Russian Visual Artists (RVA), famous for their 2013 LED ice-rink in Gorki Park, have recently seen the opening of Vegas, a new shopping mall in Moscow that displays a dazzling amount of LED on both the exterior and interior of the building, all driven by d3. RVA worked on this colourful and energetic fixed install for approximately a year in various stages.
The project was brought to RVA through Philips Lighting, who had successfully worked with them before. Philips were already confirmed as Vegas’ LED supplier, and decided to present RVA’s prefered d3 approach to their client, Crocus Ltd.
Recognising the simplicity of the d3 production suite and several key features such as mapping, having flexible output options, the rapid development of the software and the possibility to easily build in an understudy in case of hardware failure, Crocus were quickly convinced of the benefits of using d3 and decided to go with the workflow that Philips and RVA suggested.
Ivan Ostroukhov, Production Manager for Russian Visual Artists, describes the main challenges of the project: “We needed to make sure we could provide the client with a cost-efficient system that could do all the things that were required. The install included over 30 screens of different shapes, sizes and resolutions, working with TV and camera signals, switching between individual screen and multi-screen video content, scheduling, and brightness control for the outdoor media facade. We carefully evaluated all the requirements to come up with the final solution, which definitely took some time.”
The second challenge was presented in the form of fail-safety. Ostroukhov elaborates: “We’ve built networks before that are fully operational, even when one of the servers goes down or is being removed for maintenance. We use SDI and DVI matrices for this which are automatically managed by d3. With a permanent install you want to make sure you have the back-up in place, and we’ve seen how well the d3 understudy system works.”
Lastly, the complexity of pixel density (with five different gap values) needed to be carefully considered. The client’s requirements were to have a single video for the entire exterior facade, meaning RVA had to develop content of more than 4k to be feed-mapped across a few outputs. Says Ostroukhov: “d3 hardware allows us to play a lot of video simultaneously including content with very large textures. It all worked very well. We settled for a three d3 system network: one is the master server, the second one acts as a slave, and one is an understudy. That’s all we needed – we really got to test d3 Net next to all the usual sequencing and programming we really love doing with d3, and we were very impressed with how it handles a multi-machine set up.”
Russian Visual Artists
Vlad Severtsev, Ivan Ostroukhov, Tamara Arefyeva, Fedor Vladimirov: Russian Visual Artists
Nils Porrmann, Luke Collins
3x d3 4U v2.5 (1x master, 1x slave, 1x understudy)
All from Philips Lighting
6x Datapath X4
1x Guntermann & Drunck DVI rack console
1x Lightware 12×12 DVI DL matrix
1x Lightware 8×8 3G SDI matrix
1x HP Gigabit with SFP switch
1x Kramer 1:12 distributor-amplifier