Leviathan Showcases Its Innovative Ongoing Ghost Box Experiment

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As Leviathan's President and Executive Producer Chad Hutson explains, "When you want to prove something is possible, sometimes you simply have to build it. A culmination of ideas once pitched to clients, such as projection mapping a moving object and integrating a Pepper's Ghost 'hologram' effect, are now reflected in a single experiment we call Ghost Box."

To this end, the Leviathan team, using projectors housed in a portable enclosure and providing control by a tablet or phone, thought to demonstrate how most any product of any size can be brought to life by projection with you as the director. See the video below.

First designed as an interactive Pepper's Ghost art installation complete with a musical score by Waveplant, Leviathan then tried a more commercial approach to the Ghost Box experience by rebuilding it as a miniature car configurator.  Users could physically rotate the model car, as well as choose the color, wheel and trim packages, all of which were projected onto its surface in real time. 

Hutson also provided some more insights into the project's development. "With the number of projection mapping projects we've produced," he said, "we've always wanted to raise the bar and integrate new features, but clients often don't feel comfortable with pulling the trigger unless they know for sure it'll work. So we combined several of these proposed features, engineered how we could test them all on a smaller scale, and then built a prototype as quickly as possible to see the results."

The large "arcade style" enclosure was not Leviathan's first choice, but it fit the bill since they required a unit that was self-contained, portable and controlled the lighting of the projection space. Multiple projectors, reflective surfaces, a product and setting as well as a PC all had to fit inside. The team forged ahead first to resolve the technical challenges, before deciding upon content, which why the first iteration was more of an abstract art installation. "We knew we foremost wanted to demonstrate an interactive Pepper's Ghost scenario," Hutson added, "so as long as the content was well designed, anything could work." Knowing the firm's client base is interested in such technology, Leviathan's team eventually realized they needed a more commercial spin, hence the car configurator being built off the original installation within a matter of weeks.

As with all of its projection mapping projects, Leviathan relied heavily on Derivative's TouchDesigner for customization of content and outside hardware integration, while Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects were their primary content creation tools.  

The video (see link above) concludes, "Such technologies could be used for anything from a storefront window to a large-scale event," and asks: "Now that we know it's possible, what do you want to build?"



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