case study 2014 4 min read
Philipp Plein, Milan Fashion Week
Brussels-based AV company Visual Solutions used a mix of 14 disguise systems on one of the most spectacular fashion shows during Milan Fashion Week.
When fashion event production house Villa Eugenie knocked on Jo Pauly of Visual Solutions’ door, Pauly knew he would be up for an interesting challenge. Having built up a strong working relationship over the years with Villa Eugenie, AV consultancy & production management company Visual Solutions specialise in highly complex video productions – exactly the type of projects Villa Eugenie like to come up with.
It quickly turned out Pauly was right about the challenge, when Villa Eugenie laid out the plans for Philipp Plein’s S/S 2015 fashion show during Milan Fashion Week: creating a fully projected underwater world, plus a series of dresses that would be projected on as well. As soon as the location was confirmed, Pauly started drawing the set in Vectorworks and continued putting a team of people together to ensure the project could be delivered to the highest standard of quality.
Jo, who has used disguise for the past two years, says: “This was a challenging project in many ways. We were working together with the creative set building team to ensure the rock-like structure that formed the back wall for the catwalk was as true to life as possible. Every little nook, crack and cranny in the surface was reworked in Maya by my team. Plus, we were to make absolutely sure no shadows were cast on the models or the back wall. That means we carefully had to position the models on the catwalk in relation to projector placement.”
Jo used disguise to simulate the show for two reasons: firstly, the client would be able to give feedback and Pauly would be able to make changes straight away, continuing to build the show and working through the creative evolution of the project. Secondly, technical issues could be avoided far ahead of the install. Says Jo: “Things like audio, lights being in the way, where the audience will be and what their viewpoint is, shadows: those sort of things can easily be identified in the disguise simulator and dealt with before they become actual on-site problems. No alarms, and no surprises – it’s what the production team strive for and what the client should expect.”
Projecting perfectly on the knee-length, billowing white dresses was the most challenging part of the job. The twenty models wearing the same dress would move into their positions during the show’s finale, after which a variety of patterns were projected on the fabric. Jo mentions this was tricky, but he came well-prepared:
“I had an actual 3D foam model made of one of the catwalk models wearing the dress in question, so we could start working with that straight away. She was scanned and imported into disguise as a screen – doing it this way gave us the great results we were after. We used disguise to identify precisely where the models should stand for the projections to work best – that was quickly and easily done in the 3D stage simulator.”
disguise was used throughout the project and according to Pauly could especially help with visualising, warping, blending and calibrating the show. Using the disguise QuickCal feature set, allowing for very fast projector calibration, the dress projections could be realised much quicker than initially planned for, allowing time for perfecting details. By using 4×4pro systems, Visual Solutions were able to deal with the high volumes of high resolution content the show contained.
Says Pauly: “We really pushed the entire network of disguise systems we had to its maximum. It’s the powerhouse we needed and I wish we could’ve run the entire show on a 4×4pro alone for extra headroom. but it all worked fine regardless.” With its dual 10Gb/sec ethernet ports and capacity to push 32 HD layers, the 4×4pro is the flagship product of the disguise pro range.
Pauly reflects on the show: “We really thought this one might not be possible when we started out at first – that feeling of being challenged, plus having a crew of thirteen people -with no less than six different nationalities amongst them – was just such an amazing experience. The show was a tough one, but the know-how and video knowledge of Visual Solutions really helped to deliver this faultlessly. I cannot stress enough that if you are well prepared, you’ve already won half the battle – that’s the way we prefer to work, and so far, it has never let us down.”
- Content Producer
Tom Hemeryk, Pieter Vermeerbergen
- Production Manager
- Technical Direction for video
Jo Pauly, Visual Solutions
- disguise Workflow
Nils Porrmann, Richard Porter, Jo Pauly
- disguise operator
David Bajt, Nils Porrmann, Icarus Wilson-Wright. Projectionists: Jimmy Geelen, Anthony Toxé, Tim Lerat, Julien Dubois, Thomas Zaorski, Niel Beelen, Steven Covemaeker
- System Engineer
- Network Specialist