Panasonic Creates New Worlds For Luma Festival

The Luma Festival, founded in 2015, allows residents to see their town literally in a new light, by transforming buildings into canvases and creating massive works of art using projection. The most  recent event, in downtown Binghamton, NY over two nights in September, was created using-cutting edge projection technology from Panasonic.

The artists for this event,  Maxin10sity, Light Harvest, Ouchhh, Freckled Sky, OnionLab, lucem picturae, Hypnotica, Mark Zifchok, Rama Karl, Jesse Pelzar, Galerija 12+, Favorite Color, and Zach John Mulligan, used Panasonic’s AV solutions including the PT-RZ21KU projector and ET-D75LE10 and ET-D75LE20 lenses. See below for a discussion of the project with two of the artists and more gear from Panasonic. 

Ryan Uzilevsky,  founder and creative director of Light Harvest Studio

Live Design:  How does Panasonic differentiate itself from other projection equipment you have used in the past? 

Ryan Uzilevsky: The color brightness on high-lumen Panasonic projectors is remarkable. Even on a very large, textured, and off-color surface like a historic building facade, we know that our content will be displayed almost exactly like it is on our workstation screens when we are making it. It's quite remarkable that we are no longer turning up the color values to compensate for projection brightness loss. In some cases, we are even turning colors down because we know how good the projectors are.

LD: What challenges did you face on this project?

RU: The main challenge of this project was to produce the entire video mapping show inside of Unreal Engine. That has never been done before by us, and I am pretty sure that it hasn't been done yet in the architectural video mapping world. We worked with a very talented young software developer named Oliver Davies, who was able to help us quickly reveal Unreal Engine's positive and negative sides during production. It was stressful with a lot of surprises and challenges, but having high-level and dedicated talent on your side always helps navigate the way through hardships. 

Light Harvest/Firefly: Van Zandbergen Photography
(Light Harvest/Firefly: Van Zandbergen Photography)

LD: What was your favorite part of this particular project?

RU:  My favorite part of the project was using a customized motion capture setup to animate the main character's flight path. The character was a firefly and I flew him around in different worlds while experiencing his point of view in real-time inside of a virtual reality headset. I thought that was a pretty great technique, and as both the director and the performer, I was really able to put myself in the firefly's shoes to communicate with the audience through subtle movements and gestures. 

Val Syganevich, Freckled Sky Producer

Live Design: Why do you prefer Panasonic? 

Val Syganevich: We use Panasonic projection equipment most of the time for our multimedia shows. We prefer solutions by Panasonic because of their flexibility, as they help us solve the variety of creative tasks we have in our projects. The first time we used Panasonic equipment was for our interactive water projection show at America's Got Talent in 2015. For this show we were required to place projectors in a portrait/vertical position with a tilted angle and we made it happen with Panasonic equipment.

LD: What were the technical challenges here?

VS: The main challenge was a live motion-tracking technology that we upgraded to use for the show (we call it “live digital avatar solutions”). We needed it to operate smoothly as the main feature of the show depended on it, namely the ability of The Invisible Showman to communicate with the audience of the Festival. We ran multiple tests with support from our technical partners and equipment manufacturers at our studio to eliminate all of the existing and potential problems we encountered. Also, during each show, we performed manual control to ensure the best outcome. 

The Invisible Snowman-Spirit of the Building: Van Zandbergen Photography
(The Invisible Snowman-Spirit of the Building: Van Zandbergen Photography)

LD: What did you love about this project?

VS:  First, it was amazing to see the work of our team projected on a building in full scale, and run through the rehearsal to make sure that everything worked as needed. Second, our team always focuses on the idea of emotional storytelling in each project. This time it was special thanks to the audience in front of the building. Each performance of The Invisible Showman was unique. Our digital performer talked to people, and followed, and commented on their reactions right away, catching every emotion in real-time.  

Don't miss Val Syganevich's session, Live Shows With Feature Film Special Effects, at LDI2021, Saturday, November 20 at 3pm in Las Vegas.

Panasonic Gear List

•    Panasonic PT-RQ22KU 3-Chip DLP® 4K+ Large Venue Laser Projector 
•    Panasonic PT-RZ21KU 3-Chip DLP® SOLID SHINE Laser Projector 
•    Panasonic PT-RZ31KU 3-Chip DLP® Large Venue Laser Projector
•    Panasonic ET-D75LE20 3-Chip DLP™ Projector Zoom Lens
•    Panasonic ET-D75LE6 3-Chip DLP™ Projector Zoom Lens
•    Panasonic ET-D75LE30 3-Chip DLP™ Projector Zoom Lens