Projection mapping has been refined and demonstrated several times and places around LA in recent years, notably a holiday light show at the Americana shopping center that turned an ordinary light-colored building into a fantasia of pine-decked windows flecked with snow, with holiday elves scurrying in and out of the windows and across the facade. The display planned for next week will turn the revered LA City Hall into a phantasmagoria of pulsating neon colors that turn into a cascade of fountain spray that ascends from the park's fountain.
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Excerpt: "On New Year's Eve, around midnight, City Hall will disappear.
First, the iconic 85-year-old art deco skyscraper will morph and vibrate with neon patterns, as its windows, walls and edges extend out into the night sky like a trippy hallucination: Electric Daisy Carnival meets Eric Garcetti. And then -- poof! -- the building will be gone. In its place: Grand Park's Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain blown up to a few times its normal size, shooting brightly colored bursts and streams of water into the air.
No one will get wet, but everyone watching will forget all about the dinky disco ball that slunk down a pole three hours earlier on the other side of the country, overshadowed by thousands of square feet of LED advertisements on every side.
To ring in 2014, downtown's Grand Park will host N.Y.E. LA, a free event expected to attract 15,000 revelers to a closed-off 12-block area from Hope Street to Spring Street. Starting at 6 p.m., partiers can enjoy food trucks, bands, DJs, face painters, sculptures, sign spinners, a dance performance, a cash bar and a photo booth that gives you the option of adding photos of the goofy faces you just made with your friends to an ongoing slideshow being projected onto the Hall of Records.
All this will be awesome, sure, but what organizers are hoping will be the centerpiece -- the part that will go viral the next morning and ignite civic pride among all Angelenos -- is the phantasmagoric 10-minute 3D show, which will prominently feature Grand Park's fountain. The show uses projection mapping, a process that turns objects -- in this case City Hall -- into a display surface for animated video projection.
'As a shared experience, it's like fireworks on steroids,' says project manager Jonathan Keith, who has been working with a team of local visual effects artists, animators, programmers, engineers and production designers since the beginning of October. The show itself will make use of a 20-foot stack of five 40,000-lumen projectors, each of which weighs 500 pounds and can convey brighter and sharper images than any other projector in existence."
London demonstration of the projection mapping technology LA will use on New Year's: