Record-Breaking Projection Mapping In Las Vegas
Garena marked the fourth anniversary of its mobile battle royale game “Free Fire” by partnering with Limelight Projection Mapping and WorldStage on a Guinness Book of World Records event at the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort on the night of August 19th. Limelight and WorldStage teamed to create a massive video display, which was projected onto the entire façade of The Club Tower of the Tropicana. It covered more than 60,000 square feet and featured more than 1.6 million lumens of light.
“Free Fire” is played on iOS and Android devices in a battle royale format with players seeking to survive on a remote island location. The Club Tower of the Tropicana was selected for the “Free Fire” celebration for its large white palette and surrounding open space – the perfect canvas for a magical celebration.
An artists collective that has created 3D projection mapped artworks and light installations worldwide for more than a decade, Limelight created the content for the event’s five-minute main show. It featured a unique combination of Limelight’s signature architectural mapping and “Free Fire’s” beloved game characters for a one-of-a-kind marriage of original 3D artwork and 3D video game design. The content delivery resolution was 3840 x 1800 pixels.
The main show was followed by a display of eight short artworks made especially for the event by Limelight Masterclass artists and Limelight in-house artists. The artworks were based on the theme of “Revival” after the long disruption by COVID-19.
There was a collective holding of breaths during the live “Free Fire” game play, as an attempt was made to establish a new world’s record. It succeeded when Limelight and WorldStage covered 46,733.65 square feet of The Club Tower with the game imagery, shattering the holder of the previous Guinness Book of World Records title by more than double and creating the largest projected video game display ever.
“Being an artists collective charged with creating artwork on this scale, it was refreshing to collaborate with the professionals at WorldStage, whom we could trust to execute the technical side,” says Scott Hallock, Director of Operations, North America for Limelight Projection Mapping. “This was our first big post-COVID project, and it required a lot of people and a lot of 20-hour days. WorldStage’s awesome crew matched our professional intensity to get the job done and set the world record!”
The project began with Limelight making a photogram of The Club Tower from which a 3D model was created. “All the artwork was created in 3D with a perspective shift for the audience,” Hallock explains. “We treated the Tropicana like a three-dimensional surface, not a screen.”
Once WorldStage had the details on the projection surface, the team began to tackle a number of challenges. “The temperature of Las Vegas in August was a big concern as was the need for a bright enough image to compete with the screens and architectural lighting on the Strip. Once the team identified the number of individual raster areas needed to create the overall image, it required us to supply a variety of long-throw PJ lens sizes to accommodate the different throw distances from the top to the bottom of the building,” says Michael May, VP/Account Management at WorldStage. “That was an interesting aspect of the project that illustrated just how massive the surface was.”
“Our Project Manager Donovan James did a site survey to determine appropriate projector positions, which proved to be the parking lot of the Tropicana where we built a custom scaffold structure to support 52 Barco UDX 4K32 laser projectors.” May explains. “The team worked night shifts (for obvious reasons) and placed solar blankets over the projectors during the day to protect them from the heat.”
“Las Vegas is a brutal environment in August – it was a challenge for WorldStage to keep the projectors cool, and we had two days of unexpected high winds when it was hard to keep the covers on,” Hallock notes.
The WorldStage team calculated that 13 image areas, comprised of four projectors each, all blended together, would be needed to map the entire side of The Club Tower. “Although brightness was initially a big concern,” May notes that “Our team’s calculations on the quantity of projectors needed were spot on and the imagery held up amazingly well against the brightness of the Las Vegas strip. As you can see in the drone shots, the projected content matched the brightness of the surrounding area perfectly.”
“There’s a lot of ambient light in Las Vegas,” acknowledges Hallock. “But WorldStage built the brightest projection system ever in the US.”
WorldStage also brought in three air-conditioned mini mobile units to house 10 disguise vx 4 media servers and routing to drive the content, plus power and a small audio system.
At WorldStage Donovan James was the Project manager, Raul Herrera and Dan Block the disguise Operators and Programmers, and Tom Roland the Video Engineer.
“We knew that Limelight could pull off a project of this size and scope,” says May, “and the content they created was absolutely stunning. Our WorldStage team also did an amazing job; the entire process went really smoothly with no ‘oh, my gosh’ moments.”
“I couldn’t have been happier with the way everything worked out!” Hallock concludes.