Creating Immersive events with LED

In these video interviews Anna Valley’s Director of Technology and Operations, Peter Jones, and Director of Business Development, Dan Orchard, discuss what goes into creating immersive events using LED and why this is such an effective approach for events.

Here’s what Dan and Pete had to say;

Dan

I think immersive video is such a big thing right now, because it’s such a compelling way of making your content more memorable to an audience. I was at an event recently where one of the key speakers was talking about how people don’t necessarily remember exactly what you said, but they remember how they feel about it.

I think that’s what immersive video is doing, is making your content more compelling by creating an experience and hopefully generating an emotive response from your audience, which they’re more likely to take away with them.

When you’re using LED, you are giving people an experience as a group.  I think emotion can be a contagious thing when you have a group of people all experiencing content in the same place at the same time, they can pass on their excitement to each other, making it much more profound and memorable experience.

Pete

We can make great immersive environments with LED screens. We can create any shape that you’re after. We can create walls, floors, ceilings, we can build LED walls which are curved. We can put right angle corners in and, as the pixel pitch of these screens reduces, we are able to create very high resolution scenery.

So when we bring all these elements together, we’re able to build full 3D environments where we have video on the floors, the ceilings and the walls and the punters are able to walk straight into these environments and be fully immersed in video.

Once we’ve built our environment, the next challenge is to put the video content on there…

Dan

There’s that old adage that content is king and that’s absolutely right in this scenario, we can build anything you like, but if the content isn’t right or it’s not compelling or it doesn’t have the impact you want, then the whole concept isn’t going to work in the way you wanted. We do a lot of work with the content creators, advising on the resolution, the aperture sizes, what’s going to work, what’s not going to work, how we’re going to deliver it, especially things like media server delivery and the way that we map content.

Pete

One of the challenges with a 3D environment is working out how are we going to map the content to the screens. What we can’t do is just take a simple 2D representation and expect the content to land as it would in a normal screen. What we have to do is pick out all the different elements of the 3D set and map those into a 2D environment.

During this process, we also need to take account of the mix of resolutions that we’re using to ensure that the low res screens are being fed low res content, and the high res screens are being fed high res content. Sometimes we use a ratio, sometimes we calculate pixels per centimeter so that we have precise calculations to ensure that the translation between content and play back onto the screens works.

Dan

The exciting thing about LED is the impact that you can create with it, the contrast that you get from it, the brightness and the physical capabilities of what you can build with it, in creating immersive spaces. But also what’s behind it as well. The infrastructure behind it is as almost as important as the canvas itself.

 Pete

Once we have our 3D environment designed, we then take the resolutions of all the individual screens and we map those onto our computer outputs. We call this a pixel map. And what this enables us to do is to calculate exactly where every pixel in the structure lies.

We use the pixel map as a template that we give to the graphics guys so they can deliver their content to us in the format required for the service we’re using.

Once we’ve designed how we want our 3D environment to look, we then need to think about the structure integrity of that environment.  We need to design how that environment is going to be built safely. How are we going to make sure it stays up and how it complies with all structural regulations.

Dan

I think we can make events immersive in various different ways. Especially with LED we do a lot with sets, for say conferences or more traditional theatre style events where you may use more of a flattage and print set. We can create digital canvases, but we can then make them more immersive for a conventional audience by part surrounding them with content or using lighting fixtures and triggering lighting, as well as video. We can then bring audio in at the same time and create an immersive experience for people inside of a more traditional setting.

Pete

In the future, we fully anticipate the scenic elements are going to become more lightweight. They’re going to come higher resolution, there’s going to be a lot more creativity in the shapes that were able to buy, to build, to use. What that means is immersive environments of the are even going to  become bigger, more creative and higher resolution than they are today.

Dan

Ultimately it’s our job to bring these ideas to our clients, to advise, to bring new ideas to the table and hopefully be part of a process where the people we work with are pushing the boundaries of what they knew was capable for their events.

 

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