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San Francisco Ballet Opening Night Gala

PLSN Staff • May 2019Video Production • May 3, 2019

Immersive relied on Modulo Pi’s media servers for smooth and precise projection mapping. Photos courtesy Immersive

Ballet Company Turns to Immersive’s Sean Mason for Dazzling Projections

For the 86th San Francisco Ballet Opening Night Gala, the lavish Rotunda of the San Francisco City Hall was flooded with colorful imagery as well as patrons in their finest attire. A sold-out and turn-away crowd of 900 lovers of the arts made their way to the gala on Jan. 23. The 2019 Repertory Season at the San Francisco Ballet would open two days later with a production of Don Quixote.

Immersive, a visual production company, handled projection mapping duties for the event. Hosted underneath the dome at San Francisco City Hall, the projection mapping relied upon Modulo Kinetic, an integrated media server solution designed by Modulo Pi.

The rotunda comes alive with textures

‡‡         An Immersive Assist

Immersive was in charge of creating a neat projection mapping and lighting install for the event, titled “This is Passion.” Sean Mason, Immersive’s founder and CEO, notes how “the projection was built to inspire, while incorporating elements of the San Francisco ballet, such as silhouettes of dancers, and slow- motion footage from the performances.”

To project onto the 50-by-70-foot (WxH) arch of the Rotunda, Immersive made a two-projector blend using Christie Boxer 30K video-projectors. The production company chose the Modulo Kinetic media server solution to host media and power the projection mapping.

“Projection mapping is growing in popularity in the United States, and a media server like Modulo Kinetic makes it more affordable, accessible, and executable” says Mason. “This is an important advancement to making sure the art form of projection mapping is showcased and appreciated in the U.S.”

One Modulo Kinetic Designer and one Modulo Kinetic VNode server were used for the opening night gala. Looking to map out the intricate details of the San Francisco City Hall architecture with a high degree of precision, Immersive could rely on Modulo Kinetic’s advanced capabilities including the XMap feature: “The XMap functionality allows to map out individual areas of the architecture, and make the precision of the mapping more exact to the irregular shape of the surface,” says Mason.

Production Company Immersive provided the gear

‡‡         Testing the Projections

Teams of Immersive came well-prepared to the San Francisco City Hall, having performed show study and simulation in Modulo Kinetic prior to the event. “The ability to build the show before arriving at show site is incredibly valuable” adds Mason. “We even 3D print the surface and project through Pico projectors to test the content and setup. This way, when we arrive to show site, all we have to do is plug in projectors and map the surface. This install took less than 2 hours to execute on site.”

Working on site, the Immersive team could easily achieve the last-minute fine-tuning: “Modulo Pi’s remote warp function allowed us to hide the media server setup out of guest view while still being able to wirelessly warp and map the surface from two floors below, where the media server was stored.”

Following the success of this new architectural mapping, Sean Mason plans on further working with Modulo Pi’s all-in-one media server: “I’m using Modulo Kinetic for all my projects involving video projection or LED walls. It’s the most robust and bulletproof media server out there.”

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Patrons fill the colorful hall

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