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The Infinity Wall

By Charles Purdy

In November 2016, a 53,000-square-foot tent was erected in the Qatari desert, not far from the gleaming skyscrapers of the capital, Doha. In front of the tent stood a 30-foot-high fabric-covered wall as long as a football field (about 360 feet). Using high-powered digital projectors, a team of artists and technicians projection-mapped 3D animations onto the wall, creating a large-scale kinetic modern art installation that seemed to float above the dunes.

The occasion? A sumptuous royal wedding with a distinctly modern feeling.

David Corwin and his company, Megavision Arts, had been hired to develop and realize this large installation. Corwin approached BARTKRESA studio, which assembled a team to support the visual design and animation of the piece—that team included design director Vincent Rogozyk and animators Maciej Bałauszko and Michał Czubak.

Rogozyk says the project made him think of artists who, centuries ago, worked for royal or very wealthy patrons like Lorenzo de’ Medici. He adds, “I felt really lucky because the client was extremely open to modern design and always referencing the best projects out there.”

WORKING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

The clients in this case were event producer Fahad Signature, the family of the princess bride, and her soon-to-be sisters-in-law. “Wedding parties in that culture are for women only,” explains Rogozyk. “The groom comes in at around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. to pick up the bride.”

Click on the image to experience the Infinity Wall as guests did.

With less than three weeks lead time, the clients tasked Megavision Arts and the design team with producing a 3D projection effect that would mystify and delight the 1,200 wedding guests as they arrived at the event—a projection mapping that would be “modern, artistic, and magical.”

 “The event producer was really modern and really into new things—he’s becoming the hippest event guy in Qatar,” says Rogozyk. “But the whole project was extremely fast…. With such a short time and a one-time event, it’s not like we could fail.”

INFINITE ANIMATIONS

Inspired by the event space’s interior design—which involved curvilinear wood elements and sculptural wooden columns—Rogozyk came up with the “Infinity” theme. “The interior had planes of wood, and there was a beautiful Zaha Hadid bench that looked like a tree trunk made of slats of wood,” says Rogozyk. “For this reason, we started designing with slats. The scale of the wall informed the scale of the graphics—the idea was to make the whole thing look like a giant object.”

Rogozyk, Bałauszko, and Czubak brought the sketches to life, turning the biomorphic and geometric shapes into polished motion graphics. The final work comprised four basic scenes of abstract 3D kinetic animations that were programmed to morph and transition in a loop. “We designed using 3D software and Adobe After Effects CC, with the help of an offsite render farm,” says Rogozyk. “We definitely tested the limits of the hotel’s Internet connection.”

Meanwhile, at the site, builders completed the projection wall (a plywood scaffold sheathed in taut white muslin), as well as towers to house the digital projectors—18 double-stacked Panasonic DZ21K models.

On the evening of the event, a Dataton Watchout media server was used to create one seamless image, illuminating the Infinity Wall with more than 300,000 lumens of light. (The animation files consisted of 14,148,000 pixels per frame, which equals 21 billion pixels per minute being pushed through the system.) A custom musical score with synchronized sound effects completed the amazing illusion.