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Company: Pearl Media Location: Miami Beach, USA

In early-December 2011, Miami Beach hosted the 11th edition of Art Basel, an event that is promoted as ‘the most prestigious art show in the Americas’. It incorporated more than 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year saw the international art festival’s first-ever 3D art installation, which transformed Ocean Drive’s Tides Hotel into Art Basel’s largest canvas - at more than 8,000 sq ft. Inspired by the famous graphic design style seen in 1980s and early 1990s video games, now referred to as 8-bit art, the installation was present- ed by Hyundai and created by Pearl Media - a non-traditional media and production company specialising in groundbreaking media and art experiences. The program was conceived by media agency Initiative and their Innovations group. The installation utilised Pearl Media’s proprietary 3D architectural mapping technol- ogy to project a montage of 8-bit gaming graphics onto the façade of the Tides Hotel. Choreographed to a brand new song called ‘fzzt&furiouz’ by popular 8-bit genre band, Anamanaguchi, the 3D 8-bit images interacted with elements of Tides’ architecture. The entire process combined state-of-the-art, high-powered projec- tors from Barco and Green Hippo media servers, together with lighting, sound, shadows and animation to offer consumers a never-before-seen look at a unique 8-bit masterpiece, all without the use of 3D stereoscopic glasses. The installation was seen by thousands of art enthusiasts and now lives on, via viral video. “This 3D outdoor art experience gave Hyundai the opportunity to combine music and technology - two cornerstone features of the Veloster - with art. This experi- ence entertained those that attended Art Basel, while also having an online pres- ence,” said Steve Shannon, Vice President of Marketing at Hyundai Motor America.

“Art Basel is known for breaking the mold and embracing the new, making it the ideal place to showcase this unique, revolutionary 3D technology art on Ocean Drive,” said Josh Cohen, President and CEO of Pearl Media. “With such an artistic audience, we think the creative 8-bit graphics of the 3D installation blended with the incredible features of Miami Beach’s Tides Hotel truly captivated passers-by.” Josh expanded on the processes involved: “We remodel these surfaces in 3D, us- ing software in-house, then we develop the assets for the actual projection, in 3D, and we meld the images to the building. The effect is that we’re actually projecting the building back onto the building, and it’s lined up exactly. It takes us about a day, if not two, to line up all the projectors so that we’re shooting the building back onto the building. So what you’re actually seeing is the projected building mutating and opening up, things flying out, that sort of stuff “The real art to 3D mapping is the creative, it’s understanding the surfaces, the building and lighting that you’re working with, but at the same time it’s really under- standing how to use the equipment. Making the projectors blend correctly, using the right shadows, using the right light. Using the right type of equipment, using enough equipment. We do light tests and meter tests to ensure we have enough power in the projectors. We’ve done projects where you have 10 22K projectors onsite and others with 25 22K projectors onsite. It’s making those projectors work together for one seamless image - it’s an art itself.” Though 2011 was Pearl Media’s first year of delivering 3D architectural mapping events, the company spent much of 2010 carrying out detailed research into the subject. The result has been seven high profile events, which Josh believes makes Pearl Media the most prolific in the USA. It doesn’t stop there, as he revealed: “I think we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg of what this technology is capable of doing and where you can do it. I think buildings offer a great surface because you get that large format but the technology can work in many different atmospheres. It doesn’t need to be a building, it could be a car, a statue or a boat. Then we can introduce new elements, with water and fire, interactive and gestures, and all that sort of stuff. I think we’re just touching the surface.”


Company: Visual Acuity Location: Richmond, USA

Image © batwin + robin productions, inc

Independent technology and media consultancy, Visual Acuity are again working with The British Museum on a new version of their international touring exhibition entitled ‘Mummy: the Inside Story - Secrets of the Tomb’. At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA, 3D experience was built around one of the muse- um’s most intriguing ancient artifacts - the mummy of Nesperennub. Visual Acuity provided independent technology advisory services to The British Mu- seum on this project during a previous tour and have once again been contracted

to advise on a second tour of this unique exhibition. For this new tour, The British Museum deployed advanced 3D imaging technolo- gies to reveal the secrets inside the mummy of Nesperennub - an ancient Egyptian priest who died in approximately 800 BC, using non-invasive x-ray and Compu- terised Tomography (CT) scanning techniques to look inside the mummy without disturbing its wrappings in any way. The experiment provided a unique insight into the complex mummification process and Nesperennub’s life in ancient Egypt, while also allowing Museum staff to reconstruct his facial features. Visual Acuity was then engaged to advise on a 3D theatre display, which would allow visitors to see graphic visualisations of the mummy’s face and skeleton, despite the fact that they remained encased within his coffin. Blair Parkin, Managing Director at Visual Acuity, recalls: “We have used the most advanced projection and display technologies to show graphic representations of the outer coffin, the cartonnage case that sits inside it and actually holds Nesper- ennub’s remains, the skeleton and the jewellery with which the body was adorned prior to embalming and, most strikingly, a very detailed representation of his face.” “We are delighted to be working with Visual Acuity again on this unique exhibition,” comments Amanda Mayne, International Engagement Manager at The British Mu- seum, which is loaning the mummy, along with 100 other artifacts, to Richmond. “As consultants they don’t just deliver the right technology solution - they really understand the project and provide aesthetic and architectural guidance as well.”

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