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GEEK SPEAK

TheBEHIND Plan THE CURTAIN CREATING THE PRODUCTIONS OF EAST CONFERENCE 2017 Each year as thousands of students are preparing to attend EAST Conference, working hard to master their program pitch and designing their booth to share and celebrate the work they’ve done all year long, the EAST staff is also working hard to make the experience one these students won’t soon forget.

depicted rising meters on a sound equalizer, and we saw an opportunity to incorporate animation into the logo while using an enhanced version of some technical skills we tried out on our Conference stage a few years ago, projection mapping. What we tried then, we “levelled up” for this year.

On the technical side of things, that includes designing shows for our general sessions that will really “wow” our guests. There is a great deal of work and planning that goes on behind the scenes. For this issue’s Geek Speak, we wanted to give you a “backstage pass” and show you a little bit of how we create our magic.

Projection mapping is the process of using projectors to distort an image on a physical object. The distortion actually makes the object look like it’s moving or changing. This allows us to turn essentially anything, a stage backdrop or even the side of a building, into a very large display. It allows for experiences you just can’t create with simple, standard projection (like large TV screens or the like).

digital mock-up to the final product, we were able to get very close to our original vision. The hanging panels are just plastic roof panels you can buy from any home improvement store. The objects we used for projection mapping were built with Coroplast, a corrugated plastic material usually used for outdoor signs. While projection mapping is versatile in the surfaces it will work on, we spent a lot of time selecting these materials, weighing a number of factors, including price, size and type of material. Some of the other materials considered were foam core, dry wall, MDF board (similar to plywood), oriented strand board (similar to particle board) and project fabric. In the end, we choose Coroplast because it is cheap, light and easy to cut and build with.

With that in mind, we designed the stage using 3D modeling software Blender to create a digital model and envision what everything would look like. As you can see by comparing the

For the digital effects we took the flat Conference logo and created a 3D version of it. We then used a special software called Resolume Arena 5 to create the projection mapping ef-

This year’s Conference theme was Level Up: EAST Mode. Our logo was selected from student submissions and featured heavily in how we branded Conference. As such, we wanted to have this logo be a prominent part of the stage productions. The logo 18

EAST QUARTERLY | www.EASTinitiative.org

Spring 2017 EQ  

The quarterly magazine of the EAST Initiative.

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