To celebrate Copenhagen Culture Night, the National Museum of Denmark teamed up with No Parking Production to present an extravagant show mapped across the facade of the museum. Using WATCHOUT multi-display softwareteamed with eight projectors, No Parking brought the 41 by 12 meter building to spectacular life. Tolkien’s world was chosen as the theme, reflecting the museum exhibition running at the time. The goal was to pull out all the stops and create a sparkling visualisation of Gandalf’s dragon fireworks for the anticipated 10 000 visitors during the evening. The visual experience starts in 1940s London, the period during which J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his Lord of the Rings chronicles. From here, the building was transformed into a magical scene from The Hobbit, until, with the sudden appearance of the wizard Gandalf, the fireworks begin.
The culmination is a giant fiery dragon flying across the night sky – all projected on the facade of the museum. With its enormous wings, the dragon flies directly towards the audience spewing fire and seeming to set the whole museum alight. “You could actually hear the audience gasp,” says Kasper Henriksen, No Parking.
For the projection mapping, No Parking began by making precise measurements of the facade to ensure the graphics would fit the building’s architecture with 100% accuracy. The overall WATCHOUT imagery consists of eight 1920×1200 pixels. The visual universe and the sound was created from scratch by the team at No Parking. Video silhouette recordings of Tolkien, Gandalf and all the hobbits were filmed in No Parking’s inhouse chromakey studio, using the whole team of No Parking as actors – including the office dog, Zumma! The graphics used in the production are a mixture of Photoshop backgrounds animated in After Effects, with the dragon itself animated in 3D.