Derry-Londonderry Lumière - 28th November to 1st December 2013

Following three successful lumières in Durham, Artichoke Trust were invited by the Culture Company to bring Lumière to Derry to mark the close of an incredible year of arts and culture in the city with a four day celebration of light. After a tender process QED was appointed to provide projection mapping and technical support for the festival. The projection highlights were a uniquely challenging and innovative projection mapping display onto Austins Department Store and a large scale projection onto the façade of the Clocktower in Ebrington Square.

Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly said "Lumiere has been a spectacular event, the jewel in the crown in a string of successful events in the City of Culture calendar, and one that we will all remember for a very long time. Tens of thousands of people of all ages and across all communities have experienced this free public festival together. They have seen our beautiful city transformed into magical space of art and light, and been transformed by the experience."

"Voyage" by Novak Collective
Austins Department Store was established in 1830 and is reputedly the world's oldest independent department store. Inspired by this iconic building, Novak created an audio-visual journey drawing on the fantastical novels and imagination of Jules Verne and popular culture from the late 19th century and early 20th century when Austins was in its heyday.

The creative and projection challenges for this piece were as hard as anything QED has ever encountered. With two sides and a curved corner section of this highly intricate building it was clear from the outset that this could only be mapped by means of a highly accurate 3D model and precision placement of the projectors. To add to the difficulty Derry's central square (known as the Diamond) was not able to be closed to traffic and the square itself contains a war memorial, numerous trees and lamp posts.

"This historic character building simply invited itself to be projection mapped, however with such limited projection lines of sight it was not immediately obvious whether it could actually be done. Only after we had laser scanned the building and created the 3D model could we be certain that it was technically achievable" said QED Director Paul Wigfield.

"The key to the successful mapping of Austins was the functionality provided by the d3 media servers. Having created the model and designed the UV template it was possible to pre-test all the content using 3D simulation. Importing the model into the d3 simulator along with the precise projector positions and lenses made it possible to verify the coverage and to adjust the projector positions to suit. Hitting the smaller side of the building and the curved corner was only made possible by projecting from two rooftops of the Richmond Shopping Centre across the road and the Council offices within it, as well as from a ground-supported projection tower in the main square."

A combination of ten Christie WU20K-J and eight Christie WU14K-M projectors were used to cover the contrasting black and white surfaces of the building. 800m of 12-core fibre optic cable was strung high up across roads onto the rooftops and into the offices to link the entire system together. Seven d3 servers (1 x master, 5 x slaves, 1 x understudy) were connected to a Lightware FR33 32x32 DVI matrix switcher and fed to the projectors from QED's 15-channel DVI/Ethernet fibre optic distribution rack equipped with on-board DVI multi-viewer. The audio soundtrack, specially composed by Ed Carter, was played back from QED's d3 racks through an on-board Fireface 800 audio interface. The native 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution of the projectors proved critical to achieving the height required to reach right up to the very top of the central turret. QED's projector "video stilts" were used to achieve pinpoint positioning of the projectors at incredibly steep angles Head of Digital Media Richard Porter and Senior AV technician Dan Gray worked on the project from the initial laser scanning right through to the on-site set up and operation working closely with Adam Finlay and Keith Daniels from Novak throughout the creative process.

"We just wanted to say thank you very much for doing an amazing job, in both the lead up to and during the event, making our piece look so good! We literally could not have done it without you!" Adam Finlay, Novak Collective

"Twice Upon a Time" by Ocubo
Portuguese company Ocubo worked with more than 100 primary schoolchildren representing all faith traditions to create this large-scale video mapping projection across the façade of the Clock Tower at Ebrington Square. During the course of a week's workshops the children were invited to play a game of virtual consequences with children from other schools, developing a story that forms the basis of the projection. The children were then invited to re-design and 'take over' the building, creating a colourful animated dream world by painting the story onto a model. The children were filmed during the workshops and the final projection includes footage of them working together as well as their own artwork.

For this piece QED supplied eight Christie HD18k 20,000 lumen HD projectors which onto the white building surface produced a projection of awesome brightness and the 3kw xenon lamps of the Christies delivered colour of an incredible intensity and vibrancy to do full justice to the dream world created by the children. QED's Watchout server rack delivered line accurate synchronous playback of the 8k resolution video content created by Ocubo with the multichannel audio delivered via QED's USB multichannel interface. QED AV Technician Harry Ricardo worked with Ocubo to deliver the high resolution files as well as setting up and operating the installation.

"We are very happy with the projection: it's bright, crisp and the mapping is well done. Thanks to you and your team." Carole Purnelle, Ocubo

"Change Your Stripes" by Cleary Connolly
Projected onto the 30m facade of the Derry Credit Union building in Bogside Cleary Connolly's piece is composed of undulating series of black and white stripes that come to life when you step in front of the projection. Silhouettes are captured and repeated in a cascading never ending stream, dancing and sparring with other silhouettes, turning the viewer into an integral part of the art itself.

Two Christie HD18K 20,000 lumens HD projectors with 0.67:1 lenses were deployed to cover the wall from one projection position using the on-board Christie Twist geometric software to adjust the images to suit the sloping wall and to keep them parallel to each other. Each projector was fed by its own camera and Mac Pro system and processed using software developed by Cleary Connolly.

"I want to thank you all for the amazing job you've done setting up Change your stripes, it looks really great." Anne Cleary, Cleary Connolly

"Spinning Night in Living Colour" by Elaine Buckholtz
Elaine Buckholtz's more contemplative Spinning Night in Living Colour represented a subtle projection onto two poster boards. This sampled Van Gogh's painting, All Night Café, in the form of a large 3m x 6m spinning projection utilised two Christie HD12K projectors with short throw zoom lenses.

External links

Lumiere Festival
Artichoke Trust
Novak Collective
Cleary Connolly
Elaine Buckholtz

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