XL Video was selected by Mindfield to provide projection mapping on two of Detroit’s most iconic buildings, the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) and the Detroit Public Library (DPL), during the Dlectricity Event; Detroit’s festival of light-based art.
The goals for this event were challenging and the team was presented with various challenges. The buildings are located in midtown Detroit across a four-lane street from one another and required wireless, synchronized projection mapping on both buildings that originated from a single video control space. Setup time was limited in the all-outdoors environment where equipment and staff were exposed to the weather.
The projection surface area of the Detroit Public Library measured approximately 70' high x 120' wide and had seven arched and recessed balconies that created real challenges for alignment and dealing with shadows. The Detroit Institute of Art projection surface measured 60' high x 80' wide. In from of the DIA is Rodin's sculpture, 'The Thinker'. It sits directly in the projection path and could not be moved. It was accommodated by getting creative on projection positioning. Finally, being a sponsored festival, economical solutions were an absolute must.
XL Video US Media Manager German Perl explains, “Our client, Mindfield, provided 3D laser scans of the actual buildings and so we were able to create 3D projection simulations in the Cinema4D software. This allowed us to simulate the light distribution, and to choose the best solutions for projection distances, lens focal lengths, and light output. Based on these simulations, we could confidently choose the Barco HDX-W20 Flex units.”
The stack and lens corrections were made by using built-in warp engines on the Barco HDX-W20’s. The playback and final mapping was made with Dataton Watchout software on the XL Video media servers. The playback units were located across Woodward Street and were synchronized with a wireless network bridge.
The Watchout software provided synchronous audio playback and the corresponding time code for audio and lighting provided by TLS Productions.
“As with all successful projects, close collaboration with the with the stakeholders was key. Working closely with the professionals at Mindfield and TLS made the challenges of this project much easier to manage,” states XL Video Senior Account Executive Leslie Dillingham.