Welcome to the Future: A Case Study on Projection Mapping
Thursday, June 21, 2018
By Diane Pereira
On 8 May, 2018, at their Calgary hangar, WestJet honchos took the wraps off their long awaited 787 Dreamliner, revealing new livery and a new logo, plus a stylish new business class — a first for WestJet’s customers and crew. The new fleet will allow the Canadian airline to offer flights to far-away destinations such as Asia and Australia as well as more parts of Europe.
The launch went off seamlessly, but for the Go2 team, it was the culmination of weeks of hard work. WestJet came to ILEA member, Go2 Productions, looking for a turnkey solution for an event taking place after their annual general meeting at the WestJet Campus in Calgary. The focus of this event was to launch a new livery design onto their recently acquired 787 Dreamliner planes and to create internal and public excitement for the roll out of these brand-new aircrafts. Because the plane/livery was not ready yet, the airline was searching for a unique solution to be able to feature this announcement. But how do you showcase a new plane without it being there? It was up to Go2 Productions to pull off this grand illusion using 3-D projection mapping on the massive hangar doors.
For the Vancouver-based production team, this was a project that fulfilled a long-held dream: to work with one of Canada’s leading aviation companies for a launch that would take place in their home country. The projection mapping specialists were used to producing spectacular content enhanced by cutting-edge technology, and this project had all the attributes needed to make for a truly unforgettable live experience.
Along with showcasing the inside of the plane, and new livery design, WestJet wanted to communicate to their staff attending the event where their inspiration stemmed from, and how that translated into the new sleek cabin and livery design. As storytellers and content producers first, the Go2 team was excited to produce four brand animations that that focused on the Canadian-inspired textiles, materials and architecture of the plane. Since the interior of the plane was inspired by the Northern Lights, Go2 was able to create several stunning scenes featuring the aurora borealis.
Determining the Tech Specs
To pull off this experience, Go2 used four Christie 30K projectors, WATCHOUT media server and two lighting rig setups to extend the experience past the projection and into the crowd. With the technical specifications figured out, there were a couple of challenges to overcome. The hangar doors themselves were built with four large panel doors, all on different levels, which allowed the hanger doors to open/close. Because the surface the team would be projecting onto had different levels, Go2 had to add a projector for each individual panel to avoid edge blend issues on-site.
The event would also be taking place during the day (not ideal conditions for projection mapping), and the hanger doors had several windows along with numerous larger windows at the back of the hanger. The back windows had to be carefully blacked out, and the hanger door windows had to be double layered with block-out vinyl.
The End Result
Building on Go2’s reputation for creating signature media environments, they knew they wanted to push the launch experience in new and meaningful directions for an unparalleled sensory experience. With over 1,000 people in attendance, including the media and WestJet management, and the reveal being live-streamed on Facebook Live to thousands of their fans, the event had to go off without a hitch — and that it did. The launch was a seamless experience that perfectly celebrated WestJet’s bold expansion and revolutionary new journey.
AV gear and technicians were supplied by ILEA member Freeman Audio Visual.
Watch the video of WestJet’s projection mapping reveal.
Diane Pereira is a writer and editor with several years’ experience. She received her master’s in publishing from Simon Fraser University and is currently the marketing and communications manager for Vancouver-based projection mapping specialists Go2 Productions.