Penguins Blog

Projection... but on a massive scale


June 21st, 2012 by Adam Glover

Even if you weren’t there, I’m sure you must have seen some of the footage from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert, outside Buckingham Palace. A gathering of the great and good (and perhaps the quirky, yes I’m looking at you Grace Jones) from the music industry.

Some artists got a better reaction than others, but the one performance that stood out for me was Madness, not because of the sense of nostalgia that swept over me hearing tunes from my childhood (although that did happen), but because of their use of large scale projection.

If you haven’t seen the footage of ‘Our House’, you have to check this out. The show was produced by Treatment Studio who worked with a host of incredibly talented animators and designers.



This type of projection takes an enormous amount of planning, and an equally large number of people to pull it off as successfully as this. As with any large scale projection onto buildings, the key to the success comes from both the technical design of the projection system as well as the creative design of the content. This piece makes particularly good use of the buildings features; it’s important to make the content complement the structure of the building, taking into account windows and strong architectural lines.

I also love the way the designers have taken an iconic building that is associated with wealth, luxury and grandeur; and projected scenes from an everyday house…that juxtaposition just works for me.

Another fairly recent example was the Nokia Lumia 800 launch that took place in London. The production team involved in this one produced a series of content pieces that were projected onto Millbank Tower. As with the Buckingham Palace event, meticulous planning was key; with a projection distance of 305m across the Thames, sixteen 20K lumen projectors and applying vinyl to all the windows (to act as a projection surface) of the  118m tall tower.

Again the content used for this is perfect for the building they are projecting on to; I love how they make the building look as though it is crumbling; and the moment when a giant shadow peers through the ‘shattered’ windows is genius.

Here’s the event itself, music courtesy of Canadian DJ deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman. The event was produced by Mission Public Relations, working closely with Drive Productions.

 
And a really interesting ‘behind the scenes';

 
The most recent example of large scale projection mapping that I’ve come across is a little different to both those above. This time it’s inside…and is in 360degrees!

An architecturally stunning building, the Halla Stulecia in Wroclaw, Poland, was re-imagined using a stunning combination of lighting, projection and music by AntiVJ and directed by Romain Tardy and Thomas Vaquie. 

The 65m wide, concrete domed building is pretty awe-inspiring before the AntiVJ installation, but what they and their production team have created is an incredible 360degree fully immersive experience.

I’ll stop talking for a moment; you have to check this out. A small warning first, the music won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but it just works with the whole experience.

O (Omicron) from Romain Tardy (AntiVJ) on Vimeo.

As with the Nokia event, these guys also made a ‘behind the scene’s video. Although they don’t talk too much about the technical side of producing their installation, it’s really interesting to get an insight into their thinking.

O (Omicron) / Making of from Romain Tardy (AntiVJ) on Vimeo.

Whilst there aren’t too many events that warrant the kind of expenditure that’s involved with projects like these, it’s worth taking a moment to thinking about other applications of projection mapping. 

More basic forms of this tech can be used to create a centre piece over a dancefloor...think mirror ball, but with custom animation instead of mirrors! 

Or think about how you could engage an audience with clever use of a projection mapped set; you don't have to think only in terms of one or two large screens, the whole set can come alive!

If you're considering projection mapping for your next event, one really important consideration is the content. As everyone knows content is vitally important on any event...however with projection mapping this importance is magnified. Great content, as shown in the events above, really will make your event come alive.

With the pace at which technology moves in this industry I'm really excited to think about what the next big thing might be...



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Girls' Night Out with: Heythrop Park


June 18th, 2012 by Holly Mills, Louise Davies and Clare Fagg

Recently the Penguins girls, comprising of HollyClare and Louise, took a magnificent weekend trip to Heythrop Park. This was to be a great experience and one that we will share with you in this latest girl’s night out blog.

If you would like more information on this venue and how we can help, please get in touch with us.



