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360 Projection for Coldplay’s Roundhouse American Idol Performance

Creative Technology (CT) were thrilled to be back on-site, supporting Coldplay with their spectacular performance of their new single ‘Higher Power’ for American Idol 2021 at the iconic Roundhouse in London, with an interesting twist on 360 projection mapping.

CT’s Project Manager, Jim Liddiard, received the brief to completely fill the inside of the Roundhouse with projection.

Working alongside CT’s Project Engineer, Will Harkin, the team conducted a projection study of the venue based on an old existing model of the space and came up with a unique bespoke solution. This method involved cross shooting both clockwise and anticlockwise to fill in any shadows and gaps whilst getting maximum light from every unit, fully optimising the value of each individual projector.

Following on from this, CT commissioned a LIDAR scan of the building allowing a more intricate projection study. A detailed 3D model was then built to give further information on projection position and shadow compensation caused by the complicated internal structure of the venue.

Once on-site, the team installed 37 projectors which consisted of: 14 RZ31k upstairs, 16 DZ21k downstairs, 4 RZ31k projecting onto the ceiling dome, and 3 DZ21k projecting onto the band. Once in place, the data was input into Photon media servers to line up the virtual projectors from the real environment. This flexible server solution allowed the projection team to add extra projectors onsite easily when requested last minute by the client.

This was a wonderfully unique project. We have often mapped the exterior of large buildings but rarely a full 360 from the inside out. The building’s uniform construction made it disorientating when trying to get your bearings and its internal metal structure presented challenges at every turn. Despite these challenges and the lack of any suitable projection surfaces we still managed to achieve a stunning result!” – Will Harkin, Project Engineer at CTUK.

As expected with projects of this calibre, they don’t come without challenges. Fortunately, we had an incredible team who made this work, coming up with solutions on the spot which were implemented without a hitch. The requirement for additional projectors went from a creative idea to a fully lined up reality in about 6 hours, which really is testament to the great team at Creative Technology who were armed and ready to prep and deliver the equipment to site so quickly and efficiently. These guys really are the backbone of what we do.” – Jim Liddiard, Project Manager at CTUK.