With Vancouver’s Cambie Street Bridge as the canvas and British Columbia’s annual salmon run as the content, projector maker Christie and integration firm Applied Electronics used projection mapping as the medium to honor Canada’s 150th birthday.
Content provided by Canada Wild Productions was displayed on the bridge using eight Christie 3DLP projectors. It was part of an attraction, “Uninterrupted,” that ran throughout the summer, celebrating the country’s milestone and focusing on the millions of salmon that migrate from the Pacific Ocean to their spawning grounds.
“The Cambie Street Bridge has a perfect viewing area where people can see down the length of the bridge and get the idea of a river,” says Betsy Carson of Canada Wild Productions in a Christie press release.
“We were looking at filming with five projectors in a 180-degree rig, which would allow us to bring the images over top of the audience and behind them on the pillars behind the playground area where they are viewing it from.”
Unlike many projection-mapping projects that use tailor-made, computer generated content, the Cambie Street Bridge project showed the natural world without creating the fish digitally and controlling their movement.
“The City of Vancouver has been extraordinary and has been enthusiastic about the project from the first time we showed the demonstration to them,” says Carson.
“They were open and willing to work with us to make this possible. During the demonstration, the chief engineer for the city watched 30 seconds of the video and said, ‘We’re in’.”
For Rainer Beyleveldt, who managed the project for Applied Electronics, this one stands out. “This is way brighter than I expected it to be and everyone did an awesome job. It was an awesomely cool project to work on with these people and with the Christie people. It was fun to have a part in this,” he said.
“People are quite moved by seeing something they imagined they would never see and it’s having quite an impact on people. There are cheers and clapping at the end of the show,” addsCarson. “I think this is a new way for Vancouver to participate in public art and we really hope projection mapping will become more prevalent within the city.”