MuteMath Takes Projection Mapping On Tour

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For MuteMath's Odd Soul tour, Rabbit Hole Creative created the projection mapping and technical integration for the stage, based around a coolux Pandoras Box setup with two Barco HDX-W14 projectors.

Production designer Jeff Lava of 44 Production Designs designed the stage with the band, while Rabbit Hole Creative handled all of the video design and integration. Jake Jorgovan, co-founder of Rabbit Hole Creative, notes "Although my team are the genius ones who put everything together--I technically had no hands-on role with this production--my role was more leading and organizing the team," he says, adding that lighting designer Darien Koop uses the Pandoras Box to do his warps within 15 minutes each night, but other than that, doesn't interface with video at all. SMPTE timecode is sent from the band's backing tracks on stage so the band can start and stop tracks but keep the video properly synchronized. "We have managed to build a system that is able to go out on tour without even having to bring a video tech, something easy enough for the LD to be able to warp the video each night." DWP Live supplied the projection and the Pandoras Box units and Barco projectors for the tour.

Check out this great "making of" video and more video below:

Other gear employed for the projection mapping includes a simple SDI switcher as well as Blackmagic Design HDMI to HDSDI conversion. "We ran the output of the switcher into the Pandora for all of the stylizing, shading, and effects," says Jorgovan. "As far as the warp goes, we planned everything out in advance as we were deciding on the shape of the structure and how it would be technically warped. We used square pillars on the structure and a grid warp on the Pandoras Box. This allowed us to warp that video into place very quickly due to the simplicity of the structure. That being said, the simplicity of the structure also allowed for some great 3D illusions."

Kevin Fulda, a partner in Rabbit Hole Creative, acted as video engineer for the tour, handling all of technical integration and media server programming for the tour. "He designed the system for the tour which has one projector shot on the structure and one projector was shot on the band," says Jorgovan. "Kevin also programmed and designed an I-Mag camera system using GoPro cameras. We took the HDMI output feeds from each camera and fed them through a video switcher, and then from the switcher through the Pandoras Box. In Pandora, we put video content overlays on top of the video to add effect."

Video design was by Amanda Scott, an animator at Rabbit Hole Creative and the primary animator for the tour. "She created a series of animations that played off of the structure and created 3D illusions," says Jorgovan, adding that she used Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D for content creation. Darren King, MuteMath's drummer, also supplied video content that he created himself in Final Cut Pro. Several freelance video animators also contributed content.

The structure itself, built by Clay Christian, an independent set builder, can fold up easily on the truck each night. "After it was built, we decided to cover the entire structure in high contrast Screen Goo [from Goo Systems]," says Jorgovan. "The Screen Goo added a ton of gain, contrast, and depth. It looked as if we stacked on another projector."

Check out a run-through of the projection mapping, showing the evolution of the stage design from a paper cutout in Rabbit Hole Creative's office to the full structure at rehearsals:

And the official music video for "Allies," shows off the final product:

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