Projecting a project

Projecting a project

27 June 2020 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ A look at two of the latest projects by VIOSO, the “projection magicians” /

It was one of the last big live events before the lockdown: the Super Bowl LIV, held on February 2nd, 2020, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, with 62,417 people in attendance and an estimated 102 million people watching it on TV in the US alone. And it’s long since the Super Bowl was “just” a football game, it’s now a fully rounded show, with plenty of visuals for everyone to enjoy. For this year’s game, to help create an unforgettable experience for the viewers, show organizer AG Entertainment decided to install an immense projection dome, 68.58m wide and 53m high, making it the largest projection ever made inside this kind of structure. Created by Broadwell Airdomes USA on behalf of system design consultant Lumen & Forge, the colossal structure also boasted a uniquely oval, or “pill,” shape (contrary to standard projection domes, most of which have a hemispherical shape).

Projection on the dome presented an array of challenges, and German company VIOSO was called in to solve them. While advantageous from a capacity perspective, the unique shape of the dome required calibration of the content: “The content would have been distorted when projected, and it would have ruined the experience for visitors,” explained Misha Fradin, managing partner at Lumen & Forge. “Typically, the hemispherical dome shape is perfectly fit to the shape of the camera lens. But, since there is no such thing as an oval shaped lens, we had to make the view work for us.”

To solve the issue, VIOSO created a 3D model of the dome and used virtual reality for testing. They created content in 16×9 format and modified it to fit the shape of the dome, altering the calibrations to fit the lens of the camera. “The calibration achieved by VIOSO was performed live from the view of the circular lens, and in order to fit the oval shape of the dome, we used the map from the 3D rendering of the dome,” said Fradin. “This hybrid combination of real and virtual made it possible to achieve a perfect image.”

VIOSO is used to this kind of high-profile, time sensitive project. Calling themselves the “projection magicians,” the company provides unique software solutions for projector blending, warping and video mapping and is specialized in complex setups. Just recently, at the end of May, they helped create the world’s largest permanent projection mapping, a spectacular 32,000sqm projection on to the Tuwaiq mountains, in Saudi Arabia.

The occasion was the closing ceremony of the Dakar 2020 rally, and it was used to…

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