The company’s content will be on display at the Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower for the next five years.
Budapest (Hungary), 20th February 2020 – The Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower (OPT) is arguably the most recognisable feature of Shanghai’s world-famous skyline, so when the management decides to integrate a new design feature into what is already an iconic landmark, it can be guaranteed that nothing is left to chance.
In 2019, the decision was made to improve the experience for the thousands of visitors that pass through the OPT’s ground floor foyer each year by turning the inside of its lower ‘pearl’ into a single, 2,500sqm projection surface.
The content of this 12-minute display was intended to demonstrate the main strengths of Shanghai to its audience: the city’s improving infrastructure; its various cultural treasures; its playfulness; and its status as a truly international destination. These four aspects would be represented by four characters, and the show would run permanently every night for the next five years.
In order to help realise this ambitious vision, the client first decided to bring in China’s premiere multimedia production company, Motion Magic, which in turn secured the services of Hungarian projection mapping specialist, Maxin10sity. Although the two companies had no prior experience of working together, the team from Motion Magic were so impressed by Maxin10sity’s extensive portfolio the decision was made on the strength of that alone.
“The entire process started with a ‘storyboarding’ phase where four of us stayed in Shanghai for a month,” said Agnes Szentannai, project manager at Maxin10sity. “During this period, the client firstly had to approve each storyboard as a sketch version, then the second step was adding more colours and details. Every few weeks we gave a presentation about the current state of the project and, based on the client’s feedback, we then modified some parts. Maintaining good communication, both internally and with the client, was essential during this process; particularly as we were using cultural elements and symbolic patterns that had to be represented correctly.”
With tight deadlines, constant revisions, and a high bar to meet in terms of quality; the process was sometimes a difficult one.
“Even with the entire team working day and night, it was a slow process,” said Szentannai. “During the evening tests, we found that certain elements had to be polished in order to perfectly reproduce the visual world we’d imagined. Even so, it was the spirit of teamwork and the enthusiasm to get the project off the ground that helped us through this initial phase.”
With the final design eventually agreed upon, it was time to proceed with the 3D aspect of the production. In order to help with this colossal undertaking, Maxin10sity hired two other collaborators – Ouchhh and Mindscape Studio – which meant there was now four different offices working on the project, each with diverse working hours and methods.
“Both the dimensions and the shape of the surface brought us numerous challenges throughout this period,” said Szentannai, “mainly because the façade is huge, yet close enough to the audience to require high resolution content. We had to experiment a lot with the technical set-up, which forced us to think outside of the box sometimes. We also had to consider the different points of view for the animation, as the audience had access to see it from two levels, each of which offered different angles. We had to consider the best option to avoid the distortion as much as possible.”
After numerous meetings and consultations, it was up to Motion Magic to make the final choice in terms of the equipment that would be used to realise this project. The company opted for 30 x Panasonic PT-RZ21K projectors to cover the entire 2,500sqm façade of the dome-shaped ceiling of the ground level of OPT, all of which were operated by Watchout media servers.
Szentannai said: “The design has been changing right up until the very last moment; so, while certain parts remained close to the concept idea, some other scenes changed drastically over the two months.
Tamás Vaspöri, managing director at Maxin10sity, concluded: “Ultimately, the client was very happy with the finished version. Firstly, because the projection display is sure to drive even more visitors to the OPT, and secondly due to the fact that the collaboration has strengthened their international relationships. Everyone was more than satisfied with the final content and Motion Magic have expressed their wishes to work with us again in the future. Since the project, we have also become an official international partner of the OPT.
“This project was a huge experience for us. It provided numerous challenges but, in the end, we are happy to create a spectacle that entertains millions of people every year in the most iconic building in Shanghai. Projections on this scale are really enchanting, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a significant project.”
Photo Credits: All pictures and video courtesy of Maxin10sity.