Panasonic projectors help Frameless ‘set art free’

When the creators of Frameless, the UK’s largest digital art experience, planned their ambitious project to ‘set art free’ at the 30,000 square meter venue in London’s Marble Arch, they knew their choice of technology partner for the projection technology would be crucial.

The ambition with the art project was to create an immersive experience and to excite and inspire visitors of all ages. Frameless will use more than 50 state-of-the-art projectors to elevate the traditional art experience to a whole new level, including the use of classical and contemporary music through 158 state-of-the-art surround sound speakers.

Cutting-edge techniques used in the galleries include mirrors and mirror-wrapped projectors to achieve the visual effect of infinity, six-sided projection to place visitors at the center of an almost spherical landscape of land, sea or city, and hemispherical translucent screens in a darkened room to create a labyrinth of art.

Selection round

To test the capabilities of the latest projectors on the market, Frameless, together with its integration partner and live event expert Creative Technology, organized a selection round with three leading projector manufacturers.

“The success of the project will depend on the quality of the immersive experience we will deliver,” said Simon Kentish, Chief Technology Officer at Frameless. “When we saw the Panasonic 3-Chip DLP projectors in action, they clearly proved to be leaders in image quality and reliability.”

Panasonic’s original pixel quadruple technology in their RQ22K and RQ35K projectors produces stunning 4K+ images from 20,000-30,500 lumens. The projectors deliver uniformity in both brightness and color performance, merging images seamlessly and avoiding distractions or smearing.

In addition to the immersive experience, Frameless wants the projected images to be easy to capture in video and images for social media. “The ability for visitors to share photos and videos of the spectacular projected art on social media was a key marketing consideration,” explains Simon. “Many of the projectors produced images that could not be recorded, but the Panasonic projector images looked even better on camera if possible.”

The other important consideration was reliability. With a construction time for the location of just over a year, time was short. AV equipment had to be installed while there was still a lot of construction material on site. In addition, the venue needed projectors that would continue to deliver spectacular images day in and day out for the high profile London attraction. The filterless design and the dustproof optical system together with the high-quality cooling system ensure that the projectors can be used for 20,000 hours of truly maintenance-free use.

Frameless also uses Panasonic’s MZ16 projection series, which delivers long-lasting brightness and excellent color performance at 10,000 lm (MZ10k), 13,000 lm (MZ13k) and 16,000 lm (MZ16k). This 3LCD technology provides images in vivid HD quality, the reliability of which is guaranteed by the liquid-cooled laser diodes and the sealed phosphor wheel that protects against dust ingress for long-lasting brightness.

The more than 50 Panasonic projectors deliver a total of 479 million pixels and 1 million lumens of brightness and vivid colors. Art on every centimeter of the room. Visitors are not looking at a photo, they are in the photo themselves, with every brushstroke, every splash of color, every moment of inspiration around them. They can experience truly fantastic image quality in four immersive visitor galleries; a fifth gallery is dedicated to corporate and educational events.

To create the incredible immersive effects all around, Panasonic Ultra Short Throw (UST) lenses are used on 80% of the projectors. These specialized lenses allow projectors to be hidden in ceilings so as not to distract from the immersive illusion, while still projecting at very sharp angles around the visitor, without shadows.

“Projection makers have pushed the boundaries of projectors to the limit, and the incredible capabilities of Panasonic projectors and periscope UST lenses have enabled us to create fully immersive experiences in both large (up to 9m high) and challenging spaces,” Simon said. “There is no greater pleasure for me than standing at the entrance to one of the galleries and seeing art lovers, families and children all participating in and enjoying the immersive experiences in the space. The joy on their faces is amazing and it is the combination of art, content creation, projection and sound that made it possible.”

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