When we started working on the Prolight+Sound preparation we knew we had to find something catchy to accurately demonstrate the flexibility of our new Video Mapper 2. Cubic structures are ok, but we did that already. Buildings are great but, as big as Messe Frankfurt is, buildings still doesn’t fit in there.. And then someone came with the idea of mapping a car: placed at the corner of our booth, at the intersection of two hallways, it was sure to be an eye catcher!
Our first challenge on that project was to find a car to prepare the mapping and have it ready for the trade show, as there was no way we could bring a car to our demo room at the second floor in the ArKaos headquarters - and working in the parking was not an option - we finally opted for a 1:10 scale model of a car.
We decided to work with three projectors, one for the front of the car and the two others for the left and right sides. Since we needed three outputs, we would be using the Stadium server (which can handle up to six outputs, the Stage server could only do it on two outputs). Once we figured out how we would spread the surfaces on the car, and on which sides, we started creating them on the scale model.
As we were working with a development version of the Video Mapper 2 it was a great opportunity to put it to the test in real conditions. Mapping such a complex structure seemed hard to achieve at first glance, and we had some issues of course. But luckily we had the Dev Team in house to fix them.. Finally, it was much easier than expected and most importantly it allowed us to improve the Video Mapper 2 before its release, making it even more flexible.
When it comes to Video Mapping, efficient technology is of course very important.. But good custom content specifically designed for the projection is a must. We asked the guys from Prismax to work on that for us while we were focusing on our setup.
Prismax first rendered test pattern movies to project different plain colors on each surface (i.e. car doors in red, hood in yellow, etc..) so we could make precise adjustments before they start designing the final content. Then after a few improvements and new renderings we had what we needed: a mapping file and three videos, one for each projector. So we were on our way to Frankfurt where LMP, our distributor in Germany, had prepared a nice booth for us on their space as they do every year.
When we arrived, the car and the projectors were already in place: three Panasonic 15000 Lumens that would have to overcome the main lighting (and the light show from our neighbour ROBE..). We installed one of our Stadium servers under the car and hooked it to a ChamSys desk to trigger our six minutes CUE in a loop.
But as everybody knows in event organization, once the installation is done, nothing is exactly where it was planned to be.. No big deal however; with a good technician it took roughly two hours - coffee pause included - to fix the mapping and adapt it from the 1:10 scale model size to the 1:1 scale car. And then we were ready for the show!
Every day we’ve been delighted to see everyone - including people that were not interested in video - stopping by to have a look at the car, turning around it, searching for the projectors that were hanging high from the ceiling. Some were taking photos or videos of the car, while some others were putting their hands on it, trying to find where the projections overlap.
All in all, it was a lot of work for us, but it was really worth it: we had the most impressive booth we have ever had, to successfully launch our brand new Stadium server and the Video Mapper 2.
A lot of visitors came to ask for more information to our team, we did hundreds of demos, giving us the chance to demonstrate our technology to a great number of new users.
Thanks for all your interest!