Such a versatile tool, our friend Madmapper. This is a fine example of how to push a little projector juuussssst about beyond it’s capabilities. It’s an old Panasonic desk PJ (800×600) on it’s side, shooting about 50deg. off-axis, onto a wall roughly 40′ away. It’s in the lobby of the building where I work and the idea is to have it on the wall for an artist’s reception. It’s our 50th anniversary coming up and we plan on displaying one work of art in each 48″ square and to give the artists a sense of the scale that it would end up being. Talk to me after we’ve hung 50 pieces of art using scaffolding and lag screws…..Lovin’ Madmapper though!
I came across a really great looking mapping project from Dub Video Connection recently. They are a multidisciplinary studio, based in Lisbon, Portugal, dedicated to multimedia arts and interactivities, since 1997. They are committed to develop ideas and projects in Film Direction and Production, Graphic and Motion Design, Visual Identities for artists and festivals, Video Mapping and 3D Visuals, Interactve Systems, Technical Implementation and Visuals Creation and Performance. Dub Video Connection uses its skills, allied with the most recent technology, to blend visual narratives and visual identities and bring them to the most demanding audiences.
DVC explains about the piece, Panoramic Room 2, “In this project we used two Panasonic DS100 projectors, 10k therefore, as you can see on the video.
For the playback we used Dataton Watchout and connected to another computer for the live drawing there was a member of the team drawing with total freedom using Alchemy over the whole projection. We can say that the biggest input on “hardware” was in fact the black tape on the wall, which gave to the image that amazing contrast that we can find in the medieval stained glass. Every line and surface was mapped and operated during the show, an audiovisual experience, with sound design and music to involve the audience in that specific environment (rain, birds, lightnings, etc). This live performance wasn’t a finished product, and in this very next weekend we’ll have a another one in the same place with the same environment, but with inputs, new visuals, contents and some narrative. This project was definitely implicated in the specific architecture of that space (House of Music, by dutch architect Rem Koolhaas). This project was created as an hostage of that space, as an experimental and paisagistic approach inviting everyone to sit down and enjoy the imaginary and surrealistic transfiguration of the room.”
Love the taped outlines!
Nina Dunn is back in the Projectionfreak spotlight again, this time with a design for the Welsh National Opera’s production of La Boheme. Nina recently had a hand in the English National Opera’s ‘Flying Dutchman’ as well as ‘Aida’ at the Royal Albert Hall. From their press release:
Creative agency Knifedge hands WNO a “digital paintbrush” with consultancy, design & training
Welsh National Opera (WNO) raised the curtain on a new touring production of La bohème on the 1st of June, featuring projection design by Knifedge with a state of the art projection rig the creative agency has helped specify for the opera company.
Knifedge projection designer, Nina Dunn, and visual engineer, Sam Hunt, have spent the past year consulting with WNO to devise and commission the new projection system. The brief made it clear that the new system would need to be purchased on a finite investment budget, be suitable for touring shows and be, as far as possible, future-proofed. Whilst advising on the new rig, Dunn has also been working with La bohème director, Annabel Arden, and designer, Stephen Brimson-Lewis to design projections for Puccini’s spectacular opera, which will be the first production to showcase the system.
Billed as “the greatest love story ever sung” and set in Edwardian Paris, this production of La bohème demands sensitive projection designs that support the narrative and embellish the elegant simplicity of the set. Dunn worked closely with lighting designer, Tim Mitchell, during technical rehearsals to ensure that the projections work with the performance to enhance the audience experience.
From a technical perspective the new rig consists of 3 Panasonic PT-DW730 7,000 Lumen projectors with a range of lenses and a Catalyst rack with built-in backup system. Knifedge has also provided training, alongside chosen suppliers SSS and SNP, to ensure that the lighting crew will be able to use the system with confidence both at their home at Wales Millennium Centre as well as on an 8 week tour.
“This puts WNO at the forefront of a new flourishing era of digitally aided production design. As an agency, our focus is always to enhance a production, not to fragment it with projections that create a barrier between narratives, lighting and set design,” says Dunn. The new versatile projection system means that WNO can work with video projections in mind from the outset of a project without adding equipment costs to the touring production budget. This alongside the training makes it feel like we’re handing the company a digital paintbrush, which can be used to add a whole new dimension to the already well-conceived and highly acclaimed productions.”
Richard Norton, WNO Production Manager, says, “Working with Nina Dunn to source equipment and execute their design has been a smooth and hassle free process. Adding another layer of technology to our new production of La bohème could have made the Stage Rehearsals very stressful however Nina and Sam were self contained and worked around all the other Technical Departments. I think that we are all proud of what has been achieved. Collaboration has been the key. The results are outstanding.”
Quality production of any kind, projectionmapping or not, always requires so much more than people think. This video is a great example of that. We ran a piece a while back on Leviathan’s Dodge Dart campaign for Union Ad Works that showed a ridiculously cool projectionmapping featuring the once-lowly auto. The Dart was reborn onto a sleek, mesmerizing projected soundstage complete with rich colors, 3d backgrounds, and zooming landscapes. This video gives a bit of a peek behind the scenes into what it took to pull off a well done piece of work- great camera work, Touchdesigner, and Panasonic projectors…..what more could you want?
