“Attention to detail was critical. Our VuePix Product Manager Nathan Wright was overseeing quality control at our VuePix Infiled factory throughout the whole manufacturing process. The whole team worked closely with the engineers, the team and Auckland Live, the performing arts arm of RFA, to deliver a customised solution, the perfect fit for this unique project.”
Once the design was approved, the team was able to confirm the exact pixel ratio for Lisa, with the left screen measuring 1792 by 2464 pixels and the right 1408 by 2464 pixels.
Lisa then created the content pixel for pixel to match each video wall, avoiding any distortion or pixilation due to scaling. “Nowadays I bring quite a lot of experience to non-standard projects,” Lisa chuckles. “As the creative I know that discussion is key. We have our concept conversations, our digital discussions and we reflect on the feeling that we want the audience to have when they see it.” Lisa cites the example of the lower level. “There are several viewing angles where you can really appreciate the scale of Ihi from the entrance level but the furniture on the level below also provides a comfortable place to just watch and contemplate.”
The Technical Production team at Auckland Live worked extremely hard to find the best possible software solution to drive the content. Much research and testing by Auckland Live’s Senior Vision Technician, Francis van Kuijk, went into the decision-making process, testing various types of hardware and software in conjunction with the artist to ensure an optimum result. The final solution was that the content was controlled by Millumin 3 software, running off Mac hardware, connected to a BlackMagic eGPU Pro to integrate with two NovaStar MCTRL 4K processors.
The local HTS Group team was appointed as system integrator, working closely with the engineers on the whole installation side of this project. “The quality of HTS Group’s work was key to the success of the project,” comments Garth.
As always when working in a live entertainment venue, staying on programme was essential and the support structure was erected within a week and the panels in five days. Project management by Joey Rabel, Auckland Live Manager Technical Equipment, coordinating the logistics of the installation with Lisa Reihana and her team, building renovation work, scheduled events and power and data installation, was key to ensuring the artwork was completed for the unveiling on 29 January.
There followed more testing, with the actual artwork running. Garth was pleased, “The real success of this project is that there were no issues at all during or after the build, and the screens have been running smoothly now since 24 December.”
For Lisa though, work continued, “There was a lot of testing of the footage on the screen because LED panels have a very different feel, the light is sharper and the contrast greater. I needed it to look the same in the Aotea Centre as it did in the studio.”
Garth concludes, “Working with a distinguished artist like Lisa Reihana to bring her iconic work of art to life was an amazing experience and a true honour. The support and expertise of the Auckland Live team were terrific and played a huge part in bringing this project to fruition.”
Cuono Biviano, Managing Director of ULA Group adds, “I am very proud of the team at ULA Group and all who have been involved in this amazing project, delivering a unique platform to celebrate Māori culture in the Aotea Centre. Our commitment to the arts and ongoing investment into digital technology is truly reflected in this iconic large-scale digital artwork, the first of its kind in New Zealand.”