Limelight, WorldStage Partner on Massive Vegas Projection Mapping Project; Guinness Honors Ensue

Garena’s ‘Free Fire’ on the façade of the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort Club Tower. Garena partnered with Limelight Projection Mapping and WorldStage on a video display that covered more than 60,000 square feet and featured more than 1.6 million lumens of light. (Image credit: WorldStage)

Garena marked the fourth anniversary of its mobile battle royale game Free Fire by partnering with Limelight Projection Mapping and WorldStage on a Guinness Book of World Records event at the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort on the night of Aug. 19.  Limelight and WorldStage teamed to create a massive video display that was projected onto the entire façade of The Club Tower of the Tropicana. It covered more than 60,000 square feet and featured more than 1.6 million lumens of light.

Free Fire is played on iOS and Android devices in a battle royale format with players seeking to survive on a remote island location. The Club Tower of the Tropicana was selected for the Free Fire celebration for its large white palette and surrounding open space—the perfect canvas for a magical celebration.

An artists collective that has created 3D projection mapped artworks and light installations worldwide for more than a decade, Limelight created the content for the event’s five-minute main show. It featured a unique combination of Limelight’s signature architectural mapping and Free Fire’s game characters for a one-of-a-kind marriage of original 3D artwork and 3D video game design. The content delivery resolution was 3840 x 1800 pixels.

The main show was followed by a display of eight short artworks made especially for the event by Limelight Masterclass artists and Limelight in-house artists. The artworks were based on the theme of “Revival” after the long disruption by COVID-19.

There was a collective holding of breath during the live Free Fire gameplay, as an attempt was made to establish a new world record. It succeeded when Limelight and WorldStage covered 46,733.65 square feet of The Club Tower with the game imagery, shattering the previous Guinness Book of World Records record by more than double and creating the largest projected videogame display ever.

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“Being an artists collective charged with creating artwork on this scale, it was refreshing to collaborate with the professionals at WorldStage, whom we could trust to execute the technical side,” said Scott Hallock, director of operations, North America for Limelight Projection Mapping. “This was our first big post-COVID project, and it required a lot of people and a lot of 20-hour days. WorldStage’s awesome crew matched our professional intensity to get the job done and set the world record!”

Limelight Projection Mapping and WorldStage collaborated on a projection mapping project at the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort on Aug. 19, 2021.

(Image credit: WorldStage)

The project began with Limelight making a photogram of The Club Tower from which a 3D model was created. “All the artwork was created in 3D with a perspective shift for the audience,” Hallock explained. “We treated the Tropicana like a three-dimensional surface, not a screen.”

Once WorldStage had the details on the projection surface, the team began to tackle a number of challenges. “The temperature of Las Vegas in August was a big concern, as was the need for a bright enough image to compete with the screens and architectural lighting on the Strip. Once the team identified the number of individual raster areas needed to create the overall image, it required us to supply a variety of long-throw PJ lens sizes to accommodate the different throw distances from the top to the bottom of the building,” said Michael May, vice president/account management at WorldStage. “That was an interesting aspect of the project that illustrated just how massive the surface was.”

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“Our project manager, Donovan James, did a site survey to determine appropriate projector positions, which proved to be the parking lot of the Tropicana where we built a custom scaffold structure to support 52 Barco UDX 4K32 laser projectors.” May explained.  “The team worked night shifts (for obvious reasons) and placed solar blankets over the projectors during the day to protect them from the heat.”

“Las Vegas is a brutal environment in August. It was a challenge for WorldStage to keep the projectors cool, and we had two days of unexpected high winds when it was hard to keep the covers on,” Hallock noted.

Limelight Projection Mapping and WorldStage collaborated on a projection mapping project at the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort on Aug. 19, 2021.

(Image credit: WorldStage)

The WorldStage team calculated that 13 image areas, composed of four projectors each, all blended together, would be needed to map the entire side of The Club Tower. “Although brightness was initially a big concern,” May noted, “our team’s calculations on the number of projectors needed were spot on and the imagery held up amazingly well against the brightness of the Las Vegas Strip. As you can see in the drone shots, the projected content matched the brightness of the surrounding area perfectly.”

“There’s a lot of ambient light in Las Vegas,” acknowledged Hallock, “but WorldStage built the brightest projection system ever deployed in the United States.”

WorldStage also brought in three air-conditioned mini mobile units to house 10 disguise vx 4 media servers and routing to drive the content, plus power and a small audio system.

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At WorldStage, Donovan James was the project manager, Raul Herrera and Dan Block the disguise operators and programmers, and Tom Roland the video engineer.

“We knew that Limelight could pull off a project of this size and scope,” said May, “and the content they created was absolutely stunning. Our WorldStage team also did an amazing job; the entire process went really smoothly with no ‘oh, my gosh’ moments.”

“I couldn’t have been happier with the way everything worked out,” Hallock added.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.