Laser projectors from Digital Projection’s TITAN and M-Vision ranges brought unprecedented projection mapping power to the triumphant return of the Austria for Life benefit concert on Saturday 29th April.
The 2023 show, which raised money for projects benefiting underprivileged children and young people, celebrated Austria for Life’s comeback after a hiatus in 2022. It was broadcast live on ORF 1, the main public TV channel in Austria, and featured a spectacular video-mapped show on the façade of the 18th-century Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna – a mapping canvas equivalent to 11 million pixels – courtesy of Vienna-based projection specialist 4youreye.
“We love to project on historical buildings – we have been involved in projection mapping on Vienna City Hall, St Stephen’s Cathedral, the Natural History Museum, and now Schönbrunn Palace,” explains Gerald Herlbauer, owner and CEO of 4youreye Projektionsdesing & -technik GmbH, who handled the installation of the projectors, projection mapping, broadcast audio playback, and media server operation for the two-hour show, which took the form of a musical play about Austria’s history, with a special emphasis on the role played by the Schönbrunn Palace. “I think [Austria for Life 2023] was the first time anyone has ever projected anything with this much power on the palace.”
A key requirement for Herlbauer was for the projection mapping to stand out on television while also not breaking the bank. To meet this brief, he specified seven Digital Projection TITAN 37000 and two M-Vision 23000 projectors – combining the unparallelled, ultra-bright (37,000 WUXGA lumens) 3-Chip performance of the former model with the exceptionally powerful (23,000-lumen) yet budget-friendly package offered by the 1-Chip M-Vision range.
“You usually need lots of high-power projectors to achieve the brightness which is the minimum requirement to have these images look good on television,” he says, “and this often means a higher budget for the projectors, which the client is often not willing to pay.” However, the TITAN-led projection package chosen for Austria for Life 2023 delivered plenty of bang for its buck, being “the first time in the Austrian broadcast that the projection mapping looked very good and was not too dark,” according to Herlbauer.
All seven TITAN projectors were used in portrait mode, five of them being placed in a single structure 90m away from Schönbrunn Palace, and the remaining pair used within the stage to illuminate the side walls of the palace (left and right).
Video content for Austria for Life 2023 was created by Media Apparat and Modulux, with the projectors supplied by Digital Projection’s local distribution partner, ETHA International. 4youreye paired the nine projectors with two AV Stumpfl PIXERA media servers (one main and one for back-up), with a total of eight WUXGA outputs.
In addition to praising the TITAN and M-Vision projectors, as well as ETHA for their prompt supply, Herlbauer praises AV Stumpfl’s PIXERA media server platform, which was an integral part of the impressive set-up. “We were able to save a lot of time thanks to PIXERA,” says Herlbauer, whose team were able to make use of some of the latest PIXERA features to realise the projection mapping. “The reliability and performance of this platform are just great and we are looking forward to using PIXERA in the future.”
Despite the challenges posed by time pressures – 4youreye had just three hours a day for seven days to get the projection mapping perfect, and Herlbauer was even forced to make adjustments during the live show – Herlbauer is satisfied with his work. “It was an intense week,” he reflects, “but in the end it was worth it: the result was a spectacular live show with a lot of actors, singers, horses, carriages, bands and other performers bringing to life Austrian history while raising money for young people.”
The organisers of Austria for Life were equally impressed by the captivating visuals and the performance delivered by Digital Projection’s class-leading projection technology, Herlbauer concludes. “The client knows us and we once again proved ourselves worthy of their trust with this high-power and high-quality projection,” he says. “The projectors have a super-bright output and very good colour accuracy, and they were rock-solid in the performance.”
Photo credits: 4youreye / Modulux / Mediaapparat / fotoschuster.at
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