Projection Mapping and Managing Media: Inside the Installation 'TOKYO ART CITY by NAKED'

The project relied on a number of technologies from Blackmagic Design to send video feeds to the various projectors the 10 computers that controlled them.
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Tokyo creative company Naked Inc. used a number of Blackmagic Design Teranex Minis for its modern art project TOKYO ART CITY by NAKED including Teranex Mini HDMI to SDI 12G, Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad SDI and Micro Converter SDI to HDMI. Naked artists also used DaVinci Resolve Studio to color correct the project's marketing videos.

Founded as a production company, Naked (@naked_inc) has expanded its creative portfolio to include a variety of media and genres such as film, advertisement, TV and installation. In particular, its artists are acclaimed for their space productions using technologies such as projection mapping. One such project is a 2012 3D projection mapping installation called TOKYO HIKARI VISION, for which they used Tokyo's red brick train station building as an architectural canvas, drawing an audience of about 18,000.

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In their new project, TOKYO ART CITY by NAKED, areas of Tokyo are reproduced with scale models, onto which video is projected. The installation uses 100 projectors, LEDs, music and special effects, and features a performance by SAMURIZE, a dance group.

The project relied on a number of technologies from Blackmagic Design to send video feeds to the various projectors the 10 computers that controlled them. The output from the computers was sent to eight Teranex Mini HDMI to SDI 12G converters, which then connected to eight Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad SDI devices. Since Teranex Mini supports 4K, the team was able to send four individual HD video feeds, allowing them to send more feeds from one device.

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Naked used Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI converters to accommodate the great distance the feed had to travel between the projectors and the control room. Each output of Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad SDI was connected to a Micro Converter SDI to HDMI via 20-meter SDI cable, where it was then converted to HDMI to send the feed to a projector's HDMI input. SDI cables ensured a stable feed over the extended distance.

Naked's Bungo Nakamura, who was in charge of the technical part of this project, says, "We have been using Blackmagic products such as DaVinci Resolve, so we had a feeling of security using Blackmagic gear. Also, if we wanted to do the same thing with products from other vendors, it would have cost so much more. As Blackmagic [gear] is very affordable, it's easier for us to purchase a lot of them."

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Nakamura continues, "There used to be a limitation on the number of outputs that could be sent from one computer. However, using Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad SDI, we can send up to four times the output, which allowed us to expand our creative capacity. It is the biggest advantage of using the Teranex Mini Converter. If you use more computers to output the video feed, it gets more difficult to control them. So the fewer computers, the better."

The Teranex Mini HDMI to SDI 12G and the Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad SDI were used with Teranex Mini Smart Panels. "With Smart Panels, I could check the video on the Teranex Minis, so operation was very smooth. Also, if there were any issues in transmission, it was easier to find where the problem was happening, which was a big help," adds Nakamura.  

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