Sometimes buildings need a fresh set of clothes. Perhaps not really clothes, and maybe not even something physical, but the surface of a building can often be changed much more quickly and drastically than the other components. This interplay between permanent and temporary, rigid and fluid, and solid and ephemeral creates the tension that can bring a building alive.
Last week in Sydney, 59 Productions transformed their Opera House into a shattered orb of shape-shifting light in support of the annual outdoor art fest Vivid LIVE, a spectacular projection titled "Lighting The Sails." The same team has provided visuals for both the 2012 Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, and for Jonsi's live tour.
The projections must be exact so that they line up with the facets and do not bleed over the edges, becoming one with the building. Because of this trick proposition, digital software is required, but the real magic is made in physical models. The group made a 3D printed model, and then a series of casts, in order to work out the projections.
"We had a number of casts made in many different substances including plaster, an ice-like material, wax, copper, aluminum, lead, and other sheet metals," explains Leo Warner, creative director of 59 Productions. "We then subjected them to various extremes — heating them, cooling them, pouring paint, pigment and ink onto them." By filming these experiments, they made a series of images for the projection. The final show is a mix of physical and digital creations.
While Warner explains that "the 3D work was done in Cinema 4D and almost all of the 2D animation is done in AfterEffects," the project is not simply about the technology and the building as an unusual big screen. They see it as a vehicle for telling a story. This process started by looking back to Jørn Utzon's original concept sketches, and working through the construction in order to tell the story of the building.
All images courtesy of 59 Productions.
via Creators Project