Client: Video Mapping Festival in Lille
Location: Lille, France
Completion date: 2020
In early 2020 the world changed. Just weeks before our team would have left to France for the annual Video Mapping Festival in Lille, the Coronavirus brought much of the world to a screeching halt. Our team was granted the honor of presenting as a keynote speaker and creating a showcase projection mapping artwork for the Opéra de Lille. With the artwork already complete, our team focused on a creative solution to share the work while still still bringing attention to the postponed festival.
Our solution; create a 3D printed model of the Opéra and live stream the projection mapping artwork to the world. In less than a week the model was ready and a studio was set up in our co-founder’s home. The artwork was streamed worldwide just days after the festival was scheduled to happen. The result was captivating and unique. Thousands tuned in to see a first of its kind performance by Limelight, and possibly one the first live streamed projection mapped artwork of this quality at this size.
After completing hundreds of projects over the last 15 years, it's critical for our team to develop a well thought out concept before starting the artwork to ensure we create something original. All our work is completely custom, and we pride ourselves in evolving the style of the work from one project to the next.
For this particular design, the team developed the concept of destruction leading to new growth. This theme can be seen in the artwork starting with the façade melting down in a flowing fabric. It is then rebuilt through fractal movements highlighting the structure of the architecture of the Opéra de Lille. Smoke and clouds then create a stark contrast from the geometric lines of the scene before. Finally, the artwork blossoms into the climax of it before concluding by breaking the building apart in a flowing wave of blocks.
There are a number of steps that go into creating a project of this scale. First a 3D model of the physical building is created using a laser scan. Our team then uses a variety of programs, including Cinema 4D and Houdini, to create a custom artwork sculpted to the building. All of the work is done in 3D, which distinguishes us from some firms who choose to only animate in 2D, treating the façade like a screen. For this particular project, the 3D model of the Opéra de Lille also allowed us to 3D print the model for our indoor mapping once the event was cancelled. Once the artwork is complete, we use anywhere from 10 to 100 high end projectors producing 20,000 of Lumens each to bring the artwork to life.
While we certainly hope to get back to creating large outdoor projects soon, this creative solution has opened up a new creative direction our team is excited to explore. The power of public artwork and bringing communities together will always be core to our mission as artists, we see possibilities for museums, private clients, and architects to integrate indoor façade models with projection mapping into future projects.