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Epson Laser Projectors Shine at Indiana Center for Performing Arts

Published: September 14, 2023

Blockhouse Studios, a bespoke multimedia production company, leveraged 12 Epson EB-PU2220B 20,000-lumen large-venue laser projectors as part of a permanent projection-mapping display system to light up the Carter Green Palladium in Carmel, Ind.

Per a statement, the first projection-mapped art installation, “EOS: The First Dawn,” by Blockhouse, launched on Aug. 31. Here, it walked visitors through a serene and compelling visual experience with projection mapping and illuminated effects. Inspired by the classical temple architecture of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Blockhouse Studios embraced the Palladium’s foundational influence for “EOS: The First Dawn.”  As a result, it kept the Palladium at the forefront of design when combining inspiration from centuries-old architecture with a modern projection experience.

Enhancing the Storytelling Experience

According to Epson, the colors and content transform the building with mesmerizing projection, immersing the audience in the story of the three children of Titan: Selene, the goddess of the moon flying across the sky; Eos, the goddess of the dawn summoning the sunrise in her enchanted gown; and Helios, the joyous rising sun god. The permanent projection system also lights up the 151,000-square-foot Palladium with 240,000 lumens of brightness from the Epson EB-PU2220B projectors.

“So much goes on behind the scenes for a project like this; from concept and design to animation and post-production, to actual onsite mapping and rigging of the projectors,” says Kevin Winkler, owner, Blockhouse Studios. “Our team worked for months on this project. We wanted to create a visually stimulating experience that would blow viewers away. We [also] focused on next-level cinematic detail and storytelling beyond what is typically expected of outdoor entertainment in a very intricate web of elements and design.”

He then adds, “Every piece of content was carefully thought out and created using our own in-house special effect tools along with real actors and green screens to truly bring the story to life.”

Achieving Projection Mapping on A Large Scale

Winkler adds, “In addition to all of our hard work, it required technology that could reproduce the content how we intended it to be viewed. With bright colors and sharp details to ensure the building’s architecture was highlighted, a story was told, and viewers were engaged on many levels. We wanted that ‘wow factor.’ And the Epson projectors delivered at this massive scale.”

In late 2022, the city of Carmel and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission (CRC) approached Blockhouse Studios to create a one-of-a-kind, permanent viewing system for architectural cinema at the Carter Green Palladium. Per the venue, this cinema is a state-of-the-art 1,500-seat concert hall and home of the Center for the Performing Arts. A custom-made, audiovisual system, built and named by Blockhouse Studios, the “Pallidiscope” thus needed projectors that could deliver an immense amount of brightness with vibrant colors. The projectors also needed the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.

“The CRC is excited to present this innovative projection experience with the City of Carmel and Blockhouse Studios,” remarks Henry Mestetsky, executive director, Carmel Redevelopment Commission.

He then observes, “Combining custom cinematography techniques with the latest projection technology from Epson, Blockhouse Studios created something truly magical. And we look forward to sharing it with the Carmel community and those visiting.”

A Visual Success

Powered by 12 Epson EB-PU2220B projectors, the Palladiscope takes traditional content viewing beyond a screen and onto the physical architecture of the Palladium. Winkler explains further, “As a permanent install, we knew we needed to approach the system design in a different way than other outdoor architectural projection projects, which are almost always temporary installations. To that end, we developed the Palladiscope system to interface seamlessly with the existing control systems, including lighting, scheduling, audio and more. To ensure the system is robust and easily serviceable, we consciously avoided custom software and hardware.”

According to Epson, the Mad Mapper software controls the projector content. Additionally, the team mounted each projector in a Tempest Cyclone enclosure. These enclosures’ design help large-format video projectors deliver between 20,000 to 50,000 lumens, in virtually any climate type. The state-of-the-art Tempest Cyclone enclosures thus ensure the projectors always operate at peak performance.

The Tempest Cyclone enclosures are on the roofs of the James and Tarkington buildings, adjacent to the Palladium. Moreover, there is a custom-designed technology room that houses the server that controls and sends the video content to the projectors.

“The amount of time, talent and effort that went into this project is remarkable,” adds Ramzi Shakra, senior product manager, Epson America, Inc.

He then continues, “On a much smaller scale, Blockhouse Studios built a 3D printed model of the Palladium for Epson’s InfoComm 2023 booth, projection mapping behind-the-scenes footage onto it. Now, to see it in real life at its actual massive scale; it is nothing short of amazing and we are [ecstatic] to be part of it.”

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