ETC London In Video First For Shell Centre

ETC London became the first company to project video onto the 351-foot high Shell Centre on London's South Bank, in an event marking the reopening of the Science Museum's Launchpad Gallery.

The eye-catching large format projection was a combination of video and PIGI projection, with live sessions of “Launchball” a popular multi-level online game available from the Science Museum’s website. This was played on a PC set up in the projection area and projected into a giant 131-foot (40 meter) by 98-foot (30 meter) mask on the building. The mask was created by the PIGI projectors and the game—via video projection—was beamed into this space.

The PIGI projectors were also used to create a series of scrolling texts with information about the Launchpad gallery.

ETC's project manager Paul Highfield comments, "Obviously it was a great coup to be the first to project video onto the Shell Centre Tower—and I'm sure it will open up many future possibilities. It was also good to be working with the Shell team again on a new and very different project."

Eight Christie 20K projectors were used for the video element, and they were located on a curtain-sided truck parked 492 feet (150 meters) from the building.

ETC'S OnlyView proprietary software was used for control, tech'd by Richard Porter. The VGA outputs from the game PC were used to feed the video into OnlyView where it was manipulated, edge blended, and perspective corrected before being sent out to the projectors. OnlyView's multi-screen capabilities made this an extremely easy operation.

About 25 children from Shell families were invited to play the game live on the Shell Centre big screen, which they did with great zeal.

Also on ETC’s video team were Briony Margetts, Phil Pieridis and Mark Hughes, plus head of video, Andy Joyes.

The six PIGI 6kW projectors were looked after by Andy Murrell and Erlwin de Gans, and operated via an OnlyCue system programmed by Murrell.

They were positioned in another curtain-sider truck parked adjacent to the video. Three PIGI’s covered the top half of the Shell Tower, and the other three did the bottom, with soft edge masks in between.

The keystone correction had to be very precise to accommodate the static video mask into which the live Launchball game was projected.

The PIGIs also produced a series of three layered scrolling text statements that functioned in conjunction with the Launchball game and as standalone text messages covering the building.

All the PIGI artwork was supplied by Shell and the event was a success. The new Launchpad gallery opened on November 24.

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