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StoriesPILOT ANNUAL MEETING, USA

Creative mapping transports audience

Crates. Plain, utilitarian and, well, just there. Most people wouldn’t give them a second thought – unless you have an eye for turning the most basic unit of a transportation company into a captivating visual element… with a little help from WATCHOUT.

Pilot Freight Services is a full-service global transportation and logistics company that hosts an annual, multiday, meet-up and award ceremony. At the 2013 event, a team headed up by video mapper Peter Brodhead and creative director Dejha Ti was tasked with producing the content and context for an immersive projection mapping installation. The scope of the project encompassed set design, animations, and video mapping system.

"We decided to utilize the most basic unit of Pilot’s business, shipping crates," explains Dejha Ti. "We designed a 76 foot set to be flexible for an array of live and preproduced content. The set—a canvas for illusion—occasionally appeared as the shipping crates it was, but more often a constant changing scenery. A 3D file of the set design was provided to the fabrication team, who built the set to an eighth inch accuracy."

The content creation deliverables included opening/closing sequences, company history overview, and ambient/environmental sequences. Air, ocean and ground, Pilot’s three modes of transportation, were represented throughout all content. A transit line system was designed to correlate with each transportation mode.

Peter Brodhead explains the workflow for the project: "After Effects rendered the content with a baked-in map mesh into Dataton WATCHOUT-friendly files. WATCHOUT was used as a multi-headed playback system to serve up preprogramed timeline content, and to ensure there would be no dropped frames on our 9,600 wide pixel canvas. WATCHOUT also gave us the flexibility to make post-render tweaks to our mapping."

Arriving on location at Atlantic City’s Borgata, the team had just 48 hours to calibrate the five HD projectors, map the set and prepare for showtime.The result? Click on the video link, right, and take a look.

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