Projection specialist Digital Projection recently took part to the 13th edition of the Berlin Festival of Lights, where a number of its laser projectors were installed to enable video-mapping displays at key sites in the city.
With a renewed focus on digital at this year’s event, it was a successful edition to date with in excess of two million visitors. Spread throughout one of Europe’s most popular cities bringing its sites of major interest to life in spectacular style, the festival is a leading light in the video-mapping world, raising the bar with its impressive showcase.
Every October, the festival transforms Berlin into a city full of light art with displays by national and international artists turning famous landmarks, monuments, buildings and places into a huge stage. Working alongside Dutch integrator Pronorm Urban Experiences – the six-year incumbent preferred supplier for the technical installation at the Berlin Festival of Lights – Digital Projection supplied products which were central to the video-mapping installations at three locations: the Berliner Dome, the Staatsoper Bebelplatz and the Nicolai Kirche. This year’s festival was the first time that projection mapping had been used on the iconic Berliner Dome and Staatsoper Bebelplatz buildings, and audiences were blown away by what they saw.
The Berliner Dome was rigged with 14 Digital Projection M-Vision Laser 18K projectors fitted with 4.0-7.0 lenses and using an HDBaseT interface. The projectors were connected to two Vioso Media servers with eight outputs each. At the Staatsoper Bebelplatz, 10 Digital Projection Titan Super Quad 20,000 lumen projectors were installed with various 1.9-3.5 lenses, connected to two further Vioso Media servers (eight outputs each). Finally at Nicolai Kirche, four Digital Projection M-Vision Laser 18K projectors in portrait mode with 1.8-2.4 lenses, connected to a four outputs Vioso Media server, were installed.
Andreas Voss, Regional Sales Manager DACH for Digital Projection, comments on the product selection: “These products are perfect for this kind of project. Laser technology provides high brightness output and uniformity in colour and light which is critical for successful videomapping. In addition, unlike lamp projectors, they can easily be configured in portrait mode which enables mapping on almost any kind of edifice.”
The size, scale and environment of the festival added to the complexity of the project, alongside the time pressure, as Digital Projection’s regional sales manager Benelux Fred Meijer, who is responsible for the Pronorm account, points out: “Pronorm had four days to complete the entire set up including the mapping. They also had to battle the elements – working in an outdoor environment is always a challenge, especially when the weather is not kind as was the case here! They were also working across multiple, grand scale locations, with a lot of equipment involved.”
Birgit Zander, the Berlin Festival of Lights’ CEO and creative director, comments: “Since we founded the festival in 2005 it has simply gone from strength to strength with each year bigger than the one before. We have used projection mapping as the backdrop to the opening of the event for many years; it is also the opening of the World Championship of Projection Mapping, so we are really setting the gold standard – and the quality of the equipment we use is paramount given we are on a global stage.
“Digital Projection’s laser technology produced fantastic results and outperformed the projectors we previously used. They undoubtedly helped us to tell the stories of global partners and sponsors such as Netflix, National Geographic and Triumph, for whom visual identity is key. It was a very successful event and we look forward to further collaboration with Digital Projection in the future.”
Bart van Bokhoven, Owner and Project Manager, Pronorm, adds: “It was great to have Digital Projection on board as a partner in the project; they deliver exceptional products which helped us create a seamless experience at each of the sites where they were installed. Over the three years we have worked together I have been continually impressed by both the quality and superior customer service on offer. We have many more projects in the pipeline together and I have no doubt they will be equally as impressive and successful.”
Concludes Voss: “We are thrilled to have been a part of the Berlin Festival of Lights which really puts Digital Projection on a world stage. The light festival scene sets the trends for a lot of projection skills and applications which then go on to be used in other areas. Artists are striving to push the boundaries through projection mapping and it’s really exciting to be able to contribute to this – enabling their work through our world-class, innovative laser technologies.”
More information on Digital Projection website
Text: Digital Projection - Photos: © Frank Hermann and Nelofee