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With complex projections onto façades and inside buildings being used increasingly in events and installations, how is this impressive technology set to develop? Steve Montgomery reports

Creative Technology illuminates Buckingham Palace during this summer’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations


Large-scale projection is rapidly gaining popularity and is used widely in general display, guerrilla marketing and televised events

MAJOR EVENTS such as the Queen’s Jubilee, the 2012 Olympics and several outdoor festivals around the world have featured multimedia presentations with sound, light, imagery, fireworks and water all linked and integrated into a single spectacle – drawing gasps of amazement from live and television audiences alike. A fundamental element of these spectacles has been extremely large-scale projection of static and moving images onto buildings. This has made possible by ever-advancing progress in the design of light sources, optics and video processing, that nobody, whether within or outside the AV industry, can have failed to observe. And within buildings, the application of new

3D-surface mapping has revolutionised large-scale projection, as it enables any building or structure, even those with an irregular surface, to be used as a screen

technology has opened up new presentation techniques, allowing creative teams to deliver immersive and highly engaging experiences for viewers. Projectors have become

smaller, lighter and more capable to the point where it is possible to illuminate individual rooms and narrow corridors from very close range and to light up enormous buildings. Applications like these employ multiple projectors working together, fed from single or banks of video servers. “The technology is now

available to project onto almost any space or building, of any size or complexity,” Scott Burges, director of special projects at Creative Technology, believes. “In fact, we are at a point now where creativity is the driving force.

Projectors are becoming smaller and brighter and can project over closer distances, facilitating broader application. For many indoor live events, projection is preferred to LED matrix arrays

Content is king, but it depends on how much time, energy and of course money is invested.” As an example, the launch of Ralph Lauren's shops and offices in New York and London, which featured 4D projection mapping, is believed to have run well into six figures, and taken around three months to produce. This aspect is reflected by

Mark Reynard, creative director at White Space Productions: “Large gaps still exist between the creative teams capable of producing stunning content, the AV teams installing the equipment, the agencies and architects selling the concepts, and clients commissioning projects. Each gap is regarded as a risk and hence a cost is associated with that risk. We minimise the risks by using our software

Projectors are integrated with video processing features, but off-board processing is still required for complex multi-projector installations

solutions and experience of both outdoor building mapping solutions and indoor edge- blended installations to make the application and installation of unusual projection areas affordable and easy to deliver for all parties and stakeholders.”

CLEAR ROAD MAP Large-scale projection is experiencing something of a revival. “Many indoor events now feature projectors rather than LED displays,” points out Lee Spencer, managing director of XL Video. “There is an increased hunger for it, particularly in arena concerts, brought about by a number of factors, including cost and the ability to display full- resolution images. For corporate events and building display, projection benefits from mapping software that

New technologies such as laser projection will create greater opportunities

‘Interaction will be the key for future


Michaela Berger, AV Stumpfl

November 2012 37

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