Make sure to stay tuned for some coverage of the upcoming Amon Tobin ISAM tour, which has been redesigned and reworked with help from the experts at Leviathan.
Running at The Coliseum until 23 May 2012, ENO’s new production of Wagner’s early opera is directed by Jonathan Kent and designed by Paul Brown.
Knifedge’s video projections play an important narrative role throughout the production, revealing the tale of the The Dutchman to be a recurring figment of the main character’s imagination.
In a dramatic overture, the audience sees a child in bed at the heart of a dark and wild storm, surrounded by the crashing waves of the storybook she clutches. This sets up the director’s concept of the progression from a child’s reality through a woman’s fantasy to a final obsession.
In creating her projections, Dunn worked closely with lighting designer Mark Henderson to achieve the right balance of intensity, colour and mood.
From a technical perspective, the kit consisted of 6 Panasonic projectors, 12 on-stage video monitors, 3 Catalyst Media servers and a Hog lighting desk.
Nina Dunn, Video & Projection Designer at Knifedge, comments: “One of the challenges I faced was keeping pace with the Orchestra. With the complicated content sequences, it’s all about hitting certain cue points so that music and imagery are symbiotic. But such was the energy that Conductor Ed Gardner invested into the music for this production, I had to rework several of my original sequences to keep pace.”
Knifedge is one of the UK’s leading projection design companies, serving corporate, broadcast, sports, music and charity markets as well as the arts. Other recent theatrical productions have included The Phantom of the Opera Tour, Pippin, AIDA, Backbeat, Emperor & Galilean and Cleopatra.
Romain Tardy of AntiVJ has put out a new work entitled “PIECES/Chapter One: Battleship”. The piece includes music from Squeaky Lobster and is the first of 5 sets that will eventually warp and change the first. Romain explains: “The technical setup is very simple, just needs a lot of accuracy and the projectors NOT to move from 1 mm once they’re in place. I used 2x 7k lumens Panasonic projectors – one for the floor and one for the vertical plane. 7k was enough because I ask for complete dark once the performance starts. They were connected to a Matrox DualHead, that was plugged into my Macbook pro (quad i7), medias were on an external SSD. At first I wanted to use more projectors connected to my Mac Pro, but in the end 2 are just fine. The squares are made of styrofoam, they’re attached in columns by a custom system I made. For the floor plan, I build 180 little stands to give a progressive angle from the front to the back of the stage.”
“About the concept, as I see this work as a work in progress (that is still at it’s beginning), it’s not easy to talk about it as it’s changing/evolving for each new step of the work. The main idea is an evocation/metaphor (in the widest sense) of various elements (more…)
United Visual Artist’s puts out some fantastic work. One only has to look at Origin and Coachella to realize that they are pretty much at the cutting edge of blended technologies. I came across their piece “High Arctic” recently and had to show it off. This was from an install at the National Maritime Museum in the UK (man there are some really great installs that happen there…) that ran from July until this past January.
The installation is based on UVA Creative Director Matt Clark’s Cape Farewell expedition to Svalbard which he took with Nick Drake in September 2010 and fragments (more…)
UK based Projection Lab has been hard at work on some corporate gigs recently and dropped me a line. They have been successfully using Modul8 to present some pretty impressive projection. This job was for Neal’s Yard Remedies Conference and featured a 3-screen blend using Panasonic projectors. Using Modul8, (more…)
I came across this project recently and I can’t believe I didn’t see it sooner! Superglue, an award winning production house based in London, did this campaign for the Toyota Auris and it’s pretty great. The team comprises a dynamic mix of production, post and digital brains working across live action, visual effects, 3D and motion graphics. Superglue operates across the modern media spectrum, creating moving image for everything from banners to broadcast.
Superglue’s projection mapping project for Toyota’s “Get Your Energy Back” campaign was a highly creative and technical challenge, utilising numerous different production techniques. The animation featured 2D, 3D, keyframed animation, dynamics, particle systems and more. Compositing, VFX and general pipeline management was performed in After Effects, whilst 3D work was created using Autodesk Maya and Maxon Cinema 4D. The team made extensive use of both Trapcode Form and Trapcode Particular in bringing to life the ‘hybrid energy’ that was the key part of the campaign’s message.
Hardware included 7 x custom media servers running a prosperity geometry mapping system developed in vvvv. 4 x Christie 18K roadster projectors and 3 x Panasonic 12K projectors. All fitted with short throw lenses.
Be sure to check out their portfolio with other cool projects!
And of course, the ‘making of’ video-
Creative agency : glue Isobar
Production & Post Production Company : Superglue
Projection setup & mapping : Igloo
Animation Director : Simon Cam
Live Action Director : Mark Jenkinson
Producer : Jax Evans
CG Lead : Gavin Rothery
CG Artist : Marcus Chaloner
Production Managers : Vicki Banwell / Marilyn Napaul
DOP : Ed Rutherford
Editor : Jose Gomez
Assistant Editor : Jamie Jenkinson
Music and Sound design : Liam Paton @ Resonate
With thanks to Tower Hamlets, Network Rail & EDF
Software & Plugins used: Maya, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Red Giant Particula & Form