CPL Bends It for Maxxis at Autosport International 2014

West Midlands UK video production and rental specialists Central Presentations Ltd. (CPL) supplied projection for two sets of curved screens plus control on the massive Maxxis Tyres stand at the 2014 Autosport International exhibition at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).

CPL – who are also based locally - were working for stand building and managing  company Yo Yo Display which sets up this stand in different formats worldwide. Maxxis was launching its latest generation of VS01 performance tyres at the exhibition and showcasing the various cars, motorbikes, drift and off-road vehicles it sponsors.

It was the first time that CPL has worked for the company, and everything was co-ordinated through CPL’s Project Manager, Jimmy Smith.

Most of the stand elements were curved – a concept following and accentuated the natural contours of tyres.

The first area of projection was a cylindrical area dubbed ‘the Rotunda’ which provided a moody, dramatic display space for one of Team Gigglepin’s Extreme Winch Challenge 4x4 trucks, and this required high level projections around the top inside of the curved walls. These were one of a number of eye-catching effects to help draw people in.

The CPL team rigged the two Panasonic PT-EZ770 HD LCD machines fitted with 1.3 – 1.7 short throw lenses on to crossing metal poles at the top of the cylinder, and these beamed into their opposite walls, with the warping and perspective correction tweaked inside the machines. The compact projectors with their LED and Laser Technology output proved ideal for the job

Content – identical for both projectors - was supplied by the client and played out on a laptop running  through an Analog Way PLS switcher.

To illuminate around the bottom of the walls and add a gentle glow to the vehicle, CPL supplied battery powered LED uplighters, plus a smoke machine placed under the car to help build the atmosphere. d&b E6 speakers were also supplied for audio playback from the video track.

To the side of the stand was the second projected area, comprising two convex screens raised up into the air and sitting on pillars, fed by two 10K Panasonic projectors with two separate images each showing different content.

A special scenic column was designed into the stand specifically to house and support the projectors, and the signal was run via a fibre system back to the control position in a room at the back of the stand. The onboard lens shift and warping facilities were again used to balance the images and line them up to the screens.

Playback control was another laptop fed into the PLS switcher which was used for scaling the content.

Jimmy Smith worked with two crew on the project. Their biggest challenge was the power and data cable management, which had to be extremely neat and as invisible as possible.

Says Smith, “It was good to be involved! Getting curved projection right always requires a lot of precision … and the results looked great as well as adding to the ambience and mood. There was a huge buzz about the stand which was packed with visitors and interest”.

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