Samsung Stars of Xtmas

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Stopping the heart of Madrid

On December 18, 2011 the Palace of Cibeles, at the very heart of Madrid’s center, became the canvas for what was going to be the largest spatial augmented reality 3D-mapping projection in Spain’s history. And it continues to be to this date.

Commissioned by Madrid City Council and Samsung, the show was completely designed, produced and run by Ibercover Studio and partners. What’s really unique about it is the narrative behind all the stardust and light bursts.

The 14-minute animated short film is set on a magical toy factory in the flurry of christmas season activity. A small toy robot falls off the assembly line and a little girl somewhere is sad because she didn’t get a present. Luckily, the eponymous three stars of christmas arrive to save the day.

All modesty aside, it was a magnificent show, a piece of content and a technological achievement we are very proud of.

Eyes wide open

A key task for us, as content creators, is to collect as much feedback as possible about people’s reactions to individual elements, sounds, music, transition and effects while the show unfolds.

The truth is by the time the show starts, we’ve seen it so many times that our eyes tend to turn to the public anyways. It’s loads of fun, and a very emotional moment for us, to get see their expressions transformed by emotion and awe.

You hit the Play button and, as the massive building in front of us lights up for the first time, a hundred thousand people go dead-quiet at once.

Not twenty seconds into the show the crowd begins to regain consciousness after the first shock. Kids go berserk dancing and jumping up and down as the “Three Stars of Xmas” emerge from the dark of night and glide around the building some thirty five meters in the air.

Parents look at each other, monalisa-smile on their faces and one of them always looking like “told you was gonna be fun”.

The biggest mapping Spain has ever seen

The Cibeles Palace mapping was an unprecedented event for us and for the city of Madrid. More than 100.000 people filled the Paseo del Prado, one the main arteries of the capital where traffic was blocked for several hours.

The production, that started 6 months earlier, involved collaboration with artists and professionals from different corners of the globe and required a team of about 60 people to run. The set up took about a week and was carried out mostly during the night to void the heavy traffic that goes through this point every day.

The show was broadcast live by national and international networks, as well as streamed online through various different services.

It is a memorable day for us and the people that gathered to watch.

Tech

Projection

Sound

Pyrotechnics

Client

Designed, directed and produced by Ibercover Studio

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