Photo: Drawing and Manual
Japan - For two nights in October 2014 one of the largest projection mapping events in the history of Japan was realised, using the famous Kanazawa Castle in Ishikawa Prefecture as the event's historic backdrop. "The content of the projection mapping was conceived to be an enchanting digital art fantasy, combining sound and light," say organisers.

The event was part of the celebrations surrounding the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train service, which goes all the way to Kanazawa, as of March of this year.

The creative agency responsible for bringing it all together was Drawing and Manual. Creative director Seiichi Hishikawa and Art Director Yutaka Obara were able to draw on the talent of a large crew of inspired artists and craftsmen from a great number of different companies, including CENDO Inc., Invisible Designs Lab, Diorama and Radix Corporation among others.

During the three month preparation phase, the creators of the large scale spectacle spent countless hours to ensure their vision would become a tangible reality. The width of the scaffolding alone came to an impressive 140 meters. In order to better be able to study the intricate traditional roof structure, an exact miniature model of the Castle was printed using 3D printing technology.

The project creators used cutting edge real-time rendering technology including coolux Pandoras Box media servers to bring their vision to life, yet they also went to great lengths to incorporate traditional craftsmanship and the notion of things being "handmade".

"One of the most striking examples that reflect this approach is without doubt the traditional colouring procedure used on Japanese paper, which found its way into the content design.

Another unique feature of this event was the development of a body-sonic machine that would convert the event's soundscape into vibrations in a way that would make it easier for hearing impaired persons to fully experience the aural side of the event."

The music, especially composed for the event, deliberately used only human voices as instruments to create a powerful atmosphere. In order to maximise the effect of the multidimensional sound, the speakers were placed around the audience.

More than 50,000 people attended the two nights, during which they were inspired to appreciate the traditional castle of Kanazawa in completely new ways.

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