London UK based projection, digital art and son et lumiere specialists, The Projection Studio (TPS) has produced two high profile festive installations this year – at Windsor Castle and in the Welsh seaside town of Barry in Glamorgan.
Penguins Rock Barry
The Vale of Glamorgan Council invited TPS back to rock the town again this year following the massive success of last year’s inaugural festive son et lumiere created from scratch by Ross Ashton and the TPS team … marking the town’s festive light switch-on.
The humorous, fun and spectacular 10 minute large format video show – with seasonal artwork and an array of beautiful animated images like dancing penguins and Santa Claus’ elf-powered present factory production line – was beamed on to the front of the municipal library building in King Square, Barry, getting everyone vibed up for Christmas.
The projection system was based on last year’s show with some modifications and the biggest physical challenge was dealing with getting the projections around the large Christmas tree right in the centre of King Square.
Ross’s solution involved building a complete 10 metre staging / roofing system at the ‘back’ of the Square – provided and built by Sound Base from Cardiff – which enabled the six Panasonic DZ 21K projectors to be positioned exactly where needed to cover the front of the library with the impressive 50 metre wide images.
The projectors were run as three double-stacked pairs, with two stacks cross-shooting at 45 degree angles – to miss the tree – and the third pair at a slightly shallower angle.
A d3 server was used for control and the necessary mapping onto the building, programmed by Dan Grey from QED, the projection hardware supplier.
Ross’s entertaining storyboard was a lively, colourful and action-packed show that ran three times on the evening, and was enjoyed by large crowds watching live and thousands more via internet sharing.
A serious amount of 3D modelling and animation was required, undertaken by The Projection Studio’s Thierry Noyer and San Gun Kim and sound artist Karen Monid was engaged to compile and edit a special soundtrack.
Sound Base supplied the audio system plus generators to power all the equipment.
The event received a massive positive response from the public both in person and via social media, getting everyone in Barry and the surrounding areas in the mood for the up-coming festives.
Windsor Projections Return
For the second year running Projection Studio has produced stunning festive projections onto the central tower at the iconic English landmark, Windsor Castle … which is being enjoyed by residents and visitors to the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Berkshire, over the festive period.
Windsor’s Town Centre Manager Paul Roach commissioned more digital artworks after the 2014 project so well received, and Ross was delighted to deliver again. “It’s fantastic that projected art is being recognised as something that can unify and entertain communities and also boost local businesses very cost-effectively as a result,” he stated.
The Castle’s central tower is 20 metres tall, 11 metres wide, highly visible and conveniently, almost a 16:9 size in format, and the image is projected via a single Panasonic PZ21K projector fitted with a portrait adaption kit, located in a disused office block opposite.
It is beaming through an optical glass panel – installed last year to replace the original sash window – completely protecting the projector from any external elements and offering a clear surface to shoot across to the Castle wall.
The projector can be run off a single 13 Amp socket, so no special mains requirements of generators are needed, making the logistics highly practical.
Ross’s artwork for 2015 continued the theme of beautiful original stained glass windows at St George’s Chapel within the Castle’s grounds. Utilizing this eye-catching glasswork in the installation effectively connects the Castle and the projected artwork with elegance and style.
Ross conducted a unique photo shoot in the Chapel to create material, with many stained glass images taken from the North and South quire aisles depicting portraits of monarchs, heraldic badges, coats of arms and other decorative elements.
The Chapel’s intricate ceiling decorations and paintings on the organ pipes, the gold-leaf detail on the metalwork and the vibrant red door which is also overlaid with gold and metallic features were also photographed and integrated into the highly textured projections.
Charlotte Manley, LVO, OBE, Chapter Clerk of the College of St. George, who curates the Chapel, was invaluable in granting this access and drawing attention to the many details of the space.
The images were then edited and composited as animated video files by Paul Chatfield.
TPS’s on-site installation team was led by Karen Monid who also programmed the control system. The files were uploaded to a MiniMac server running Millumin software, which is an ideal control platform for single projector installations. The 10 minute show auto-starts at dusk and runs as a looped file until midnight each evening.