Merging's Ovation Powers A Brillant! Experience
Neon Museum’s new nighttime immersive show has 3D audio
Las Vegas: May 2018, The Neon Museum has created “Brilliant!”—an audiovisual immersion experience that uses technology advances to reanimate 40 monumental examples of the museum’s iconic vintage signs. Presented after dark in the Neon Museum’s North Gallery, “Brilliant!” was created by digital artist and designer Craig Winslow using projection mapping to arrive at a shared augmented reality experience. Earth Water Sky served as the system designer and integrator with audio and video servers supplied by Show Sage.
To guests immersed in the 30-minute experience, the unrestored, non-working and in some cases broken signs will appear to be suddenly re-electrified, as though by magic, before their eyes. Up to 50 guests at a time will be transported directly into Las Vegas’ history, where the static signs come to life while accompanied by music from some of the entertainment industry’s most storied performers. The sound design was by Stefan Broadley from 4th Street Recording Studios whose first challenge was how to mix the audio. “Officially it’s impossible to remix stereo into true 3D without the separate audio parts, but it wasn’t possible to get those, as the classic Vegas songs we picked had been recorded decades ago, and stereo files are all there is. But after doing a bunch of surround sound projects, I’ve developed some super sneaky tricks to separate stereo into multiple tracks. Fortunately I had a crack support team with Earth Water Sky, Show Sage, Independent Audio, and Merging all helping me install the software and map it to the audio hardware through Ovation to sync with the video, lighting, and computer controllers. With everything connected it was time for my first 3D mix, and the very first attempt blew my mind.”
“Brilliant!” utilizes 24 3D-sound speakers and eight projectors emitting a total of 80,000 lumens of light to create a 360-degree audiovisual experience. Two 20-foot climate-controlled towers, designed to resemble the classic Champagne-bubble cylinder from the old Flamingo Las Vegas hotel and casino, were constructed by noted sign company YESCO. They house the projectors, which are aligned at precise angles to cover the entirety of the North Gallery space. To create the projections used to give the impression the signs have been re-electrified, Winslow took a combination of flat photography, drone video, and 3-D photogrammetry, all used as references to recreate each sign, bulb by bulb, in Adobe Illustrator. He then used a process called structured light scanning to obtain a precise view of the projectors' output, before fine-tune warping the content to perfectly align to the actual surfaces—the bulbs, bent metal and broken neon tubes of the signs in the gallery. This process, known as projection mapping, aligns digital animations to the physical world, allowing signs that have not been illuminated for decades to shine once again.
“The addition of ‘Brilliant!’ to the Neon Museum’s roster of offerings further defines our role in sign collection, conservation, restoration, historic preservation, research and learning,” explained Rob McCoy, president and chief executive officer, Neon Museum. “This is truly a first. Nowhere on the planet has anyone attempted to create what we have launched at the Museum.”
John Humphries from Earth Water Sky decided first on the WATCHOUT solution and having contacted Show Sage for more detailed design, was introduced to the added bonus of the Ovation integration. Show Sage also assisted with the SDI signal conversion for the projectors and the wireless networking. John engaged Stefan Broadley to manage the music compilation, editing, mixing and Ovation programming and who added this thought after his experience; “3D music has a visceral immersiveness, and it feels alive as it swirls around you. Certainly there were howls of disappointment whenever it switched back to the original stereo track.”
Come to the Merging Technologies Booth at InfoComm 2018, C1719 and meet Stefan Broadley to find out more about Ovation and “Brilliant!”
Image Credits – The Neon Museum
Merging Technologies SA is a Swiss manufacturer with over 25 years of experience in developing groundbreaking, professional Audio and Video products for a wide range of entertainment and media industries. With a dedicated user base in the elite end of the music, film, television, mastering and performances industries, Merging is committed to developing product ranges with unrivalled quality and flexibility, no matter what the application. Merging builds tools for people who want more from their systems, have an inherent need to push boundaries, and believe that quality always comes first.
RAVENNA is a solution for real-time distribution of audio and other media content in IP-based network environments. Utilizing standardized network protocols and technologies, RAVENNA can operate on existing network infrastructures. RAVENNA is designed to meet the strict requirements of the pro audio market featuring low latency, full signal transparency and high reliability and is fully AES67 compatible. With a capacity of nearly 8 x MADI streams over a single Gigabit Ethernet link, it is also the first and only Layer-3 based IP audio protocol with full support for high-channel count DXD and DSD signals.
While primarily targeting the professional broadcast market, RAVENNA is also suitable for deployment in other pro audio market segments like live sound, install market and recording. Possible fields of application include (but are not limited to) in-house signal distribution in broadcasting houses, theatres, concert halls and other fixed installations, flexible setups at venues and live events, OB van support, inter-facility links across WAN connections and in production & recording applications ravenna.alcnetworx.com
Show Sage LLC is a leading provider of multi-channel audio and video solutions across North America. The company is the North American Premium Partner for Dataton, an authorized reseller for Merging Technologies, an authorized VAR for Barco Medialon and an authorized distributor for PIXIlab.
Additionally, the company provides purpose-build media servers in a range of form factors and performance profiles. For more information visit our website at showsage.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Neon Museum founded in 1996, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. It has been ranked No. 1 in Las Vegas Weekly’s list of “Twenty Greatest Attractions in Las Vegas History,” one of “Sin City’s Best Retro Sites” by MSN, “No. 1 Las Vegas Museum Sure to Entertain and Educate” by USAToday’s 10best.com, “One of the Top 10 Coolest Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do” by Forbes.com, one of the “Top 10 Historic Spots in Las Vegas” by Vegas.com; one of “15 Most Fascinating Museums in the U.S.” by VacationIdea.com; and earns a consistent 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor. On its 2.27-acre campus, the Neon Museum houses an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard (“boneyard” is traditionally the name for an area where items no longer in use are stored); the North Gallery, used mainly for education programs and special events; the new Boulevard Gallery outdoor exhibit and event space; and its visitors’ center, housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby. The museum collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art throughout downtown Las Vegas and one restored sign on view at the outdoor Fashion Show Plaza on the Las Vegas Strip. Public education, outreach, research, archival preservation and a grant-funded neon sign survey represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects. Both the Neon Boneyard and the La Concha Visitors’ Center are located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North in Las Vegas. For tour schedules and pricing information, visit neonmuseum.org
Craig Winslow has more than seven years of experience creating projects that blend the physical and digital world in meaningful ways. After graduating Cum Laude from Champlain college with a bachelor’s degree in multimedia and graphic design and a focus in 3D art and animation in 2010, Winslow worked as a 3D designer for JDK Design. There, he worked on digital design and production for Burton Snowboards and later became part of the Industrial Design team and worked on various projects for Chaco, Merrell, Xbox, Seventh Generation, Beats by Dr. Dre, Virgin Mobile and many others. In 2015, Winslow created a road trip adventure Kickstarter project called Projecting West, where he traveled for 15 days across the U.S. creating daily narrative light installations. More recently, he wrapped up a year-long job as Adobe Creative Resident, where he focused on a project called “Light Capsules,” creating a series of ghost sign projections that shine a light on history all around the world.
Earth Water Sky is a full-service audio-visual design group specializing in creative audio, video and lighting design solutions for entertainment and hospitality clients. Combining cutting-edge 3D audio, video mapping, lighting design, and show-control technologies to create dynamic immersive environments, Earth Water Sky is an authorized dealer and systems integrator for a wide range of leading audio-visual technology manufacturers.