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DWP Live and 59 Productions Team for United Nations Projection Mapping Using d3’s New VFC Cards

When the United Nations launched its Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the most public face of the campaign was a 10-minute projection mapping on the iconic UN headquarters' buildings in New York City. d3 and its creative software suite supported the dramatic show designed and produced by London-based 59 Productions and projected by Tennessee-based DWP Live.

When the United Nations launched its Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the most public face of the campaign was a 10-minute projection mapping on the iconic UN headquarters’ buildings in New York City.  d3 and its creative software suite supported the dramatic show designed and produced by London-based 59 Productions and projected by Tennessee-based DWP Live.

The Global Goals are a series of ambitious targets to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change by 2030.  The projection mapping show on the north tower and General Assembly wall of the UN introduced each of the goals with visually dynamic content.  Animations gave an overview of each problem, the goal in action and the desired outcome; content featured 3D animation, 2D graphic imagery and live-action greenscreen footage.

The event was one of the first to use d3’s Video Format Conversion (VFC) quad DVI output card for the 4x4pro, d3 Technologies’ flagship media server.  VFC output cards are an industry first: no other media server offers this technology.  The quad DVI card enables users to drive up to 16 HD or four 4K DVI outputs (1080p, 60Hz) from a single 4x4pro system so that large, multi-projector shows can be delivered with fewer machines and no downstream splitter devices.  This drastically reduces cost, rack space, set-up time and complexity – all without adding any signal latency.

DWP Live deployed three d3 4x4pros, 16 Barco HDF-W30 FLEX 30,000-lumen DLP projectors and 20 Barco HDX-W20 FLEX 20,000-lumen DLP projectors to achieve the spectacular results.  Multiple d3 Designers were also on hand for pre-production.

“The new VFC cards for the 4x4pros were a blessing,” says Ben Ryle, CTO at DWP Live.  “Being able to play a whole surface-worth of outputs from a single machine took a lot of hassle out of the system engineering by keeping the server counts to a minimum.  This saved space in structures that had none to spare.  It also gave us the flexibility of always having a few spare outputs ready for surprises.”

59 Productions programmed the entire show offline using a shared folder to work collaboratively with DWP Live across continents.  Before heading to the UN DWP Live loaded the work in progress onto the d3 systems and set up from that.  When 59 Productions arrived on site DWP Live merged their tracks and content updates and everyone was ready to begin.

d3’s MultiEdit feature facilitated multiple operators working simultaneously in a tight timeframe, notes Ryle.  “I was able to load content and maintain the system from the master, while Clay Tipton was warping on his Designer laptop and 59 Productions’ Creative Director Leo Warner was updating the programming on his Designer.  No one ever waited for each other.”

The team used d3’s new Content Versioning extensively on the project.  “I was able to update the latest files, and they would be automatically replaced while Leo worked on something else,” Ryle explains.  “When Leo came back to check them, he had the option to revert to whichever version he liked best.”

They also took advantage of the Unpacking feature on a daily basis.  “The 59 team would make changes during the day that were merged into our show file every night,” says Ryle.

“Working entirely in the d3 workflow benefited us a few times when we had objects that caused surprise shadows on site,” he adds.  “The tech team was able to set up an extra projector and blend it into the whole without any extra work or having to stop the programming time.  

“d3 is very well thought out in terms of having all the roles needed in a production in the system at once, working together.  From my station, I could manage every piece of equipment spread out around the grounds of the UN.  I was able to respond to the needs of the 59 team rapidly and help them be more efficient.”

Since the Global Goals event was one of the first to use VFC cards, d3 provided an on-site technician to support DWP Live at the UN.  “The comfort of having a direct line on site meant that we knew the show would go well – and indeed it did!” declares Ryle.

“The VFC cards came online without a fuss.  We set the resolutions and feeds and had a show.  No one on the team was ever waiting for the systems, even when we were all in the project and new content was being loaded.”

The projection mapping was recorded and highlighted in the Global Citizen Festival, a celebrity-packed evening of entertainment that capped the Global Goals roll out and drew 60,000 people to Central Park’s Great Lawn.

At DWP Live General Partner Rick Boot was the primary Project Manager for the event; President Danny Whetstone and General Manager Greg Foster played key roles in planning, developing and executing the process.

About d3
d3 is the world’s first fully integrated visual production system for video professionals, combining a real-time 3D stage visualizer, timeline, video playback engine and projection mapping tools into one product. d3’s unique integrated workflow assists the designer at all stages of the project, from pitch through development to final delivery. For more information:,

About DWP Live:
DWP Live provides projection mapping, video projection and related technology rentals. Founded in 2007 by Danny Whetstone, a 20-year industry veteran, DWP Live is headquartered in Smyrna, Tennessee and maintains an office in Los Angeles, California. DWP Live’s expert team of programmers, projectionists and technicians have helped produce shows all over the globe. Some of these events include the 2012 Beyonce’s “I Was Here” music video inside the United Nations General Assembly Hall for World Humanitarian Day and the Super Bowl halftime show featuring Madonna in that same year. Most recently, DWP Live projected for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals launch and the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis in Philadelphia. Learn more at            
About 59 Productions:

About 59 Productions 
59 Productions is the multi?award winning company of artists behind the video design of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the record?breaking David Bowie is exhibition, the Tony Award?winning production of An American in Paris currently running on Broadway and the opening event of the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival, The Harmonium Project. Led by Creative Directors Leo Warner, Mark Grimmer, Lysander Ashton, Richard Slaney and Ben Pearcy, 59 Productions is one of the world’s leading companies specializing in video and projection design for stage and live events, combining technology and art to tell amazing stories. Whether creating stage productions, museum installations, live music performances, large?scale events or films, the team generates creative and technical ideas to help realize ambitious artistic projects. Since 2006, 59 Productions has mounted more than 120 productions across the world at venues including the National Theatre, Royal Court, Young Vic, Royal Opera House, English National Opera, New York’s Metropolitan Opera as well as at theatre festivals in Salzburg, Berlin and Avignon.