One of the most exciting trends among top AVIXA member companies worldwide springs from the combination of high lumen AV and technology-based civic engagement at the highest levels – and the trend is now strong in Asia. Osaka, Japan, specifically, is latest place to see this dynamic at work, and it’s no doubt the harbinger of more great things to come. Because when you combine some of the most creative minds in experiential design with those in the more immersive and fun parts of civic planning, magic happens.

Sakuya Lumina kicked off at Osaka Castle Park in Osaka, Japan, on 15 December 2018, and it’s slated to run for three consecutive years. The installation/experience is the latest “night walk” designed by AVIXA member company, Moment Factory. The company is based in Montreal, Canada, but it now has a huge, and growing, presence in Asia – the company has a major office in Tokyo. With the opening of Sakuya Lumina, Moment Factory continues its Lumina night walk series of experiences – and they continue to push the envelope for AV at the highest levels in APAC region and beyond.

Osaka Castle | AVIXA Osaka Castle by day: an important, much loved and visited cultural landmark &endash; and now the setting of a beautiful AV-based visitor experience

Moment Factory pioneered the night walk concept with its ground-breaking, and award-winning work in Canada. It then followed with more night walks, including the first international Lumina night walk: Island Lumina, on Iojima Island in Nagasaki, Japan; and the “forest night walk,” Kamuy Lumina, in Japan’s Akan Mashu National Park, Hokkaido, an immersive experience along a 1.2 km walking path into the land of the Ainu gods designed to coexist with nature and minimize impact on the surrounding environment.

While Japan has become a major hub for the latest, most engaging night walk experiences from Moment Factory, and with Singapore also now part of the mix, the Sakuya Lumina experience stands out for its innovation on several levels. At the top of that list: the use of high lumen video projection – in challenging outdoor conditions – and large scale, very creative pixel mapping that is stunning. The show/experience gives visitors the opportunity to discover another side of Osaka, Japan’s third largest city. The city of Osaka’s iconic castle and the park are transformed after the sun sets to a grand outdoor video palette and interactive experience. With Sakuya Lumina, visitors are taken through the castle grounds in tandem with the event’s main story: Akiyo, a joyful young girl from the future, who has accidentally tripped through a portal into our time zone and now needs to find a way back to the future. For 45 minutes to an hour, visitors get to meet a host of fun characters (including Balun, Pulpo and Mariposa) as they accompany Akiyo on her mission.

Projection mapping with the Panasonic projectors onto the base wall of Osaka Castle | AVIXA Projection mapping with the Panasonic projectors onto the base wall of Osaka Castle

The images in this article tell the technology story – video projection and image mapping onto a variety of outdoor surfaces. How was the projection and pixel mapping done? With Panasonic laser projectors, housed in special outdoor enclosures that allowed the projectors to perform flawlessly in any conditions: heat, cold, rain, sun.

A total of 10 Panasonic laser projectors – six PT-RZ12’s and four PT-RZ21’s – are protected by the special Tempest enclosures. Tempest is a manufacturer of specialist outdoor enclosures for digital projectors and conventional and moving lighting instruments.

Of the six PT-RZ12 projectors, two were placed inside Tempest Blizzard 52.100.U enclosures, and used with ultra-short-throw lenses. The other four PT-RZ21’s using standard lenses are placed inside Tempest Blizzard 52.100.L enclosures. All PT-RZ21 projectors were installed inside standard Cyclone 55.210.L enclosures from Tempest.

More playful, engaging pixel mapping onto outdoor surfaces for the visitors on their journey | AVIXA More playful, engaging pixel mapping onto outdoor surfaces for the visitors on their journey

“What’s so impressive about this immersive installation – aside from its obvious beauty,” said Tim Burnham, the president of Tempest, “is the way Moment Factory has harnessed a host of complex technical elements to enhance the aesthetic of the park, and guide guests through a fun and engaging narrative for all ages. It’s clear that visitors young and old are enjoying the experience. Given that it is running every day, it’s vital that the projection equipment remains ultra-reliable. That’s where we come in – ensuring that projectors are well protected from the elements, eliminating the possibility of deadly condensation, and keeping everything running at an optimal temperature.”

Sakuya Lumina is a collaboration between Moment Factory and Yoshimoto Kogyo, one of Japan’s biggest entertainment companies; the Dentsu Group, a worldwide advertising and communication company network headquartered in Tokyo; and Osaka Castle Park. Sakuya Lumina is open to the public and continues through 2021.

The experience also includes LED, automated lighting, and other tech in addition to pixel mappings | AVIXA The experience also includes LED, automated lighting, and other tech in addition to pixel mappings

A New Concept in AV, and a New Definition of Audience Engagement

Around this time five years ago, Moment Factory was getting ready to reveal a bold new experiment: a multimedia “night walk” set in the woods of Parc de la Gorge in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada. They called this original outdoor experience Foresta Lumina. At the time, Moment Factory didn’t know how people would respond to our creation, a series of storytelling vignettes staged along a pedestrian pathway using lighting design, music, video, and special effects.”

The reaction to the first-ever Lumina enchanted night walk exceeded all expectations. It surpassed its projected visitorship by tenfold, produced a financial windfall for the park and surrounding community, and won a slew of industry awards, including a prestigious THEA. Since then, we’ve created ten distinct Lumina night walk experiences in sites ranging from Canada to Japan and Singapore, which have together welcomed more than a million visitors.