For the mounts, TVTi had to work with a local fabrication company to make the custom brackets. Some of the panels sit flat on the wall while others extend out as far as 3 feet. The 21-inch units weigh 25 pounds while the 55-inch panels are 80 pounds. The entire project from design to completion was done in one month… a very compressed timeframe. TVTi spent about three to five days on-site doing the installation.
4K Content Makes the Difference
M&R was bought in to do the design, but what about the content?
“We don’t do content,” admits Welles. “The only guidance we gave ADi was that the content had to be Chicago-themed. We had no idea what they were going to come up with.”
In relatively quick fashion, ADi created a 5-minute 4K content video depicting various scenes of Chicago, from el trains to Navy Pier to Wrigley Field. The video content uses the contours of the flat panels to add an extra 3D-like dimension. The ADi video is supplemented with about 20 minutes of 4K content taken from YouTube “just to keep it fresh,” says Welles.
“At M&R Development, we wanted to set ourselves apart from our competitors by embracing technology and injecting the unexpected,” says Rossi. “A custom animation celebrating Chicago was absolutely in line with our vision for a modern residential complex, and ADi delivered.”
“Most clients would have been satisfied with just running a $200 DVD as the content and it would have looked the same as everyone else, but this developer wants the building to stand out as a high-tech, luxury location,” says Welles. “M&R has always been the leader in putting the latest and greatest technology into their projects, and 73 East Lake is no different. They know that this installation will be a conversation piece and something potential residents will remember when looking for a high-end residence to rent.”
He adds that M&R recently told him that even though they had high expectations for the project, TVTi had “blown them away.”
The building just opened its doors last week so it’s too early to determine if it is successful in attracting tenants. In fact, the giant window that exposes the digital signage to the street still is covered. Welles says the graphics will be eye-catching not only to passers-by on foot, but also from passing cars. The building’s location, near Millennium Park, restaurants and theaters, is ideal to attract professionals and CEOS, according to Welles.
Six-Figure Project in Total
In all, the project was well over six figures, with about one-third of that cost going for the content creation. Both TVTi and ADi worked directly under contracts with M&R. Welles says he has a special sense of satisfaction to refer a partner like ADi to one of his clients and have the project come out so splendidly. He anticipates a fruitful future partnership with ADi.
Ironically, Welles says the biggest challenge of the project was not a technical one. “We could not get the union workers on the job to stop watching the video. At any given time, there were dozens of workers standing around staring at it,” he chuckles.
ADi was founded in Portland, Ore. in 1996, shortly after the release of the first “Toy Story” movie. The animation firm originally worked entirely with animated storytelling for the illustration of business concepts, and has since expanded to incorporate 2D and 3D animation, product visualization, animated interactive experiences and human experience visualizations into its repertoire. The firm serves a list of high-profile clients nationwide and has grown to become a leader in the field of digital animation.