At music festivals, and even world-famous Glastonbury, the visual shows compete with the music artists for wow factor. This year, artists and inventor collective, Astral Projekt, Arcadia Spectacular and Heckler might have won.
Their Pangea, a project-mapped sphere installed on a 50m tall mega-crane weighing140 tonnes on the Arcadia stage, illuminated some of dance music’s biggest names. For the next five years, the Arcadia Stage has been renamed Pangea, after the prehistoric supercontinent.
Astral Projekt founder, Joe Crossley, described the concept, “My interpretation of the original Pangea concept and brief came to me artistically as the visualisation of the birth of a planet, also with ideas of the moment in history we find ourselves in, I started thinking about the future of the planet, in all its wild and artistic variations. Tech planets, electrical networks, AI controlled systems, data in nature, also remodelled ideas of earth’s physics and how on a new planet all these systems exist. We also took a lot of earth’s satellite data of ocean currents, climate shift patters, airflows, weather maps and fused it with moments pertaining to the Extinction Rebellion. We projected the logo up there also at one time as the Glastonbury vibe was really fresh this year it felt the art reflected the movement.”
The visual experience was created by Astral Projekt and Heckler using 3D projection mapping and the sold-out show was broadcast by the BBC. It attracted crowds of tens of thousands each night across the weekend. The giant sphere was populated by visuals of spectacular environments as diverse as imaginary alien planets and rocky moon surfaces, sentient machine planets, ice and lava, and periodically opened and closed to unveil a hidden inner core of audio-responsive projections.
The 360° spherical projections at Pangea also featured collaborations with renowned media artists including Peter Walker (Astrix), Sam Lisher, Brad Hammond, and real-time effects engine, Notch.
A film by Trago Studios showcasing highlights from Pangea at Glastonbury has been released with studio music from Tetsuo’s Redemption by Koan Sound and Asa.
Will Alexander, co-founder and executive producer at Heckler, commented, “Glastonbury is the biggest music festival on the planet. Partnering with Arcadia and Astral Projekt to bring Pangea to life is incredibly exciting and a huge honour. We look forward to developing new-media works at Glastonbury over the next five years to global audiences.”
Crossley added, “Working with Will and Glenn at Heckler has been such a pleasure and I am excited for future collaborations and projects such as Glastonbury. We are embarking on some exciting new projects in large-format media art, and our partnership with Heckler and Epson will enable us to push the boundaries to new heights in this space.”
Behind the Scenes of Pangea
How many days did it take to build the crane/ create the projection mapping?
The crane was installed by the Arcadia technical team and took 6weeks to transplant from Avon mouth docks to the Glastonbury site. Astral Projekt created the projections from a 3D model they had made of the radome (an old army satellite sphere) that they projected onto. This 3D model was then brought into a selection of real-time animation software, including Unreal Engine – Unity – touch designer, and also composited using maya and cinema 4D.
These models were then mapped to aUv (a kind of virtual skin of the sphere unwrapped), and then this was then mapped to the sphere using AI Servers from Avolites.
6 Projectors from Barco (UDX 32k laser) then cast the image on to the sphere in 360 degrees. The team previsualised the show in various different programmes from their real-time engines and composited looks. They created the projection mapping using AI media servers, which took their art and the 3D projection, and mapped it to the sphere: kind of a way of wrapping the sphere with the Pr made UV mapped content they created. Astral Projekt and Heckler worked from an original brief to bring to life a giant crane with the name Pangea. The Pangea concept was about origins, beginnings, formations and the idea of a unified supercontinent standing on the cusp of life.
Client: Arcadia Spectacular
Visual Artist: Peter Walker (Vjasterix), Sam Lisher, Rich Porter, Brad Hammond
Technical Director: Dorian Cameron Marlow
Head Of Design: Joe Crossley
Creative Directors: Pip Rush &Bertie Cole
Post Production & VFX
Head Of 3D: Tom Corbett
Senior Compositor: Bertrand Polivka
Creative Director: Glenn Urquhart
Senior Producer: Amy Jarman (Senior VFX Producer)
VFX Company: Heckler
Executive Producer: Will Alexander
Art Direction: Kim Gavin
3d Artists: Tim Jarick, Dusan Marjanovic, Boris Fomin