Within the picturesque location of Enstone in Oxfordshire, sits Heythrop Park Resort, a stunning 18th century manor house. There are two hotels to this resort including the 3* Country Manor and the 4* Crowne Plaza, which sit just in front of the astounding golf course along with 440 acres of land. This venue is able to hold fairy tale weddings, large conferences and all kinds of other events along with a contemporary restaurant & bar offering modern cuisine and not to mention just under 200 bedrooms to choose from.

With superb travel links from London and surrounding areas, this was already beginning to become a relaxing and abundant weekend. The girls instantly felt the ‘WOW’ factor whilst driving along the impressive drive way approaching the Country manor, arriving in good time and were rewarded instantly with the VIP treatment. They began their evening with a tour of the premises, allowing them to realise the true potential and beauty this venue had to offer.


                                                                   

The venue had a contemporary purple theme throughout, along with a ball room that featured glorious chandeliers, perfect for a dinner, party or wedding. In addition to this, the resort holds a fixed tier auditorium, which is ideal for conferences. Outside the premises sits a really smart Moroccan courtyard area ideal for BBQ’s in the summer.

                                                                    

After the tour, the girls went for something to eat as appetites increased. The dinner matched and exceeded the levels of expectation from the girls. Within the brassiere along with the superb décor and furniture, they had the delight of indulging in a variety of amazing and delicious choices of food ranging from Lamb and Thai style monkfish to Scallops, complimented by fruit as a desert, although for Clare and Louise it was sticky toffee pudding. The elegant meal then resulted in retiring to the bar for a well deserved drink before returning to the bedroom.

The next morning, the girls were treated to a traditional breakfast, which was followed by a nice relaxing spa session, including a few lengths of the swimming pool, and of course some more hard work… in the steam room. Before heading home, the girls ventured into the local picturesque town of Woodstock for a lovely spot of lunch.

The luxurious and beautiful park grounds provide more than enough room for potential team building and outdoor events. Within the manor and Crowne Plaza, the resort is your oyster, there are no limits. An attractive location, and fantastic venue, from the journey leading up to the pathway of the resort and entering the manor, you instantly feel embraced and part of something special, certainly a venue that we highly recommend and thoroughly enjoyed.

Download their latest event and meetings brochure here

If you would like more information about this venue and how we can help, please get in touch with us.



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Ricky the Rockhoppers recent antics!


June 13th, 2012 by Aimee Woodley

As you are probably aware Penguins are a proud sponsor of Ricky the Rockhopper Penguin at ZSL London Zoo . Since we last visited Ricky, he has still been enjoying his wonderful new exhibit at the Penguin Beach! It opened in May last year, but is still making waves as the largest penguin colony in the UK. Ricky lives with a large group of Humboldt penguins and the occasional herons that decide to fly in from Regent’s Park.

Ricky isn’t too bothered by the constant downpour that has been making us all so fed up. Since he loves to spend lots of time swimming anyway, he is used to water. Also, penguins have feathers that make them completely waterproof, so he’s much better designed for rainy weather than us humans. He’s not so much a fan of the wind though, so recently he’s been sheltering himself in the tunnels in the rocks at the back of Penguin Beach when it’s been really windy. These tunnels lead to nesting boxes that the penguins sleep in at night. If you can’t spot him swimming in the water or chilling out on the rocks, this is where he is likely to be.

    

Ricky is very interested in people, so often he comes right up to the glass to watch visitors. He was hand reared, so people watching is one of his favourite hobbies. However, he can be a little bossy towards his keepers, often honking loudly or hopping around them in circles if he doesn’t think he’s been fed quickly enough!  Last year he even upstaged a
 BBC reporter

If you, like us, would also like to support ZSL and their on-going work by adopting Ricky the Rockhopper you can do so by clicking here. Also, if you'd like to get up close and personal with Ricky and his friends, then have a look at the new Meet the Penguins encounters!



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