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Barco - Daimler Truck North America at Hoover Dam

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Barco - Daimler Truck North America at Hoover Dam
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Iconic American landmark becomes giant pixel mapping screen

When Daimler North America executives explored ideas for maximizing the impact of their new Freightliner Inspiration Truck campaign – the fi rst licensed autonomous commercial truck to drive on a United States public highway – they honed in on a frequently traversed landmark representing another feat of engineering prowess: the Hoover Dam. At its launch event, the Inspiration Truck drove on top of the dam while a Barco-powered dynamic projection mapping appeared on its surface.

An adventure of massive proportions

Creating the projection mapping was naturally fraught with many challenges. The 420,000 sq ft surface featured numerous angles and curves, widening from bottom to top. One of the fi rst challenges was to locate the best position for the projection tower. After exploring several areas, including the shoulder of the bypass bridge and the base of the power plant, the production team fi nally settled on a site down river from the face of the dam. It was the safest location and positioned at the best angle from the dam.

With the projection tower located 2,500 feet away from the surface, the team has to use 7.5-11.2 zoom lenses to span the distance and ensure pristine image quality. Sixty Barco projectors were set-up in three banks, with six projectors required to create each image. All images were seamlessly blended to create a single 4592 x 2048 pixel image generating an astonishing 1.17 million lumens.

A seamless panorama of imagery

Creative Technology, a world-leading supplier of AV products and technical staging services, brought its expertise in video projection mapping and specialized software to warp and render the projected image onto the curved wall of the dam. “We’d tossed around the idea of doing a projection mapping on the Hoover Dam for several years, but had to wait for the technology to catch up so we could deliver a high quality show,” comments Graham Andrews, CEO of Creative Technology.

The ultimate show presented a series of stunning visuals, including Americana themes, tumbling concrete blocks, and Daimler’s truck promotion to deliver an emotional, immersive experience. The vibrant, true colors and high brightness lent a realism to the visuals that truly capitated the audience, creating a memorable occasion.

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