National Gallery 200: Projection Mapping Celebrations

  • National Gallery
  • Creative Services, Display- LE, Lighting- LE
National Gallery 200: Projection Mapping Celebrations

National Gallery 200: Projection Mapping Celebrations

Creative Technology delivered a breath-taking projection mapping experience to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery in London. This innovative project was spearheaded by Will Harkin, our Special Project Manager, and was executed in collaboration with Invisible Productions and Visual Edge.
Project Vision

The National Gallery sought a unique way to celebrate its bicentennial, and projection mapping was chosen to narrate the gallery’s rich history. Harkin and his team, having previously conducted a detailed projection study of the building, were well-prepared to meet this challenge. The goal was to use projection mapping to explore the gallery’s history up to the present day, culminating in a grand Celebratory display.

Technical Execution

This project required a precise and rapid setup, utilizing Panasonic RQ35 projectors known for their brightness and superior image quality. A total of 16 projectors were used to cover most of the National Gallery’s façade. Despite challenges such as public access restrictions and ongoing construction, the team successfully installed the equipment and completed the setup in a single night.

Harkin noted the advantage of using the latest technology: “The Panasonic RQ35s are game changers in projection mapping, offering excellent brightness and colour representation, and are easily portable.”

Innovative Techniques

One of the standout aspects of this project was the use of VYV’s Photon structured light autocalibration (SLAC) feature. This technology allowed the team to perform calibrations quickly and accurately, even in daylight. By projecting reference patterns that cameras could capture over long exposures, the system could gather sufficient data to perform precise calibrations at sunset.

Harkin explained, “This system allows us to calibrate projectors outside the area of direct information from the emitters, ensuring incredible sharpness and brightness. The ability to simulate and verify setups in advance has revolutionized our approach.”

Overcoming Challenges

The project faced several logistical hurdles, including the need to erect towers in a busy public area and dealing with access restrictions. However, the team’s expertise and advanced simulation capabilities ensured a flawless execution. The projection mapping experience was delivered with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

Event Impact

The projection mapping event took place on May 10-11, 2024, drawing significant attention and acclaim. It beautifully highlighted the National Gallery’s storied past, vibrant present, and promising future. Harkin remarked, “It’s all about creating that iconic image that stands the test of time. We aimed to deliver a moment that would be remembered for generations.”

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, Creative Technology is exploring the potential of using LIDAR for even more precise and instant calibrations in daylight. This continuous innovation ensures that we remain at the forefront of projection mapping technology.

Conclusion

This project not only celebrated a significant milestone for the National Gallery but also demonstrated Creative Technology’s capability to deliver complex projects under tight timelines. Our commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology and overcoming challenges ensures that we continue to create unforgettable experiences.

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