International creative design practice Painting with Light was commissioned by Panasonic to produce a high-impact multimedia live show for their stand at the 2017 ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) expo at Amsterdam RAI.
Painting with Light’s creative director Luc Peumans initiated the idea of simultaneous tracking and projecting onto multiple objects. It was a mission for which no-one could calculate a potential success rate in the confined and frenetic space of an exhibition booth.
Panasonic’s Hartmut Kulessa and Thomas Vertommen, both in charge of the Visual Systems Marketing, first asked the question which fired Luc’s love for creative risk and experimentation – setting a trail of events in motion. “Luc’s vision and determination plus the unwavering support from Hartmut and Thomas were real driving forces,” confirms Michael Al Far, Painting with Light’s video content producer who was right at the hub of the action.
Luc’s concept for the show was that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. His hand-picked team included Michael as the visual designer and Painting with Light’s project manager Wouter Verhulst – who worked on delivering this exciting and exacting collaboration which produced stunning results that illustrated the power and versatility of the new super high brightness Panasonic PT-RZ31 31,000 lumen laser projector and the newly launched PT-RZ21 laser projector with 20,000 lumens.
The show combined imagination, humour and interactive live performance with several cool technologies including laser projection, remote tracking and 3D mapping.
Painting with Light worked closely with Airstage from Germany who provided two 1.2m diameter helium filled remote-controlled flying orbs, which were also part of the show. Show director Frank de Wulf was brought onboard to storyboard and co-ordinate the show – working to a brief that included entertaining visual trickery – delivered by illusionist Raphael – whose five minute performance was choreographed to illustrate a number of projection techniques and gags.
The event stage was custom designed and built to fit into one corner of the large stand. A huge curved screen graced the top of the performance space, complimented with a straight back wall and then the floor which was also a projection surface.
Fourteen Panasonic projectors were utilized in total. Four PT-RZ31s fitted with ET-D75LE6 lenses beamed onto the curved screen; three PT-DS12s with ET-D75LE95 short throw lenses were built in to the stage and covered the back wall; three PT-RZ21s with ET-D75LE50 lenses tracked the moving objects from the front, working in conjunction with two PT-DZ21K2s positioned at the sides, and the floor projection was delivered by two PT-RZ31s with ET-D75LE6 lenses.
Painting with Light specified a BlackTrax real-time motion tracking system and a d3 media server to be at the heart of the control system. The orbs and the illusionist were fitted with BlackTrax beacons and the associated cameras were positioned on the trussing above the stand. A moving panel made from screen material which moved in and out at different times was also tracked and mapped for the show. This was actually handled by the magician … due to the tracking, he had the freedom to move the panel about in time and space without it losing content.
Video content was designed by Marco de Ruyck and Katleen Selleslagh was the d3 programmer and stage manager for the four show days.
Eight Robe DL7S Profile moving light fixtures were also linked to the BlackTrax positional data, programmed by Painting with Light’s Niels Huybrechts, and the show was timecoded triggered to play every hour on the hour.
Airstage, BlackTrax and d3 were active partners with Painting with Light on the project, and each deployed a product specialist – John Barker from Airstage, Andrew Gordon and Marty Cochrane from BlackTrax and Vincent Steenhoek from d3 – to assist in delivering this exciting and unique challenge.