How to Prepare Movies for the Media Facade
Finally some remarks and explanations about this rather unusual format! Preparing material for this 5-projector setup may seem awkward at first but in the end it can be quite simple and straightforward.
As mentioned, we basically have 5 projectors with a resolution of 800x600 pixels each (see pic 1). The first 3 projectors face the street (2400x600 pixels in total) then the screen "folds" 90 degrees around the corner and the other two projectors display the remaining 1600x600 pixels to the glass wall towards the next building. The last display element is partially covered (only a bit more than half of the pixels 500px in width are visible) remain, such that we only have around 1300x600px on that side.
BUT, when you prepare your work, you actually don't have to consider all these specifications at all! We have tried out some workflows and propose the following process, to reduce your overhead efforts as much as possible.
You optimize your work for the "viewing spot" (see pictures 2 and 3 on the right)! That is actually the way most other movies are done. The viewing spot is also the position where all the videos are taken from. For that purpose check the photoshop file with the mask (white polygon) that covers the actual screen (see also pic 4). You simply produce your video clip such that the contents fill up the white space. Everything you see within the boundaries of that mask, will be visible afterwards on the real media facade! Just send the file to us and we do the rest.
At first sight the mask seems not to be aligned to the actual wall of the building. This might be irritating, but in fact it is aligned to the backprojection curtain inside the building, therefore you see some offset!
What happens behind the scenes: We import your video file in Adobe After Effects, apply that mask to the video clip, cut that part out and stretch it to a regular rectangle. When the projectors display this (stretched) movie clip, spectators standing at the viewing spot will exactly see what you had previously seen on your screen in that mask.
(Instead of following that procedure you may certainly just send us a 4000x600 resolution movie, which we will not adjust and just feed straight to the projectors. You should test that material with the simulator, see below.)
If you do some real 3D scene setup, the Sketchup Model at the right may be of help for you! You can see the distances and dimensions basically recreate the real scene and render a movie from the "Augpunkt" - the position of a spectators eyes, who is standing at that viewing spot.
The simulator is now ready for download, but the authors asked us not to make it completely public (i.e. download link on the website). Instead we will send it out on request! So, if you have some 4000x600px Material that you would like to test as described above, just drop me an email and I will provide the Java app.
With the simulator you can use the stretched/cut movie and walk around to see how the movie appears from other angles. For that you have to do the transformation yourself. You could certainly also build your graphic stuff free style, fiddle with your work aiming at the (approx.) 3700x600 resolution, considering the corner that splits the display into 2 areas. You can use the simulator to check the result (it requires 4000x600 resolution, just keep in mind that the last 300px are covered..). When you are pleased, send us the file...
When you generate a movie file, we recommend H264, 25 FPS and a data rate of 20.000kbit/s.
It's all quite simple but hard to explain! Questions, remarks? Just mail me!