Computer Graphics World

JUNE 2010

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Projection/Digital Sets n n n n O’Neill says. Te spots of light he had created to represent houses below suddenly needed to become fully rendered buildings. “So, I took the London model I had and urgently added a lot of stuff. When I knew the back of a build- ing didn’t exist and they would fly around it, I turned the building around.” Fortunately, Maxon had released a new, faster version of Cinema 4D. “It massively sped up anti-aliasing, and when you have 200,000 buildings, you have a lot of anti- aliasing,” O’Neill says. “I rendered London in my office on two four-core Mac Pros running Windows Vista in two and a half weeks.” Projecting the Future “Peter Pan” opened in Kensington Park in London last year, and headed to the US in 2010. “Tis was probably the best feeling I’ve had from doing any job ever,” O’Neill says, and describes sitting in the audience watching the play for the first time. “During the first 15 or 20 minutes, the children are in the nursery in London and the audience doesn’t see any- thing move or change in the images. Just twin- kling stars. Ten whoosh, off they went flying over London for four or five minutes, and we got a standing ovation for the projection.” The “Peter Pan” stage design crew built and rendered all the 3D models for the projections, including the jungle and underwater imagery shown here, using Maxon Cinema 4D. Dudley estimates that he uses projection now for about a third of his projects, and he believes it helps capture audiences raised on video games, visual effects blockbusters, and animated films. “Actors say they want bare boards, and I have a passion for minimal inter- ference from the design,” Dudley says. “But, audiences like spectacle. Critics always precede ‘spectacle’ with ‘mere,’ as if there were no con- tent in visual art. It rankles me and makes me want to do more visual stuff. To people who like to live inside visual interfaces, the immer- sive world of color and light is deeply satisfy- ing. Tere is content there.” Tus, you can expect this much-sought-af- ter designer to push the state of this art. His next adventure involving video projection will be stage design for Tomas Hardy’s “Under the Greenwood Tree,” which his wife will direct. “Projection is the tool I most want to devel- op,” Dudley says. “I’ve always wanted to create a feeling of magical depth, the dream space. Te actor is in our space, able to talk to the audience, and then the dream space is upstage. Video al- lows me to do that. Tere is a cost involved, so I have to sell it to the producers each time.” But, really, who could resist flying over the rooftops of London with Peter Pan? n Barbara Robertson is an award-winning writer and a contributing editor for Computer Graphics World. She can be reached at June 2010 21

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