This year in my hometown, Verona, a very important institution has decided to invest in projection mapping.
On the occasion of Vinitaly and The City, a side event of the famous wine fair, the artistic director Alessandra Biti wanted to enhance the main square, Piazza dei Signori, with a projection mapping on the Loggia Fra Giocondo.
Alessandra called asking me to follow the technical direction of this event.
I gladly accepted, it is always a pleasure to work with Alessandra. I like her practical spirit and her ability to value professionalism.
We started talking about it in January, made a first visit in February and started the event in early April. A well planned timing, but at the very limit for a production like this. If we had had less time, in fact, we would not have been able to dispose of the content we broadcast.
My consultancy was needed to:
- Coordinate the service that provided the video projectors: I worked to make the necessary light intensity calculations and I approved the type of video projectors proposed by the service.
- Find a creative team suitable for the production of the content and, above all, which was able to produce it in the few available weeks. I proposed many options to Alessandra and at the end of the day she chose a group from Bologna: Aelion Project.
- Take care of the playout. Through my company NiceFall, I provided personal and media servers to transform the creative content of Aelion Project into a spectacular special effect for the audience of the event.
- Design the lighting plan that we integrated into the video projection. Covering the colonnade at the bottom and the statues at the top with video light would have cost about twice as much in terms of video projectors. We therefore chose to use lights which, through the DMX protocol, were in perfect sync with the video.
- An attention to the budget, obviously, was required and we still reached the effect we wanted, while optimizing the resources and making the most of all the technology we had available.
We have achieved what the organization was aiming for with this result:
Here you are the video of the final product:
But now let’s talk about technicalities, here are some info from the backstage:
The approach I applied to projection mapping is the “classic” one, as I like to call it.
Produce the graphic on the facade photo.
Already at the first inspection, I took a photo of the facade exactly from the position in which the projectors would have been positioned. Thanks to that photo and the rielefs I made I’ve been able to:
calculate the projection size and therefore the amount of projected video light needed;
provide graphs with the projection reference on which to work to build the content;
calculate the number and placement of the lights to illuminate the colonnade and statues.
This is the reference that the graphic studio used to produce the content:
It was possible to use this approach because the facade had no particular three-dimensional volumes that jutted forward or re-entered in depth. Both the production of the content and the calibration of the 4 video projectors (necessary for collimating the video image with the real facade) have been facilitated by the lack of depth of the facade.
That wasn’t a sufficient reason, however, to make the final effect less interesting, take a look!
The screenings lasted four days. During the set-up we were also blessed by the rain, but, thanks to the covers we rented for video projectors, this was not a problem either.
Here is a photo of the airing station:
We connected the media server computers for video projectors with those that controlled audio and lights using a private wireless radio link. This allowed us to avoid laying more than 100m of cable!
Producing a show like this is more than affordable for many events, just do it the right way!
If you are also interested in implementing a projection mapping for your next event, do not hesitate to contact me: I will be very happy to help you surprise your audience with a guaranteed WOW effect.