Nov 26

Repurposing architecture with animation ‘Illuminique’ at Westfield Mall SF

I have written in the past in my Motion Comic Magic posts where I talk about re-purposing artwork from comics and books into animation, but today’s post is about re-purposing architecture with animation using video/architectural mapping. Basically a high-tech technique in which video is seamlessly projected on unusual surfaces to wrap it in animation and visuals.They have been using this technique in the last decade years for planetariums and for theme park shows like this one at Disneyland in Anaheim CA…

Even some home holiday light shows are using this technique since it allows you to do a lot more then just flashing a string of lights on and off. So…

Last night I headed into San Francisco not to shop, but to experience all the holiday decorations, spirit and displays. By chance I saw a sign for a new holiday show: Illuminique  at Westfield Mall a.k.a San Francisco Center. The mall was open late for Black Friday and so I headed up to the top floor to check it out.

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When I arrived at 9:10 pm there was Christmas music playing and a ‘screen saver’ of video outlined the architecture of the historical Emporium dome that was re-built after the 1908 earthquake from the previous 1896 one. There were a few variations of visuals that changed every few songs.

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The schedule for Illuminique is 6pm to 8:30pm (running on the half hour), but I guessed that since the mall was open late they would just keep running the show as well. So I walked around a bit then found a nice chair to sit in and waited to see what would happen at 9:30pm.

Sure enough the 4 min show started as I expected. The show transforms the dome into a whimsical mechanical music box with the architectural elements open and close like a coo coo clock. The animation was done with CGI 3D images.
when projected CGI animation transforms the historic dome into a whimsical mechanical musicbox.

Some of my photos had the flash on and so the actual show will look a bit darker and richer.

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illuminique 2011 12Pretty neat stuff and a great way for them to re-purpose  the classic space in a new way. It might not be worth a special trip just for this holiday show, but there are museums (Cartoon Art Museum, Moma, MoAD, Jewish Contemporary, CA history society), Yerba Buena Gardens, shopping and restaurants all right off the BART line to make the day special and meaningful along with this unique show.

The show was created by:

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