StoriesPOLIN, POLAND

WATCHOUT maps glass facade at Warsaw museum

POLIN, Warsaw’s new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, celebrated its grand opening by transforming its entire glass facade into a single, impressive projection screen. The opening concerts and play, produced by Małgorzata Szabłowska, the internationally renowned stage designer and director, called for large-scale, multiple-source projections that responded to live music and lighting. Warsaw-based AV company PRO4MEDIA was tasked with finding the technical solution for the event and headed straight for Dataton’s multi-display production and playback system, WATCHOUT.

"We have used WATCHOUT for many years and we knew straightaway that it would be the right solution for the grand opening at the new Museum of History of Polish Jews," says Marek Wasilewski – the owner of PRO4MEDIA. "Image processing was the basis of our assignment, but we also needed a solution to combine visualizations that were being created live with live music!" The content for the main architectural mapping was prepared by famous Polish street artists and supported by a live camera feed on two flanking screens – all synched by WATCHOUT.

The project presented other challenges, not least the projection surface itself. "The transparent glass wall of the building of the Museum is partially flat, and on the edges there are boards of glass placed at an angle of 45 degrees," Marek Wasilewski explains. "Using projectors directly, as we usually do, was impossible – the light was simply going through the glass and getting into the building. Other angles were also hard to find, because of the flashing effects."

Once they’d established the right position of the projectors – four Barco HDQ-2K40 units – PRO4MEDIA could start working with the mapping itself. Marek Wasilewski: "WATCHOUT’s possibilities, such as edge-blending, warping and so on, were very helpful to adjust the image to the façade’s curves and angles."

The next challenge came in the shape of a tree. Plum in the middle of the projection, the tree was to play a key role in the visuals during the live concerts. PRO4MEDIA assigned a dedicated Barco HDF-W26 projector to light the tree, bringing the number of projectors in the WATCHOUT show rig to seven and 222,000 lumens.

Since its introduction to WATCHOUT in 2009, PRO4MEDIA has used the system on hundreds of events. "It's a reliable, stable solution, which can be used in various ways, because each event is different. The POLIN opening attracted a large audience and the reactions to the show were both emotional and enthusiastic – just as we wanted."

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