Hailed by many as the best reveal at the show, the 2015 Volkwagen Golf made headlines during its press event at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. WorldStage was tasked by SIAM Productions and George P. Johnson with providing a 3D projection mapping system and other services for the unique reveal, which told the story of seven generations of VW Golf. Volkswagen later leveraged the reveal online where more than 29,000 people have witnessed the event on YouTube.
The stand-out presentation traced the history of the VW Golf from its launch in 1974 to the 2015 model that appeared onstage wrapped in spandex and poised on a turntable in front of a large screen. 3D projection mapping on the car, floor and rear wall showed the evolution of the car from a pencil sketch to a maquette to a production model. Then, a playful series of projections recounted the design aesthetics of the last 40 years, turning the VW Golf into a neon outline with spinning wheels, a vintage video game car, a pulse of disco colors, a puzzle of rotating Rubic's Cube-like pieces, and a dazzling array of fractals. The screen behind the car displayed footage evocative of four decades of VW Golf and showed a timeline of vehicle design. When the presentation went dark crew removed the spandex, the lights went back up and the press got its first look at the 2015 model.
Spinifex, the masterful Australian company tasked with creating the reveal's content, worked hard and fast to put together the stunning visuals, while the WorldStage team figured out the projection system, ultimately designing a nine-projector rig to cover the car, floor and rear wall. As it has in the past, the WorldStage team selected the D3 server system from it's stock of media servers due to the complex mapping requirements of the project.
"D3 and Christie projectors are often our "go-to" combination for tricky mapping projects where we don't have a lot of time to tweak on site. Using the pre-viz tools in D3 allows the content design team to see the layout with content in advance and it also reduces time needed for alignment on site," says WorldStage project manager Andy Muller. "In combination with the Christie "Twist" feature, the D3 gives our techs a great deal of flexibility and alignment mojo during the set-up."
Despite the flexibility and power of the system it was decided, due to the very limited amount of set up time at the Convention Center, that a full scale mock-up would be performed prior to load in. The mock-up, which took place in Pontiac, Michigan, provided the perfect opportunity to test content, projection angles and rigging positions prior to load in.
In addition to the projection mapping system, WorldStage furnished a three-camera HD package including one of their Ross HD Vision switching packages, a full-coverage d&b speaker rig as well as a new Shure Axient wireless microphone system selected to easily handle any interference problems from other wireless devices on the floor.
A production as successful as the Golf reveal is usually the result of a team that functions well and this project was no different. Between WorldStage and D3 operator Luke Collins, who flew in from London for the show, they made sure that Spinifex had all the information to build their content accurately. At WorldStage TJ Donoghue and Lars Pedersen headed the projection mapping team, Raul Herrera was media server technician, Michael Alboher EIC, David Lynd audio lead, Alex Donaldson and Juan Mateo projectionists and Richard Stucker camera director.
Robert Walker was the technical director for George P. Johnson, Lisa L'Heureux project manager and Greg Gilpin vice president of client services.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.