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Projection Studio Wows Edinburgh Tattoo Crowds

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • August 10, 2013

EDINBURGH, UK – Ross Ashton and The Projection Studio are again “wowing” the crowds at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with giant projections mapped onto the castle wall as soon as dusk falls. Chief executive/producer is again Brigadier David Alfrey. This year’s theme, “Our Wonderful World,” highlights Scotland’s natural beauty.

More details from The Projection Studio (

Ashton – who confirmed a new three-year contract for designing the Tattoo’s projections – comments, “I am absolutely delighted to be back at Edinburgh and working on another world class Tattoo. It is always an honor and this year’s brief brought new and exciting challenges to the visual equation.”

Ashton and his team worked with original sources produced by a selection of new and emerging creative talents studying at the City of Glasgow College. The students were commissioned by the Tattoo to create a selection of the materials that Ashton could then use to remodel into the specific scrolling projection artwork needed for the PIGI projectors.

The images cover an area about 85 meters wide along the castle walls. Its dark brown surface is difficult for projections – however bright – but the three PIGI 6K projectors fitted with double rotating scrollers met the challenge.

White Light supplied the PIGIs and the scrolls are all fully loaded with film produced by Ashton.

The images from three machines are soft-edged together to form one large image. Projectors one and two are at the same level, with projector three slightly lower to cover the right hand edge of the castle wall, which slopes away down the hill.

Ashton’s favorite pieces of the show include the visuals he produced from scratch for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) band from the Republic of Korea, whose performance is themed “Spring.”

Earlier this year, Ashton visited Seoul, extensively photographing the Gyeong-Bok Palace focusing on its architectural detail and artworks. He worked some of this into the projection art for this act.

For the Mexican Marching Band and Mariachi Dancers and their ‘Day of The Dead’ performance, Ashton took a plethora of traditional Mexican Day of The Dead celebration images and combined them with modern and more abstract interpretations created by the students – to great effect.

Another favorite is the “Ice Palace” mapped projection for the Mongolian Army “Winter” section.

“Having access to the student’s work brought a new and vibrant dimension on which I could draw and merge and integrate my own work and ideas for the program,” he comments.

Ashton and Steve Larkins produced the PIGI films and the projectors were programmed and are being run on an OnlyCue system by Karen Monid. The projection technician on site is Michael Barry, another Projection Studio regular.

The show features a cast of nearly 1,000 and will be enjoyed by more than 217,000 spectators throughout August. The action takes place on the Esplanade down below the castle walls in the center of the tattoo’s new amphitheatre.

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