FRAY Studio Video Design
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James Bond at Spyscape

We were asked by Curious Space to join them in developing a room about James Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5 for Spyscape in New York.

The initial concept called for the room to be filled with parts of the DB5 as if it had been blow up like a Cornelia Parker instillation with each part of the car projection mapped with iconic scenes from James Bond movies edited together in a dream like sequence.

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The project presented three major challenges. The first was the time line was short, 3 months from initial conversation to opening with Christmas thrown in the middle. The second; the sheer volume of James Bond content available to us; there are 24 James Bond movies totalling 52 hours and 56 minutes. The final challenge was geometry, the DB5 is an entirely curved object with almost no straight lines meaning a lot of polygons resulting in a complex UV Unwrap and line up.

The room the car parts are in is a holding space before people move on to see the real vehicle. We wanted to activate peoples memories of the car and the iconic moments it has featured in so with the help of EON we began to comb though the films identifying moments of action as well as moments of stillness.

Next we had to sift through the films to find which types of content would work wrapped around the cars and which wouldn’t.

Due to the shortness of time, in parallel to the creative process ran a technical one: we had to establish a design for the space, get that modelled, unwrapped and built into a disguise project all while making sure between us, Curious Space and Spyscape that the car parts could be built, delivered and installed on time and on budget.

Jonathon Lyle, a long time collaborator of ours began a projection study while Dandelion and Burdock began the complex process of unwrapping the cars in a way that would allow easy animation and editing on their surfaces.

Once both the creative and technical part of this process has been completed we need to go though the edit and fit each clip specifically onto the car part. Using NDI from NewTek allowed us to preview compositions in After Effects in real time in the Disguise visualiser meaning no tiresome back and fourth with renders to make sure all was working correctly.

Content overlaid on the unwrap in After Effects

Content overlaid on the unwrap in After Effects

Content seen live in Disguise via NDI

Content seen live in Disguise via NDI

Finally we spent a very intense week on site commissioning the projector convergence, line up and content. This involved a very long process gradually altering the line up vertex by vertex. Lining up on to complex curved geometry is especially difficult due to the fact you have very few corners to work with. Generally the process of video mapping a 3D object works by aligning the vertex of the 3D model to where it exists on the physical object, this is easy on, for example, a pile of boxes or a building, but on one of the most beautiful curving cars ever built is a challenge.

The Line Up Grid

The Line Up Grid

The 3D object

The 3D object

One of the Cars during line up

One of the Cars during line up

With line up complete, video content commissioned the doors open to the James Bond experience at Spy scape in New York at 10am EST 8th March 2019 with only 45 working days from concept to delivery.