Designed to attract and welcome hotel guests, the visual installation also further enhances the hotel’s commitment to showcasing the work of local St. Louis artists and contributes to the Angad’s unique Art Deco experience.
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America was the exclusive projection technology sponsor of LUMA, a projection mapping festival held from September 6-7, 2019 in Binghamton, NY. Artists and creative designers gathered to transform the urban landscape into an immersive storytelling experience.
Featured in eight venues at LUMA, Panasonic’s projection technology supported major storytelling exhibits throughout the festival. Thirty Panasonic large-venue 3-chip DLP laser projectors were exclusively used to power LUMA, enabling a weekend celebrating projection mapping, creativity, and artistic expression. With more than 45,000 guests attending, Panasonic’s PT-RQ22KU, PT-RZ21KU, and PT-RZ31KU 3-Chip DLP SOLID SHINE laser projectors, along with a wide range of Panasonic lenses, were used across a variety of festival locations to bring artists’ visions to life.
SUNY Cortland’s Birthday
The 2018-2019 academic year marked SUNY Cortland’s 150th birthday. The school held a nighttime sesquicentennial celebration event which featured the engaging use of projection mapping.
Leveraging Sony’s flexible 9,000-lumen VPL-FHZ90L Z-Phosphor laser light source projector, the school projected a living timeline of university milestones onto the side of one of the campus’ most prominent structures. In addition, SUNY Cortland’s Red Dragon mascot, Blaze, virtually scaled the side of the building and a “Top Ten Reasons to Attend SUNY Cortland” list concluded the show. SUNY Cortland chose the VPL-FHZ90L projector due to its adaptability in indoor and outdoor environments, as well as its image quality, clarity, and accurate color reproduction.