Coca-Cola 125th Anniversary Building Mapped Projection

This last weekend I recently completed the premiere of the world’s largest building projection to date together with my breathtakingly talented colleagues at Obscura Digital.

This project was extremely ambitious both in its scale and for the gravity of the material. For this project the Obscura media team had access to Coca-Cola’s extensive archive of historical assets. Whatever feelings you might have toward The Coca-Cola Company, taking a brand with 125 years of history and distilling it into a montage capturing its essence as well is no small feat, no matter what the format. However, this project went further by integrating new material taking advantage of architectural illusions and displaying it on a massive scale, and featuring realtime interactive content.

The building itself is 26 stories (or 402 feet (122.8 m) high. The projection covers an area 339 feet high and 157 feet wide per side of the building, totaling more than 210,000 square feet of surface area covered. To accomplish that coverage and adequately light the building, 45 projectors of approximately 20k lumens each were used, unleashing a little under 1 million lumens of light on the building. These projectors were stacked in groups of three and converged to form a single image and then overlaid with a separate custom geometry calibration to map the projections to the building.

The process of linking all of this playback from four was a significant logistical puzzle. Maintaining a consistant wireless networking link suitable for frame accurate synchronizing of 8 rendering nodes stationed at 4 disparate locations was a challenge. In this regard, and for realtime rendering, show control, calibration, and software infrastructure, we turned to the Touch Designer “Free Thinking Environment” from Toronto based Derivative. This development platform tailored to realtime video playback, rendering and effects provides the platform for a great many of Obscura’s projects, and in this show as well as others it performed, allowing us to rapidly adapt to the unknown variables of the show environment as well as integrate additional creative features quickly as they presented themselves.

All in all the project was a great success, with the opening party enjoyed by employees in the Coca-Cola plaza and people around the city. The show will be on display every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in May, so if you are around the Atlanta area be sure to catch it before it goes away…