bright! and d3 Technologies Light Up Frankfurt’s Luminale 2016

The European Central Bank took the European Union’s motto, “United in Diversity,” as its theme for its participation in Luminale 2016, the biennial light show in Frankfurt, Germany. Creative events solutions company bright! designed lighting and video installations for the ECB’s two buildings selecting d3 4x4pros for the core of the technical systems.

The eighth celebration of Luminale featured some 200 light events in Frankfurt and Offenbach. For five days in March the ECB’s main building on the river and Eurotower in the city centre were illuminated from 8pm to midnight with the yellow and blue signature colours of the EU. The iconic Euro currency symbol was projected onto the south façade of the main building along with a visual reference to the Eurotower installation. One side of the Eurotower was mapped with a graphical performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” the European anthem. Animated bars reacted to the key tones in the music, circles to specific tones, lines to the key tones and bars, and the background to the kettledrum. Over the duration of the anthem each tone was visualised through one of these elements.

“The ECB gave us the freedom to work out an artistic concept within certain boundaries they presented,” said Michael Giegerich, managing director of bright! “The ECB wanted its contribution to Luminale to have something to do with European values and to use both of their buildings. We created an algorithm in processing that created audio-reactive visuals on the basis of the ‘Ode to Joy’ then added some parts over it that we designed non-generatively,” he explained. “This design was altered by cultural data dealing with Europe’s diverse society. All of the designed elements relate to the special architectural structure of both buildings, which are rather iconic landmarks on the Frankfurt skyline.”

The bright! team, under head of technical production Axel Lambrecht, deployed 28 Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors, two active d3 4x4pros and one additional 4x4pro back up for the Eurotower installation. Six Barco HDF-W30 projectors and an additional d3 4x4pro were dedicated to the main building.

“We selected d3 media servers for their easy set up, high performance and ability to send Telnet protocol to grandMA2 control consoles to trigger the lights,” said Lambrecht. He also cited d3’s “very fast alignment, high-resolution playback at 1920x9028px, and matrix presets.”

Lambrecht found d3’s QuickCal feature for speedy projector alignment especially helpful. “The process didn’t require more than 90 minutes for a projection surface greater than 25m x 120m,” he said. “We sent UDP/Telnet from the timeline into the grandMA2 to trigger different sequences. Network set up for the multiple d3 servers and additional outputs were easy to handle.”

The d3 systems performed “perfectly, with no problems,” Lambrecht reported. “Despite the high resolution of the content and surfaces and a computationally intensive output distortion the d3 systems were not at all limited.”

At bright! Michael Giegerich was the creative director, Axel Lambrecht head of technical production, Matthias Reuhl technical director, Dirk Rauscher art director, Yvette Einstädter project manager, Jens Michel processing code developer, Alexandra Streubel concept lead, and Thomas Giegerich the sales executive.