An amazing amalgam of art and architecture

Here’s a really inventive light show projected onto a building in Berlin. If any readers know about who does this, and how, let us know:

h/t: Michael


  1. Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    NuFormer, Amsterdam, I guess.

  2. Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    this shows a project in California:

  3. Bill Melchior
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    From the LG web site: (

    LG lights up Berlin with a spectacular 3D show at IFA
    September 6th, 2010 by joeO

    LG Optimus Event2-[20100905084847667]
    LG marked the opening of IFA 2010 in style by unveiling a giant 3D media façade in Kulturbaruerei, the cultural heart of Berlin, to highlight the upcoming range of devices under the LG Optimus series label.

    The ever-changing 3D artwork on the nearly three-storey high screen (23 x 21m) captured the attention of many a passerby. It started with a countdown on a giant hourglass before viewers were greeted by an “android” before the presentation took viewers on a fifteen minute ride that included whales, ice skaters, giant octopi, and steaming jungles amongst other things. The show concluded with the advice: “Optimize Your Life!” which will be the official tagline of the Optimus Series marketing campaign.

    The grand finale involved the audience becoming the stars as photos they took of themselves on phones provided by LG had their images displayed on the media façade.

    First announced in July, LG Optimus Series is LG’s advanced line-up of smartphones and tablet devices featuring the latest in mobile technology. Optimus, which means “best” in Latin, will be comprised of devices ranging from entry to premium with various form factors to meet the unique needs of every customer. LG will be introducing approximately 10 new smart devices worldwide in the second half of this year under the LG Optimus Series label.

  4. S.K.Graham
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    About the “how”…

    1) use a laser depth scanner to map the 3D surface of the building.

    2) run test projections over each point on the building to determine what color/intensity to project on each point in order to compensate for the color of the building (for example, to get an even “white” across the entire surface, some points will need more total intensity than others because the building is darker at those points — this can vary by color band (red, green, blue). Note that this does not work well with windows.

    Steps 1 & 2 might be done in real time as the video proceeds, to compensate for things like rippling flags or opening doors, or anything else that might move on the projection surface.

    3) Computer takes desire image and for each point in image determines where to project it so it will be in the correct position for the audience. There will be a single position in the audience for which the effect will be “perfect”, and “good enough” for points nearby. The camera that recorded this event was probably at/near the optimal location. A mostly flat building wall will work best (or course a perfectly flat movie-screen would be optimal), and allows for a wider area for the audience to perceive the video with minimal distortions. However, the process could in principle work on complex surfaces of widely varying depths, but the point of view of the audience for an effective illusion would be increasingly constrained.

    Because it is dark outside and the image is bright and high contrast, perception of the image overwhelms perception of the building.

    3a) The “projector” is almost certainly a set of 3 lasers — red, green, blue. Traditional image project methods would have issues with focusing the variable depth projection surface.

    4) Design/animate the video to take into account the building itself, so it can look like you are changing the building, rather than projecting just any video image onto it. This enhances the effect since, as noted above, the process does not work well on windows or highly reflective surfaces.

    All “3D” effects are just normal video — not stereographic [as with 3D glasses at movies, let alone holographic or anything like that. So the “3D” is like any other video. But the choice of what to show in the video, and how it is animated, no doubt enhances the illusion of 3D.

    In some sense watching the recorded video of the may make it seem more impressive than the live show actually is. Not to say that the live show wouldn’t be extremely cool.

    • Heber
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Well, thank you very much for unweaving the rainbow! You totally annihilated my inspiration and awe. Sophisticated jerk!

      • Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Hahahahaha. Don’t be a drip!

      • S.K.Graham
        Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        was there a rainbow? I only saw a robot and the building turn to ice…

        Assuming you were joking: lolol!!

        If not… what can I say… I’m one of those people who watches a magician’s act and treats each trick like a puzzle to solve. 🙂

        • Heber
          Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          “unweaving the rainbow” is conspicuously metaphorical. And yes, it was sarcasm. Great description!

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Thank you very much for your description.

      Yes, I thought that the video would probably make for better viewing than being in the actual audience.

      In any case, big smile:-) I loved it.

    • MadScientist
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      That sounds too complicated to me; I see no need for lasers at all unless it’s the light source for a super-bright LCD+DLP projector. Otherwise multiple laser raster scanners would be needed for the job (though that’s certainly not impossible). The building was chosen because the facade is already a pretty good screen – I doubt there is a need to attempt to compensate for anything. The windows can have paper taped to the inside so that they act more like the wall.

    • MadScientist
      Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      It looks like they’re not using laser raster scanners at all – simply a bank of projectors – probably DLP or LCD+DLP since that gives good brightness control + excellent black contrast. You only need to be aware of projector placement to minimize unwanted shadow spoiling the work and think a little about the 3D surface (and projector location) to distort the images so that they project correctly. Moving objects like flags can be almost totally ignored – simply ensure that they are not in a high-contrast portion of an image.

  5. Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I think it was this event:

    “LG marked the opening of IFA 2010 in style by unveiling a giant 3D media façade in Kulturbaruerei, the cultural heart of Berlin, to highlight the upcoming range of devices under the LG Optimus series label.”

    The word should be Kulturbrauerei (“Culture brewery”). The building was originally a brewery.

    I’m sorry but there is as yet no English article linked on Wikipedia.

    IFA is this event, and annual consumer electronics show held in Berlin:

  6. bobobobo
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Nothing amazing. It was too long, borring, unimaginative, with cliché sound effects. Art has to be something more than just technolgy.

    • Posted October 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      That’s not unweaving, man, that’s shredding the rainbow.

  7. Posted October 7, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The Californian projection is way better than the Berlin/LG one (see my link above). It also shows the rather shoddy building before and one can appreciate how the projection makes a medieval castle or french restaurant out of it.

  8. yesmyliege
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Lasers? Projectors? Way too complicated.

    Sympathetic harmonic generators opened up wormholes to subject-appropriate alternative universes, which were layered in and masked using Adobe MultiVerseShop.

    They already had this on first season Fringe. Yawn.

  9. Desnes Diev
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    It looks influenced by the show created by the actor and producer Robert Lepage for the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Quebec City, in 2008. It used movie projections upon building (and music, so beautifully arranged) to retrace the city history. It was so popular from the start that it is still organized every summer. It is in 3D now (at leat it was in 2011).

    For an overview: (French titles, sorry).

    Desnes Diev

  10. Randy Sherwood
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Here’s one my company did last year to promote their HumanKind philisophy:

    There’s a full video of it somewhere. I’ll post back if I find it.

  11. Eric
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I’d be fascinated to know where we have got to with moving holography.

    Using current laser technology, does it look as though there is any hope of ever producing genuine moving, 4D, images?

  12. Amelia
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know who created the LG Berlin Projection? What mapping vendor? And what agency did this for LG?

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